The book Born On A Blue Day: Inside the extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant: A Memoir is a facinating look into the thought processes used by someone who doesn't think like the average bear. I am one of those who holds the belief that "average" in an overused term and most of us think a bit differently from one another. This book walks us into the life, from childhood, in the thinking of someone who accomplishes wonders. Mr. Tammet reviews excursions he took to learn and practice different languages and how doing so made it easier for him to function in society. Like many people with "differences", social graces don't come naturally, but Mr.Temmet finds ways to cope with societies gregarious expectations.
An enjoyable, light harded look on a journey into life.
I really enjoy books that are written from the perspective of people with autism and this book was no exception. It's just really interesting to get a peak at how their minds work. Choppy getting started but easy to get into, this book was no exception. Daniel is an amazing person, anyone who works with people with disabilities should read this book.
The first time I had heard of Daniel Tammet was when I still worked days and I happened to see him on Good Morning America one day before work. I recall in the interview, he said he was autistic, but was functional enough to lead his own life. I also recall him associating numbers with colors and shapes. I stored the name of his book to memory and went about my day.
A few years later, I happened to come across his book. I recall his short interview on GMA to be kind of interesting and hoped his book would delve more into how his mind worked and what his world was like.
When I opened the book, it almost immediately informed the reader that Mr. Tammet suffered from Savant Syndrome. At first, this concept was quite foreign to me until he mentioned it was the same ailment that Dustin Hoffmans character in Rain Man. Immediately I began thinking of a man rocking back and forth in his chair, worried about buying his boxer shorts from K-Mart in Cincinnati and how long until Judge Wapner was on. However, I knew this was not the case with Mr. Tamment and was definitely intrigued to read more.
Initially, the book was an excellent journey into the mind of an Autistic Savant. The author goes into detail how his mind works, his obsessive compulsions, and why numbers are quite special to him. As a person whose education was based on math and science, I felt a kind of connection with the author and how he thought and felt about things. The book then talks about his childhood and the difficulties he faced. He then went on to talk about how he began his life on his own, the fears and difficulties he faced, how he found love, and basically gave an outline of how he lives life.
The book is an excellent trip inside the mind of a genius. However, outside of the experiences specific to being an Autistic Savant (and very well maybe one of the main points of the book), the story being told is not that different than anyone elses. When I was reading much of this book, I was thinking much of this could be the story as told from the perspective of one of my children 15 years from now or it very well could have been my story 10 years ago. Mr. Tammet went through the same trials and difficulties that every person goes through and he addressed them and conquered them just as most people do. In this aspect, his story is not that unique. It is still a good story, but it is not as different as I would have expected.
All in all, I thought this was a good book. It was not a great book, but it was an enjoyable and quick read. I would highly recommend the book to Engineers, scientists, mathematicians and other technical people as I think they would find the way the authors mind works with numbers very fascinating and many would probably identify with the author on several levels. Also, if you are looking for a great book where you can cheer for the underdog and they win, then this is definitely worth reading.