An eye-opening short book by the international bestselling writer of Born on a Blue Day and Thinking in Numbers.
Have you ever wondered how neurotypicals – so called ‘normal’ people – come across to those who are on the autistic spectrum? What would an instruction manual about being an average human being look like to them? And actually, would it be that different, fundamentally, to a field guide about autistic people (were such a thing to exist)?
Daniel Tammet is an essayist, poet, novelist and translator. In 2004, he was diagnosed with high-functioning autistic savant syndrome. In this eye-opening and fascinating book, he takes readers on a tour around nightclubs, ponders the significance of tattoos, delves into anti-age creams and puzzles over playing the lottery, all from the perspective of someone who approaches everything in life from a unique angle. After all, this is a man for whom Wednesdays are always blue, who sees numbers as shapes and who learned conversational Icelandic from scratch in seven days.
These short essays come together in a beautifully written, sometimes humorous but always refreshing narrative that focuses on the eccentricities of modern life as seen through the eyes of someone always on the outside. Rather wonderfully, it illustrates the eccentricity inherent in every kind of mind, reminding us of the little-noticed strangeness of our common humanity, while subtly questioning what it means to be thought ‘normal’.