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Born On A Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Great Book-definitely worth the read!

January 29, 2012

The Obstacle of Life
By Daniel Clemens

Born on a Blue Day
By Daniel Tammet



An autistic boy who has to learn life the hard way. This statement best describes Daniel from his own book, Born on a Blue Day. This disease lays barriers to him ...
January 29, 2012

The Obstacle of Life
By Daniel Clemens

Born on a Blue Day
By Daniel Tammet



An autistic boy who has to learn life the hard way. This statement best describes Daniel from his own book, Born on a Blue Day. This disease lays barriers to him in everyday occurrences, like walking across the street. As Tammet matures, he tears down these obstacles bit by bit until they are almost completely gone. He wrote this story to show how this can be done and to prove how people with not only autism, but many diseases, can be just as normal as everyone else.
Diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome, a form of autism, at such a young age changed Tammet’s future forever. Tammet sets up situations where his siblings check out books from his homemade library with fake library cards. He gathers the most random things from the most random of places like chestnuts or ladybugs. At school, Tammet has trouble making friends but he excels in all of his subjects. He sees numbers as symbols and figures and has a hard time communicating with people.
As Tammet enters puberty he learns to talk with others better and he even makes a few friends. After graduating high school, he faces a tough decision: to go to college or not. He decides that it would be better not to. Instead he signs up for an opportunity to teach English in an eastern European country called Lithuania. When Tammet returns home he finally leaves home to fend for himself. He meets a man named Neil. He moves in with Neil and Tammet even starts his own business. Daniel recites over twenty-thousand decimal points of pi. Because of this, Tammet is asked to appear in a documentary about his autism in America.
Tammet spent his life beating his autism and that got in the way of him having friends, learning in school, and even falling in love. He is completely right, however, that autistic people can be just as normal as you or me. Over and over, Tammet talks about the hardships he faces and how tough they are to overcome.
The book skips around quite a bit at points and during those times it is kind of hard to follow. Eventually, though, it all ties back together and makes sense. Another area that lacks is organization. It is choppy and does not flow. Despite these drawbacks, I would recommend this to anyone looking for an inspiring read that also has an interesting story line and writing style I, as a reader, thoroughly enjoyed this book and I loved the way Daniel portrayed his illness and how well I could understand it.
Born on a Blue Day provides a unique insight into the life of an autistic person. It is unparalleled in its class and should be considered an extremely good story. As soon as you flip the final page you will be a different person, I guarantee it. Definitely worth the read.

posted by Danjo97 on January 29, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Bored on a Blue Day

In Born On a Blue Day, Daniel Tammet tells the story of his life with Autism and Asperger’s and how it affects his life. As a child, Tammet does not play with the other children. He chooses instead to make his own imaginary friends and talk with them. This, of course, l...
In Born On a Blue Day, Daniel Tammet tells the story of his life with Autism and Asperger’s and how it affects his life. As a child, Tammet does not play with the other children. He chooses instead to make his own imaginary friends and talk with them. This, of course, leads to some bullying but he does not mind at all. He enjoys the time to himself. After finishing high school, Tammet volunteers in Lithuania as a teacher. There he makes friends and overcomes a little bit of his apprehension with other people. Eventually, Tammet astounds the world by doing the amazing task of reading off 22,514 digits of Pi. Along this journey, Tammet discovers things about himself regarding sexuality, his calling in life, and relationships. This memoir deals very well with the overcoming of Tammet’s mental disorders. Unfortunately, some of the traits of Autism still shine through in his writing.
Daniel Tammet is very clear when stating his ideas and memories throughout this book. He provides a lot of information to provide background on the various topics he covers in the memoir of his life. However, this plethora of information sometimes takes away from the story. Often, the informative part of a story takes up about half of the chapter. The material given is no doubt interesting, but there is a point where you begin to think the memoir has turned into a non-fiction essay about Pi or complicated card games. By the time you are done reading this information, you forget why Tammet is telling you about it in the first place. This shows Tammet’s attention to detail and information, however, allowing the flaws to be part of the view inside the mind of a high functioning Autistic person. This time, I guess, Tammet gets lucky.
Another flaw I notice in Born On a Blue Day is the lack of a personal connection between the author and the reader. This may be a side-effect of the abundant information mentioned above, but is serious problem none the less. This is supposed to be a story of enduring hardship, yet all we get was a story. Tammet rarely lets us see into the emotional side of his mind throughout this memoir. More often he is ranting about the way numbers feel. This creates a major barrier to the average human as to seeing how Tammet overcomes any hardship. In fact, it sounds to me as if Tammet enjoys most of his life. He is bullied, but doesn’t care. Once again, this lack of connection could be due to his disorders but it still created a large obstacle in the story.
Overall, Born On a Blue Day is an interesting account of a Savant Autistic person with Asperger’s, but fails as a tale of overcoming hardship. I would recommend this book to a friend only if they wish to be informed, not so much inspired. Tammet is no doubt a great and courageous person for what he has done but maybe he should try and incorporate more emotions next time. I give this book a C.

