David's Reviews > Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant

Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet
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's review
Nov 22, 2008

really liked it
Read in March, 2008

I've seen publicity of this book and have wanted to read it. I found a copy at the Orem library and checked it out, just in time to read the whole thing during a flight from SLC to New Orleans. It's a very interesting personal account of a man living in England who has both Savant Syndrome and Asperger's. He has a stunningly brilliant mind for numbers - he visualizes them as shapes and colors - and can perform incredibly complex mathematical tasks in his mind in seconds by merging the shapes. He once memorized over 20,000 digits of "pi" and recited them in public; you almost want to cheer as he describes that accomplishment in detail. He learned to speak Icelandic fluently in a week (adding to a string of other languages he is comfortable in). Yet in other areas, he is compulsive, inept, afraid, or incredibly awkward.

I quite enjoyed reading this book, and learning of this remarkable personality. But I found myself wondering how much was actually written by the author. It seemed too well written for someone with the symptoms he describes. But the publicity doesn't indicate any co-author or ghost writer.

Unfortunately, Tammet is also a homosexual and describes discovering his inclinations in that area, a few relationships, and then meeting his partner. Fortunately, we are spared any graphic details.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Emma Glaisher What on earth do you mean by 'unfortunately'? With all his difficulties Daniel is capable of love, which is wonderful and extraordinary. And he finds it. What do you want him to do? Leave it out to spare your own troubled mind? Very odd. I suspect you are one of those right wing so-called christians we hear about...

David Emma wrote: "What on earth do you mean by 'unfortunately'? With all his difficulties Daniel is capable of love, which is wonderful and extraordinary. And he finds it. What do you want him to do? Leave it out to..."

Emma - before you get too worked up, I apologize for using that word and phrasing. I don't think it was well-chosen - certainly it didn't convey to you the impression I intended. You'll note the use of both "unfortunately" and "fortunately" in that paragraph that attempted to convey my reaction.

Personally, I don't like books that discuss sexuality of any form or in any way when I'm not expecting it, based on how the book is publicized. My own mind is not "troubled" as you suggest; I just prefer to know what I'm getting in to when I read a book. "Unfortunately" that's often not possible.

message 3: by Rahul (new)

Rahul Parashar I had the same reaction that Emma had. Instead of just piling on her response, I'd suggest that you edit your review and remove the incorrectly conveyed part. You look like a gentleman and a knowledgeable person, please stop defending yourself, correct your mistake and move on.

Chemteacher Whether I agree with this man or not, this is a book review which can include what a person thinks, pro and con. Both sets of comments are fine as they address an aspect of the book. Intellectual honesty is a good thing, not a bad one!

message 5: by Kris (new) - added it

Kris Munson This reviewer is from Utah, which explains why he says "unfortunately." He's most probably a Mormon (as I am) and shares his church's outlook that homosexuality is a sin. I would guess the reviewer is uncomfortable when reading about the author's discovery that he is gay. While he is entitled to write his comments, I do not share the reviewers outlook about gay people, and, as it turns out, many other Mormons ALSO do not share the anti-gay outlook.

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