Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet


Daniel Tammet is a high functioning autistic savant. Similar to the main character from Rainmain, he can calculate huge sums in his head, tell you what day of the week you were born, and recite pi to 22,000 and something digits. Daniel wasn't diagnosed as autistic until late in life, which had him and his parents questioning some of his behaviour as a child. Daniel takes us through his life, how he sees words and numbers, how he functions in the world, and what has happened to him since people became aware of his condition and he was featured in a tv show.

Daniel himself says that he has trouble expressing his emotions and at times this comes across in the book. While describing his adult life, things are rather cold and it's hard to connect with what Daniel is saying. He goes on for pages and pages about language and how words are formed in different languages but it has absolutely nothing to do with him or his story. It's just him describing something, and is completely out of place in the book. These parts I found difficult to get through.

The most interesting part of the book was him describing his years as a child. He goes through all the troubles he had with social settings but also how much his parents loved and helped him.

Daniel seems like a pretty interesting guy. I found a TED talk of him and listened to most of it though it seemed like similar material from the book.

First Line: "I was born on January 31, 1979 - a Wednesday."


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