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Book Mentored by a Madman: The William Burroughs Experiment


Mentored by a Madman: The William Burroughs Experiment

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Mentored by a Madman: The William Burroughs Experiment.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Andrew Lees(Author)

    Book details

In this extraordinary memoir, neuroscientist Andrew Lees explains how William Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch and troubled drug addict, played an unlikely part in his medical career. Lees draws on Burroughs search for an addiction cure to discover a ground-breaking treatment for shaking palsy, and learns how to use the deductive reasoning of Sherlock Holmes to diagnose patients. Lees follows Burroughs into the rainforest and under the influence of yagé (ayahuasca) gains insights that encourage him to pursue new lines of pharmacological research and explore new forms of science.

"Lees' deep humanity and honesty shines throughout. The inevitable comparison with the late, great Oliver Sacks is entirely just." --Raymond Tallis

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Book details

  • PDF | 192 pages
  • Andrew Lees(Author)
  • Notting Hill Editions Trade (1 May 2016)
  • English
  • 2
  • Health, Family & Lifestyle

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Review Text

  • By T. Gioltzoglou on 22 September 2016

    “Mentored by a madman” emphasises in its title its purpose to erase the line between literature and science. Not only does it succeed brilliantly in this but it also acknowledges for the first time the surprising influence of William Burroughs in the author’s clinical neurological research. Professor Lees, a celebrated neurologist, whose contribution to movement disorders history is internationally recognised bares his soul for the first time to the medical establishmentIt is a beautiful compassionate book about doctoring as well as research in medicine. “Science has always followed Jesus not Marx” as the author states testifies to the ego of medical scientists despite the current trend for the number of authors for a scientific paper to almost exceed the word length of the publication. The story of rediscovering apomorphine is incredibly fascinating, while the first discovery –description of the Dopamine Dysregulation Syndrome, which in some parts of the world is now called Lees’ syndrome, reminds us again that listening closely to our patients is the most efficient way to make progress in medicine. The book is also a confession of personal and professional moments and a heroic stand against the dictatorship of political correctness and over medicalisation of society. This book advocates that doctors must follow their conscience not guidelines, remain as open minded as they were as medical students to new ideas and question authority when appropriate.I recommend this book strongly to fellow neurologists, people with Parkinson’s who wish to understand why progress has been so slow in finding new therapies and to general readers who believe in the importance of backing hunches in life.

  • By c d may on 20 March 2017

    incredible book

  • By TIM QUINN on 11 June 2016

    HOOKED ON UNREALITYToday I met one of the most interesting human beings it has been my pleasure to encounter in my time on planet Earth. And I've met many fascinating people down the years. His name is Andrew Lees and he is a professor of neurology at the University College of London.I was interviewing him for Bay TV Liverpool's 'About Books' series. Luckily we had plenty of time before cameras rolled to get to know each other over coffee and Fanta. Andrew has written an astonishing book, which I read at one sitting. It's a gripper from the title on. 'Mentored By a Madman' chronicles how William Burroughs influenced and inspired Andrew's medical research and life, letting him see the need for serendipity, open mindedness and freedom in his work. This involved self-experimentation in the footsteps of Dr Henry Jekyll and heading off up the Amazon like a Victorian adventurer in search of mind expanding drugs.Damning of bureaucracy and concrete thinking, Andrew describes the book as not so much a memoir as a fantasia and compares himself to an artist in his work. Certainly his writing flows like the notes of a master musician. An absolute delight to know the man. A book for every bookshelf.

  • By Charles Nevin on 16 June 2016

    A pity about the Sixties, that discredited decade of love, hope, happiness and serious wackos. But, crikey, look at us now. Maybe the wackos weren't so wacky, comparatively. I used to affect an ease with the time by listing William Burroughs (known to us pseudo-cognoscenti as Bill) along with dodgy geezer gurus like Carlos Castaneda, Timothy Leary, and, of course, the Maharishi. 'Yeah, Naked Lunch,' we would wisely nod: heroically crazy wasted druggie. But now I've actually read about him, I realise Bill was the real counter-culture deal: original, fearless, serious and principled. Andrew Lees was inspired by Bill's beady knowledge of self and society, and by a hippy chance used him as an inspiration for pioneering neurological research into drugs to help Parkinson's sufferers. Jump on here for a ride taking in Conan Doyle, Kerouac, Ginsberg, the Amazon, Big Bureaucracy and Big Pharma and any number of neglected molecules and infamous narcotics that might give Lees the answer, culminating in one of the most vivid descriptions of a trip you'll ever read, as the Professor of Neurology at the National Hospital, London, gets down by the Amazon with a shaman and a hefty swig of yage, legendary hardcore hallucinogenic of choice for Burroughs and the hardest hippies. Fascinating, highly instructive and humane, and not just because the Prof and I share an almost lifelong addiction to another drug offering remarkable ups and downs, despair and occasional deep joy, rugby league as practised by St Helens RFC.

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