Struck By Genius- A Non Fiction Review

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How did I get it?:
Bookbridgr- Thanks to Headline!

Synopsis:

No one sees the world as Jason Padgett does. Water pours from the faucet in crystalline patterns, numbers call to mind distinct geometric shapes, and intricate fractal patterns emerge from the movement of tree branches, revealing the intrinsic mathematical designs hidden in the objects around us.

Yet Padgett wasn’t born this way. Twelve years ago, he had never made it past pre-algebra. But a violent mugging forever altered the way his brain works, giving him unique gifts. His ability to understand math and physics skyrocketed, and he developed the astonishing ability to draw the complex geometric shapes he saw everywhere. His stunning, mathematically precise artwork illustrates his intuitive understanding of complex mathematics.

The first documented case of acquired savant syndrome with mathematical synesthesia, Padgett is a medical marvel. Struck by Genius recounts how he overcame huge setbacks and embraced his new mind. Along the way he fell in love, found joy in numbers, and spent plenty of time having his head examined. Like Born on a Blue Day and My Stroke of Insight, his singular story reveals the wondrous potential of the human brain.

Thoughts:

I occasionally like to read outside of my comfort zone, and non-fiction has always been something I’ve struggled to enjoy. I decided to try Struck by Genius because I am interested in psychology and how the brain works, so I thought this would be the non-fiction book for me.

Struck By Genius is Jason Padgett’s story of what happened to him after suffering a head injury after a vicious mugging. Jason developed synaesthesia. Something I had never really heard of. It meant, in Jason’s specific case, he could see geometric shapes wherever he looked. Jason also became incredibly gifted and interested in Maths. He could understand such a high level of Maths that he’d never been taught. Following his brain injury, Jason became a completely different person. He changed from an extrovert party-goer who didn’t have any interest in academia to a focused, incredibly inquisitive intellectual. Jason also developed acquired savant syndrome. The way in which he sees the world both fascinates and confuses me. Of course, not everything was positive following the brain injury. Jason develops OCD and PTSD and also can’t write well. He also didn’t get the scans he needed straight away to help him towards a diagnosis. That said, I think Jason is a remarkable man and I was incredibly intrigued by his story.

I was fascinated by how much Jason had changed. I have to admit to not being the most interested in all things mathematical. In fact, it’s one of my worst subjects. So some of the mathematical concepts went right over my head. What I did enjoy was seeing how Jason adapted to his new skills, how he learned to manage his pain, his panic attacks and his struggle with OCD. .

I think Struck by Genius would be enjoyed by readers with an interest in psychology, human resilience and how the brain works.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes!- 3.5 stars

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2 thoughts on “Struck By Genius- A Non Fiction Review

  1. I was contemplating requesting this from bookbridgr too but did wonder whether it’d grab my attention because of the mathematical side of it but I think I might try and give it a go as I loved your review! xx

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