Born On A Blue Day
Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant
A journey into one of the most fascinating minds alive today—guided by the owner himself.
Bestselling author Daniel Tammet (Thinking in Numbers) is virtually unique among people who have severe autistic disorders in that he is capable of living a fully independent life and able to explain what is happening inside his head.
He sees numbers as shapes, colors, and textures, and he can perform extraordinary calculations in his head. He can learn to speak new languages fluently, from scratch, in a week. In 2004, he memorized and recited more than 22,000 digits of pi, setting a record. He has savant syndrome, an extremely rare condition that gives him the most unimaginable mental powers, much like those portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in the film Rain Man.
Fascinating and inspiring, Born on a Blue Day explores what it’s like to be special and gives us an insight into what makes us all human—our minds.
This unique first-person account offers a window into the mind of a high-functioning, 27-year-old British autistic savant with Asperger's syndrome. Tammet's ability to think abstractly, deviate from routine, and empathize, interact and communicate with others is impaired, yet he's capable of incredible feats of memorization and mental calculation. Besides being able to effortlessly multiply and divide huge sums in his head with the speed and accuracy of a computer, Tammet, the subject of the 2005 documentary Brainman, learned Icelandic in a single week and recited the number pi up to the 22,514th digit, breaking the European record. He also experiences synesthesia, an unusual neurological syndrome that enables him to experience numbers and words as "shapes, colors, textures and motions." Tammet traces his life from a frustrating, withdrawn childhood and adolescence to his adult achievements, which include teaching in Lithuania, achieving financial independence with an educational Web site and sustaining a long-term romantic relationship. As one of only about 50 people living today with synesthesia and autism, Tammet's condition is intriguing to researchers; his ability to express himself clearly and with a surprisingly engaging tone (given his symptoms) makes for an account that will intrigue others as well.
Most autobiographies are extremely boring to me, but this one definitely stands out from the others. Daniel's story brought me laughter, tears, and a true insight into the mind of an autistic savant. I could hardly put the book down, because his life was filled with so many heart-stopping events. Seeing his landscapes, shapes, colors, and personalities for all of the different numbers was awe-inspiring. I don't think I'll ever read a book quite like this again.
Exceptional, quite possibly the best book I have read in a long time!
Daniel's story is amazing and brought tears to my eyes at several points throughout the book. Tears of joy and happiness, I can relate to several of his experiences on a personal level. I too had a seizure disorder in my teens and the chapter on seizures was an emotional read for me.
I'll be recommending this book for some time to come. Thank you Daniel.
Some people find biographies not very interesting but this book gets you thinking about the way you think. Mr. Tammet is an interesting man. :)