Four by Dr. Harold L. Klawans

Toscanini’s Fumble: And Other Tales of Clinical Neurology
Newton’s Madness: Further Tales of Clinical Neurology
Trials of an Expert Witness: Tales of Clinical Neurology and the Law
Why Michael Couldn’t Hit, and Other Tales of the Neurology of Sports: And Other Tales of the Neurology of Sports…
by Dr. Harold L. Klawans

Newton's Madness: Further Tales of Clinical Neurology

A native Chicagoan, life-long White Sox fan (both play a large part in his writings) was a neurologist specializing in movement disorders, specifically Parkinson ’s disease. He is also the author of several books on his work as a neurologist as well as several novels (none of which I have read but may in the future).

Specifically, this review will focus on four of his books, two I re-read, one I was about to re-read (but opted to spend my time reading Doc Savage fanfic ranging from downright putrid to ‘you really need an editor, son’) to the last that I don’t think I’ll re-read because I didn’t think it was great to begin with.

Toscanini's Fumble: And Other Tales of Clinical Neurology

First, I’ll start with the two books that introduced me to Dr. Klawans: Toscanini’s Fumble: And Other Tales of Clinical Neurology and Newton’s Madness: Further Tales of Clinical Neurology. Both of these books are short narratives spanning personal stories about his patients, specific conditions or historical perspective on neurology. They are very well-written and are an “easy” read. I would totally recommend these two books for anyone interested in medical narratives.

Trials of an Expert Witness: Tales of Clinical Neurology and the Law

The other book in the same vein as the previous two is Trials of an Expert Witness: Tales of Clinical Neurology and the Law. I didn’t re-read this one because, as I had mentioned above, I was busy reading Doc Savage fanfic but in glancing through the book, I remember enjoying the read and the title pretty much explains what the book is about. This book has a bit more of a broader audience, those interested in medical narratives as well as medicine and the law (but without all the tedious law-stuff).

Trials of an Expert Witness: Tales of Clinical Neurology and the Law

The last of the Dr. Klawans books is one I will not be re-reading, Why Michael Couldn’t Hit, and Other Tales of the Neurology of Sports: And Other Tales of the Neurology of Sports…, and judging by the 3/5 stars other readers have given it, I am not alone. It’s not that Dr. Klawans isn’t a bad writer it’s just that the subject as presented wasn’t all that interesting. I don’t honestly understand it. Sports analysis can be very interesting (I’m a devoted watcher of all kinds of shows on ESPN) but for whatever reason, and despite being a hard-core Chicago White Sox fan, the subject fell flat as a preverbal pancake.

Despite my misgivings, do give the first three books a try. They are well-worth it and enjoyable, but definitely skip the last one.

Book Rating:

Toscanini’s Fumble: And Other Tales of Clinical Neurology — 5 Stars
Newton’s Madness: Further Tales of Clinical Neurology — 5 Stars
Trials of an Expert Witness: Tales of Clinical Neurology and the Law — 4.5 Stars
Why Michael Couldn’t Hit, and Other Tales of the Neurology of Sports: And Other Tales of the Neurology of Sports… — 3 Stars

Next on the reading bandwagon, the e-book, Miracles and Mayhem in the ER: Unbelievable True Stories by Brent Russell.

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