- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Free Press; 1 edition (January 9, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416535071
- ISBN-13: 978-1416535072
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 399 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #630,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant Hardcover – January 9, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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 Tammet traces his life from a frustrating, withdrawn childhood and adolescence to his adult achievements, which include teaching in Lithuania, achieving financial independence with an educational Web site and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. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Although Tammet is only 27, his autobiography is as fascinating as Benjamin Franklin's and John Stuart Mill's, both of which are, like his, about the growth of a mind. Not that Tammet is a scientist-statesman or philosopher. He is an autistic savant who can perform hefty arithmetical calculations at lightning speed and acquire speaking competency in a previously unknown language in mere days (the latter capability he used to create the Web-based language-learning systems with which he supports himself). More socially competent and independent than the autistic savant famously played by Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, Tammet shares his peers' strong preferences for routine, peace and quiet, private space, and literalness, as well as aversion to chance occurrences, aural and informational noise, and figurative language (despite his arithmetical gift, he can't do algebra; he reads a lot but never fiction). He learned fellowship very gradually and says he couldn't really acknowledge his eight siblings until he grew up. He also writes some of the clearest prose this side of Hemingway; he tells his story with such concentration, precision, and simplicity that his familial poverty, schooling as a "mainstreamed" student, self-realization as gay, and embracing of Christianity prove as enthralling as they are, ultimately, normal. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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My sister read was reading this book at the same time I did and loved it. She found it fascinating and compelling in its entirety.
Summary: This book isn't for everyone. Make sure to give it a try if you're interested in Savant-ism, Aspergers, or Synesthesia. It's a different kind of beast altogether.
It's amazing to have someone speak so candidly about their past, thoughts, dreams, relationships. This book gave me a whole new perspective -- not only on the way an autistic person sees things, but also on how different people live their lives. Daniel has an amazing mind. It's fascinating to hear about how it works. I found it equally fascinating to hear about the people he has relationships with, specifically his boyfriend, parents and sibblings, because they seem to be equally extraordinary people too.
Thank you Daniel for sharing yourself with us. I would (and have!) recommended this book to friends and family.
Read this book if you are looking to be inspired and are looking to explore new perspectives of people with disabilities and how they see the world.
I find it interesting how he can describe his mathematical abilities so clearly.
How has Tammet succeeded despite his hardship? The answers are in 'Blue Day': the patience of his parents; the social interaction with eight siblings; the love and support of his partner; and, frankly, some plain old courage and gumption on Tammet's part. After completing school, he volunteers to teach English and is sent abroad to Lithuania. It's there his talent for languages flourishes.
Getting on that plane took a lot of guts. Mr. Tammet possesses them. Read about it here.
Most recent customer reviews
Daniel was different from the moment he entered the world screaming. For. Over. Two. Years.Read more