posted by runxc77 on January 26, 2012

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  • Posted January 2, 2013

    Born On A Blue Day by Daniel Tammet takes you inside

    Born On A Blue Day by Daniel Tammet takes you inside the personal journey of a man overcoming his dissabilities to live a spectactular life. The author himself writes of his life story on dealing with Autism. He has a form of high performing Aspberger's syndrome. He sees numbers as shapes, colors, and textures, and he can perform extraordinary calculations in his head. He also can learn to speak new languages fluently, from scratch, in a week. In 2004, he memorized and recited more than 22,000 digits of pi, setting a record. He has savant syndrome, an extremely rare condition that gives him almost unimaginable mental powers.
    Unlike many people who suffer from the same disorders Daniel Tammet has suffered from, he has been able to live an independent and normal life. He has emerged from autism with the ability to function successfully. He learned to use his strengths to overcome and outshine some of his weaknesses. He grew into his own skin after realizing he was a unique individual with things to offer just like everyone else. He gives an amazing reflection and look inside of his world.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This is a coming-of-age memoir about a high-functioning autistic

    This is a coming-of-age memoir about a high-functioning autistic savant who also has synesthesia. It is rare for a savant to be as high-functioning as Tammet, therefore this memoir provides a unique and fascinating look into Asperger's, savantism, and synesthesia. It was endearing to watch Tammet metamorphose from an awkward child into a much more secure adult. The story is insightful and inspiring...I imagine it would be especially so for teens with Asperger's who are concerned that they will never be able to function in the "real world."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2012

    Enjoyable story

    I enjoyed Daniel's story very much. He is extremely eloquent. It is fascinating to get a first hand account of how his mind works. I'm so glad he has found happiness in his life and followed his heart to do what he loves. Kudos to his family for being so supportive.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 29, 2012

    The Must Read Novel

    Daniel Tammet paints an interesting picture. His words are calculated and precise, but not lacking in description and interest. Though he felt lonely throughout his childhood, I feel that he could have cut down on his childhood loneliness. While this does make up a big portion of his childhood, I found this to be the most difficult portion to read. It is slightly dry, but looking back in retrospect at it, I can understand why Daniel Tammet organized the book the way he did.
    He makes the readers think in an utterly unique way. At first, I find his loneliness and longing as a sign of being in need of a friend and an utter lacking of interest to read. Then it made me think about my own experiences of being alone. It shows the longing I had myself about having friends and understood, is a universal notion for all of human kind. The pieces all came together after that point in the book. After these thoughts, it makes a portion of the book that was previously so dry, completely relatable in a way I hadn’t thought was possible originally.
    Daniel Tammet also struggles with socials skills. I know that I, myself, have never had problems with social skills. He struggled at learning and adapting to the world around him, but he does it. Daniel Tammet shows the world that he can develop skills he isn’t born with. And also that it is possible to learn how to defy odds, even when they are stacked against you. The interesting thing about Daniel Tammet’s odds is that they are not unique. There are many autistic people in the world and he gives them hope by showing them that it is possible to retain a sense of “normalcy” while still retaining themselves. He exemplifies for the socially adequate reader that you can do whatever you want to achieve, if you put your mind. Through his achievements of breaking the longest memorization of digits of Pi and going to a foreign country while hardly ever leaving the safe comforts of home Daniel Tammet shows it is possible to excel.
    Born on a Blue Day is a must read book. I give it a four for the sheer fact it is so relatable to everyone. It will force the people who believe ignorance is bliss, rethink their morals and start to wonder if their lifestyle is truly as right as they believe it to be. It also brings true hope to the hopeless, faith to the faithless, and a new way of thinking to those who didn’t know they needed it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2010

