According to Dr. Darold A. Treffert of the University of Wisconsin, there are fewer than one hundred reported cases of prodigious savants in the world. Those few who possess the savant syndrome all have an island of brilliance that allows them to excel in some remarkable talent. Unfortunately, they all share various developmental disabilities.
In Burlington, Vermont, 1962, seventeen-year-old Gavin Weaver survives a dreadful explosion, six hours of brain surgery, and thirty days in a coma, to awake possessing not just one savant talent, but several, including art, music, mathematics, and memory--and all without suffering any of the usual mental disabilities associated with head trauma.
The odds are slim that Gavin will survive both the internal and external conflicts, which keep him from the one thing he wants most, the girl he's loved since childhood.
About the Author
He was recently nominated for the Pushcart Prize for his short piece Tour Bus. He enjoys writing, surfing, golf and tennis. White lives in Merritt Island, Florida with his understanding wife, editor, and typist, Pamela.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite Prodigious Savant is a thriller written by J.J. White. Gavin Weaver was counting on getting an athletic scholarship to a good college the following year, but everything changed due to a freak accident. He had met up with his friend Steve, who was shooting at a skunk near a construction shed. When the shed began to smoke, Gavin got down on the ground just in time before the stockpiled boxes of explosives being stored within were detonated by the heat. While he was protected by the wave of dirt in which the explosion buried him, his head was smashed against a boulder, requiring emergency surgery that left the 17-year-old in a coma for over a month. When Gavin woke up, he was profoundly changed. The athlete who never cared much for studying was a math prodigy who devoured books at an alarming rate. J.J. White's thriller, Prodigious Savant, is an exciting and well-written story set in Vermont in the early 1960s. White faithfully recreates the culture and lifestyles of that era, including the Cold War, the aftermath of the Second World War, and the enthusiasm of Americans for their young Irish president. I enjoyed seeing Gavin begin to come out of his coma and explore his newly acquired abilities in those first heady months before the headaches begin again, but the real high points of Prodigious Savant were the chess tournaments and Gavin's progress from the high school chess club to matches with Fischer and Spassky. Prodigious Savant is well-written and fast-paced, and is recommended for fans of the thriller genre.
From the beginning to the last word, JJ White has you glued to the couch. You seriously have no idea what is going to happen next, but you have to find out or go mad. I knew savants were exceptionally smart people, but I did not know about the dark side. WOW! More!!! I heard White has two more coming out soon. I cannot wait!!