Reviews

  • "With wit, humanity and insight… [Parks] tackles a question that the greatest philosophical and scientific minds have struggled with for centuries: what is consciousness?... Parks is an entertaining companion throughout"

    Mail on Sunday
  • "Parks, who is best-known for his Toujours Provence-like memoirs of life in Italy, succeeds admirably in bringing difficult ideas down a level. Eleanora Gallitelli, his Italian partner, who accompanies him to a psychiatric hospital in Heidelberg for research purposes, also helps. Gallitelli recently told me that she is deaf in one ear. The story of her sudden irreparable deafness — how her brain began to develop a mind of its own, playing tricks with spatial awareness and balance — is quite brilliantly told here. Parks writes well enough to appeal to the layman and the mind boffin alike. Out of My Head is pleasurably nutty, self-regarding and at times quite hilarious."

    Evening Standard
  • "[A] fantastic journey into the human brain...Parks makes an excellent point about what he calls the "internalist" position (that our picture of reality is just that: a subjective one, concocted by our brains), which is that it flatters our sense of our own importance, making of us creators of our own effectively unique worlds."

    New Statesman
  • "An exceptionally witty and compelling look at the nature of consciousness... In tackling consciousness, the full frontal assault, as often practised by philosophers and, in a different way, by neuroscientists, can only get us so far. Tim Parks' new book is a refreshing attempt to creep up on the hard question obliquely; and to take the argument deeper into the very realm of our embodied experience than it usually goes. The result is lucid, witty and engaging: a deft philosophical juggling act providing, in an honourable tradition, more questions than answers... A confessed outsider to both academic philosophy and neuroscience, Parks demonstrates the truth that sometimes the outsider sees most of the game. And he has done his homework... Parks is not only excellent company, but a worthy debating partner. He is a delight to read."

    The Tablet