One would think that Oliver Sacks’ classic recounting of odd cases of brain dysfunction, “The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” would be immune to the scourge of cheap imitators and profiteers. One would think, but. ‘one would be wrong’ as I love to say, sorry to say.
A quick look at the list I jotted down at the local mass-market bookstore is enough to prove that while immitation may be a form of flattery, it can also be a source of annoyance… or amusement; I’ll let my dear readers judge the merits of the following offerings:
1) The salesgirl actually confused this one, “The Man who Mistook his Hat for a Wife” by Oliver Secks for the real thing, so similar was its cover art, except for a somewhat furtive looking gentleman kneeling beside a fur hat, saying “ceci est ma femme”. I thought to leaf through it but the pages seemed to be stuck together, so I laid it down, face down, and moved on to:
2) Oliver Sucks: “Only Men, Only Hats” This one had lots of pictures. You don’t wanna know.
3) Oliver Soaks: “The Man who took his Wife and his Hat to the Cleaners”. Another ‘men’s book, I guess in the self-help genre, written by a retired divorce attorney, it claimed to have “over 100 tips for your successful exit strategy“, plus an all-new “laundry made easy” appendix for the newly rich and single. Ugh.
4) Ollie Versache: “Running with Berets” Didn’t know quite what to make of this one. The guy on the cover did look quite fashionable though
5) “The Man who Mistook Miss Tuck for a Wifi” by Olive R. Sax looked like it might’ve actually been a fun read. Just out in paperback, the blurb called it “torrid, lascivious, and disturbing at once”
6) There was a fluffy kids book, “Ollie’s Silly Hat Tricks” which I bought in the end. Quirky. I’ll have to review it here sometime. Along with my thoughts on the movie re-make I rented at the checkout, “A Man, a Woman, and a Hat” Looks romantic from the picture on the cover; two lovers in the rain, trying to take cover under a too-small fedora on the beach.
Bottom line: Have a pleasant weekend but be wary of imposters. …Oh, and stand by for more in the series, “Matchmaking Math for Party-planners”