Daniel Tammet has been working with scientists to understand the implications ‘You close BORN ON A BLUE DAY with a sense of profound. Born on a Blue Day. A Memoir of Asperger’s and an Extraordinary Mind. Daniel Tammet First published in Great Britain in by Hodder. Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant, a Memoir. Daniel Tammet, Author. Free Press $24 (p) ISBN.
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Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Born on a Blue Day: One of the world’s fifty living autistic savants is the first and only to tell his compelling and inspiring life story – and explain how his incredible mind works. This unique first-person account offers a window into the mind of a high-functioning, year-old British autistic savant with Asperger’s syndrome.
Tammet’s ability to think abstractly, deviate from routine, and One of the world’s fifty living autistic savants is the first and only to tell his compelling and inspiring life story – and explain how his incredible mind works.
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 documentary Brainman, learned Icelandic in a single week and recited the number pi up to the 22,th 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.
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 faniel his symptoms makes for an account that will intrigue others as well. Hardcoverpages. Published January 9th by Free Press first published January 9th To see what your friends thought of this book, tammft sign up.
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Lists with This Book. Nov 25, Sun rated it it was ok. The problem with autobiography is that extraordinary people are not necessary good writers.
This is linked to his Asperger’s and also to epilepsy. daj
Although a novel human story, this does not provide much insight into how Tammet’s brain works and why other brains are not like his. I expected his unique cognition would be illuminated through pre The problem with autobiography is that extraordinary people are not necessary good writers. I expected his unique cognition would be illuminated through precise examples and that these would shed more light on cognitive psychology. Instead, ady is a human interest story and can be only enjoyed as such.
Jan 30, Kate rated it it was ok. This review has borh hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Atmmet a full title in the States of Born on a Blue Dayy Yet the text itself is anything but–the chapters are relatively short, his sentences are easy to follow, and aside from the first chapter, “Blue Nines and Red Words” it is told in straightforward chronology. Tammet is 28 years old; he’s been diagnosed as both a savant and autistic, which means that he can remember nearly everything he’s r With a full title in the States of Born on a Blue Day: Tammet is 28 years old; he’s been diagnosed as both a savant and autistic, which means that he can remember nearly everything he’s read, including massive amounts of numbers, but that he spent most of his life feeling like an outsider unsure of how bluee interact with other people.
I first learned of the memoir both through a book review somewhere else and a special on TV about him–in which, among other things, he learned to speak Icelandic fluently in one week. He danniel words and numbers as colors and textures, with different characters having different sizes and shapes.
I would love to say that it is a brilliant memoir, but to be honest, there were few points where it lived up to the dust jacket’s “triumphant and uplifting” description. True, he has been incredibly successful in spite of his autism-related limitations he runs a successful online language learning business, and is considered one of the most socially functional autistic cases ever studied–as a result, he’s a scientist’s wet dream to studying the brain, savantism, and autism.
While the text is quite informative into how his mind works and what his life has been like, there were large chunks where I felt disconnected from the text. This sense of distance was a result of two elements.
First, in the danil book–though most noticeably in the first few chapters–it seems like Tammet and his editors just can’t seem to decide what exactly they want this memoir to do. Tammet swings from describing how he sees the world fairly passionately and intricately to listing off events of his childhood, to offering somewhat stilted advice to those with autism bogn their friends and family.
Since the advice frequently takes the form of a tam,et awkwardly tacked on at the end of a chapter, I felt like it wasn’t really organically grown from the text.
Secondly, in many cases, Tammet is simply listing and recounting events. The most engaging bule are where he discusses how he sees certain letters and words, botn he learned Icelandic, how he memorized over 22, numbers of pi for a public recital, the ins and outs of his relationship, and when he meets Kim Peek on whom Dustin Hoffman’s Rain Man is based. In short, when he’s writing about things that matter to him, it’s an incredibly engaging memoir. But so much of his recounting has the air of something he’s telling us because he expects it’s what we’re interested in–and that he’d kind of bored by it.
As a result, the rest of the memoir is consumed by an almost list-like, fairly dispassionate chronology of his experiences in grade school, secondary school, teaching abroad, etc.
In some ways, this second “problem” seems a result of the first: The shorter early twmmet seem to exacerbate the problem by skipping rather quickly through things–many bprn them things Tammet does not remember but his parents do, which could account for his lack of energy when discussing them. His is a fascinating mind and experience, and the book is definitely worth reading if you’re interested in how the brain works, how autism or savantism work, and particularly how Borj sees numbers, letters, etc.
It does provide a lot of insight into how someone with Asperger’s syndrome considered a milder, more social form of autism functions and thinks. A Bkrn of Asperger’s and an Extraordinary Mindactually seems more representative of the text itself. Otherwise, this is one story where the condensed version of the TV special might actually be preferable, as the stilted style in portions of this text rob it of its due.
View all 5 comments. Aug 03, Modern Hermeneut rated it bluw not like it.
The author of this autobiography is a gay, Christian, epileptic, synesthete with a photographic memory. Unfortunately, he also has Asperger’s, so instead of serving up a boldly self-satirizing confessional, he subjects us to a robotic catalogue of chronologically ordered facts about his life, wholly devoid of emotional connection, thematic unity, narrative tension, and moral value.
There is virtually nothing here that would interest a non-autistic person.
Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant, a Memoir
To give you an idea of what I mean, consi The author of this autobiography is a gay, Christian, epileptic, synesthete with a photographic memory. To give you an idea of what I mean, consider that Tammet devotes three full pages to describing proudly, and in excruciating detail his unique permutation on the card game Solitaire; and yet he is happy to squeeze into a single, short paragraph the stories of how he and his boyfriend first met one another’s respective parents.
Tammet’s profound social and emotional deficits are matched only by the embarrassing artlessness of his prose. I can say, without exaggeration, that I have never read a more stilted and unsophisticated published work in my entire life.
The fact that this volume ever saw the light of day — and the fact that it apparently hoodwinked some professional critics all of whom should be ashamed of themselves — is a testament to the current craze for neurological novelty of the cheapest variety. Like Kim Meek the real-life inspiration for “Rain Man”who also makes an appearance in the book, Daniel Tammet’s “abilities” are notable only for their grotesque other-ness and not for their practical utility or moral virtue.
He is nothing more than a freakshow, who has benefited from a diseased strain of Western liberalism that embraces “differentness” even at the expense of normative values like empathy, humility, and humor. If you think I’m going too far, I invite you to read page 82 on which the author recounts how he hit a little girl one of the precious few people in the book whose name he fails to remember with no good reason and without a hint of remorse.
One has the impression that Tammet’s life is littered with such victims of his pathology, even as his relatives and teachers bend over backwards to accommodate him. View all 32 comments. Daniel Tammet first became known to the world for such feats as setting the world record for memorizing the most digits of PI 22, and learning to speak Icelandic in a week.
Tammet is a high-functioning autistic savant who also has synesthesia, a neurological mixing of the senses that allows him to see numbers in shapes and colors. Tammet’s autobiography provides a fascinating glimpse into the inner world of a man who experiences life very differently from the rest of us. As he discusses gro Daniel Tammet first became known to the world for such feats as setting the world record for memorizing the most digits of PI 22, and learning to speak Icelandic in a week.
As he discusses growing up as the eldest of nine children, Tammet writes in great detail about what life is like for a person who experiences numbers as a landscape he can walk within and yet can be easily overwhelmed by the normal stimulus of modern life.
There is a certain detached air to Tammet’s prose, but his writing is extremely lucid and I found his unique perspective on the world both engaging and inspiring. Daniel Tammet is a savant who sees numbers as shapes, colors, and textures, and who can perform unbelievable feats of calculation in his head. In he became something of a celebrity in England when he memorized and recited the first 22, digits of pi, setting a new world record.
Born of a Blue Day –
The cover is a bit misleading with the tagline, “inside the extraordinary mind of an autistic savant”. The author is not, in fact, autistic, and never was. This becomes immediately clear upon reading the first pages of the book. He does have Asperger’s syndrome, but although Asperger’s is considered to be loosely related to autism or more accurately on the spectrumit is certainly not the same.
It is a much milder disorder, much less debilitating, and much more common. It is fairly common for someone with Asperger’s to lead a more or less normal life and fairly common for many to go undiagnosed until much later in life….
Long story short, I consider this tagline disingenuous on the part of the publisher. I found this book rather interesting. It is well-written and engaging, and the main character the author himself is interesting to get to know. But I began to worry that the entire book would be a loose collection of examples of synesthesia.
Scientists are particularly interested in his ability to see numbers as landscapes with color and texture and Tammet is currently helping them with their studies.
I wonder at the outcome of this as no two people think alike and worry that his way of seeing numbers etc will be interpreted as some kind of bible within the scientific community. I myself see words in images or moods as I read them and I know many others that do — and many folk who do gravitate towards the arts in some form.
The subsequent chapters begin a more chronological journey through the author’s life. Tammet had a very difficult education. He was socially withdrawn and preferred his own company.
His parents were accepting and supporting of him and he credits their help with getting him through difficult periods. Tammet gives this advice to parents of children suffering from epilepsy or autism: Something all parents should try to do. Tammet is creating his own language, strongly influenced by the vowel and image-rich languages of northern Europe. The word “ema”, for instance, translates as “mother”, and “ela” is what a mother creates: His website, Optimnem sells foreign language courses.