rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was wonderful to read, not only because it helped me understand savants, but also for the insight it gave me into Asperger's. My oldest son has Aspgerger's, although he is not a savant. Since autistic spectrum disorders are varied in their manifestations, I knew that he wouldn't be just like my son. But Daniel Tammet is able to help us understand how his brain works, why certain things bother him, why others calm him down. It was also wonderful to see how self-aware he has become and how well he functions in adulthood--and yet without making it seem as if he has overcome everything about his disability. He still doesn't drive and takes great care in many situations that he knows will be challenging for him--and yet he is fully functioning.
I recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about autism, Aspergers, savants, or living with a disability. Or to anyone who wants to read a book about overcoming obstacles and not giving up.
*A note not on my Good Reads review: I also read the book wondering if Kimball would enjoy it, but have decided not to have him read it right now. Daniel Tammet discusses his homosexuality and his relationship with his partner in the book. Although it is by no means graphic or sexual in it's language, I am not ready to discuss that topic with Kimball at this point. (He is still innocent enough to not be inquisitive about sexuality in general.) When he reads it, I want to be able to talk about how we feel about homosexuality as a lifestyle (we believe in complete chastity before marriage and that marriage is ordained of God to be between a man and a woman), and also about looking for the good in people who don't share our values (you don't have to look hard to see the good in Daniel.) Since Daniel is very matter-of-fact about being gay, I am not ready for Kimball to read this book and have it presented to him this way--and for all of the questions that will come. In a few years I may feel differently. Anyway, I only bring this up because I know that many of my readers are moms looking for books to share with their children and I want you to know what you are getting. This added comment may generate some hate mail for me, but I feel strongly about this topic and didn't want to shrink from saying so on my own blog.