    An interesting read about anun common suject

    "Born on a blue day" is the story of Daniel Tammet's life as an autistic savant and the trials and tribulations he has endured in the first 30 or so years of his life. One of the major themes in this book was overcoming adversity. Daniel starts life as a shy introverted individual that eventually transforms into someone of great significance and influence. One of the more important messages conveyed, in my opinion, was that one can overcome many difficulties with the help of others. This novel was well written and very easy to read. Daniel makes it possible for others to start to understand his way of thinking. The book is filled with many medical facts and phenomenons that he has witnessed and endured. However, i felt that the book dragged on in some sections, revisiting already explained stories and experiences. Also, some stories and comments seemed irrelevant to the story, wild tangents or side notes.This book would be valuable to others because it exemplifies what its like to be different, also it is a good first hand account of a person with a rare disorder. After reading the book, i would suggest watching videos on youtube of daniel Tammet, the videos are interesting and also put a face/voice to the person being envisioned throughout the book. Overall, i would give this book 4/5 stars. -Michael

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Very Engaging

    I don't normally like biographies or memoirs but this book was pretty interesting. I listened to it on audio and the reader's voice was perfect. Listening to Daniel's story was uplifting and intriguing. Such a brilliant mind!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2009

    Insightful

    It was amazing to be offered even a glimpse into how this autistic author's mind works and all his courageous choices that led him to a rewarding life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

    Born on a Blue Day

    I am almost half way through this book. I am enjoying it very much. Daniel is an amazing young man. Iam a retired teacher-assistant and for about 6 yrs. I had the good fortunate to be in a class of autistic younsters ages 2 to 5. It was so great to watch their progress and this far outweighed the active problems they presented. I am 73yrs old and now retired for about 10yrs. I thank God for my many experiences with the children I helped and have watched so many successes. Can't wait to finish Daniel's book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2008

    Autism finally explained

    This was a great eye-opener book, which allowed the reader to first-hand undestand what it is like to be an autistic savant. It was written in a documentary format but told like a story. I did not like the ending because the main character attributed all of his success to religion and not to his hard work and everything he overcame to life a 'normal' life. This book did make me feel empowered to tackle any of life's difficulties and made me realize that my problems are miniscule compared to other people's daily ordeals. The main characters ability to overcome and accept his disability is both amazing and inspiring.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2008

    born on a blue day

    The book born on a blue is written by daniel tammet in biography form. This book is written about daniel Tammets life in both childhood and adulthood. As, a child Daniel struggles making friends and often doesn¿t have anybody to play with. When daniel started to go to school his teachers were afraid because he seemed to be of in his own world. He was fascinated with numbers and would often spend hours at a time in his room counting coins or books. When Daniel started primary school he realized that he was different from the other kids who played in the street and talked with each other. Even though daniel tried to change he still only could make one friend. After, high school daniel decides to not go to college, even though he scored really high on his final exams. He then decides that he will go do an internship in Kanas, Lithuania. When he goes to do a course showing what he will need to do he is more socially active then when he was at his school in England. When he gets to lithuania he teaches women how to speak english but has trouble because he can¿t speak there language. When daniel learns how to speak the language fluently the other people working with him are very impressed. He is able to learn the language because he has savants syndrome. Savants syndrome is a disorder which can give you a high level of expertise in serration area¿s. When he gets back to England he tries to break the eouopeian world record for the most digits of pi recited. When he breaks the record a t.v. network in the U.K. asks him if the could make a documentary about him. He agrees and so, he will go to america for a few weeks. In the last few years daniel learns how to be around people and fells more comfortable with who he is. I thought that the way the people treated him at his school was mean because he did not know how to act arounfd people and he was being made fun of at recess beacuse he was by himself. Some of my favorite partes in the book were when he desribes how he sees things. He explains that he sees numbers as shapes and wehn he sees the wrong colar on the wrong number in a supermarket or store that upsets him. I also thaught that it was interesting when he drew some of the numbers that he sees in his head. One of the main issues that this book brings up is how being different can change how people taught about you. When daniel was a kid in school being different made angry and not want to go to school. After, reading this book I think it has made me less quik to judge someone I think is different. This is a great book and I recimend it to all readers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2008

    Born on a Blue Day

    Born on a Blue Day is a fascinating book that tells the story of an Autistic savant, Daniel Tammet. Able to multiply sums in his head such as 853³ and learn an entire language in one week, he is one of 50 savants in the world. I highly enjoyed the book it provided much incite as to what goes on in the mind of a person affected by Aspergers and Autism. If you liked the movie Rain Man, then this might be a book of interest to you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2012

    Nice

    Interesting read

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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