Born on a Blue Day

  • by Daniel Tammet
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • 6 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

One of the world's 50 living autistic savants is the first and only to tell his compelling and inspiring life story and explain how his incredible mind works. Worldwide, there are fewer than 50 living savants, those autistic individuals who can perform miraculous mental calculations or artistic feats. (Think Dustin Hoffman's character in Rain Man.) Until now, none of them has been able to discuss his or her thought processes, much less write a book. Daniel Tammet is the first.
Tammet's problems were apparent from childhood. He was shunned by his classmates and often resorted to rocking and humming quietly. Yet he could memorize almost anything, and his math and language skills were astonishing. By high school, Daniel was diagnosed as autistic, and he began to discover his own superhuman abilities: calculating huge sums in his head in seconds, learning new languages in one week, and memorizing more than 22,000 digits of pi.
With heart-melting simplicity and astonishing self-awareness, Born on a Blue Day tells Daniel's story: from his childhood frustrations to adult triumphs, while explaining how his mind works. He thinks in pictures. He sees numbers as complex shapes: 37 is lumpy like porridge; 89 reminds him of falling snow. Today, Daniel has emerged as one of the world's most fascinating minds and inspiring stories. His brain has amazed scientists for years, and everyone will be moved by his remarkable life story.


What the Critics Say

"[Tanmet's] ability to express himself clearly and with a surprisingly engaging tone (given his symptoms) makes for an account that will intrigue." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Ordinary Life Through Unordinary Eyes

Yes, Daniel's childhood is ordinary (if having 8 siblings is ordinary) but the way he experiences his childhood is unique. This was a book that I hated to see end. I listen to 2 or 3 books a month and this one ranks as one of the best. The narrator is excellent and does a great job being Daniel's voice. I did wish I could have seen illustrations in the book as I'd like to know how the numbers look to Daniel, but my imagination filled in the gaps. I highly recommend the book for all who want a deeper understanding of those on the autism spectrum. It provides good fodder for thinking about how our brains work.
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- J. Cline

This is an Important Book

I understand why others may not have found this book to be of great interest other than from the superficial level of the author's great number and language abilities. But as a parent of an autistic child I can tell you that it is an eye opening and important book. I learned so much about how my child learns and thinks from listening to this memoir. To me this was less about the savant abilities and more about all the people along the way that helped Daniel to become a fully functioning and productive person and how they loved him for who he was and gave him room to just grow as an individual. It makes me want to be a stronger person and a more supportive and better parent. Because this was a highly personal book for me I wouldn't expect that people who can't directly relate to the effects of life on the autistic spectrum to be as interested but I am grateful to have listened to it and have bought the hard copy book as well.
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- Kathleen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-26-2007
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio