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

Enough Already!!

OH my God!!! I only give this a 2 star rating just to give Daniel credit for this endeavor, but it was very dry. The only parts that were interesting were the parts about his childhood. At about the 3 hour mark I was ready to put it away, when I noticed on cable a documentary about him, and I thought, how ironic that I am listening to his book when his story came on TV. I enjoyed the television event, and that would have been enough for me. He does describe much of the events from the program in this book, but he drones on and on. I did enjoy his personality and demeanor on television and really wish he had narrated his own book. Perhaps it would have been more enjoyable. The narrator spoke with such a high British accent, that it just didn't sound like a 28 year old man. This all added to the boredom. Although I understand the attention to detail for persons with autistic disorders, there was just too much in this book. If anyone wants a great read about someone with Asperger's try reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. I just listened to it yesterday, and laughed the whole way through. Maybe that was the cause of my disappointed with this book.
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- Elijah Mathew smith

Book Details

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