Sunday, February 18, 2007

Born on a Blue Day

This memoir by Daniel Tammet is a fascinating look at the inner life of a savant. Savants are people who have highly focused abilities in a certain area; in Tammet's case, he is a genius with numbers and can calculate large sums in his head. Tammet also has synethesia, which means that his senses cross over each other, so he sees numbers in his head as shapes. However, these gifts come with a price--Tammet has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism, which means that he does not relate well socially to others. Indeed, the overall tone of the book is detached, as if Tammet doesn't know how to convey his emotions to the reader. Still, it's a beautifully written book, and I hope that Tammet will continue writing and sharing his world with us.


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