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. Read more...
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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-01-20
- Reviewer: Staff
Padgett was, at 31, a man who seemed to care more about his biceps than his career—until a brutal mugging completely changed the floundering course of his life. What initially manifested as an altered, more intense experience of visual phenomena developed into dizzying synesthesia and a newfound, savant-level capacity for mathematics. Pi quickly replaced partying in Padgett’s life. But there were physical ramifications, too: Padgett’s muscles withered into a leaner frame and the former gadfly became almost dangerously prone to isolation, the outside world too stimulating for his new senses. Yet Padgett ultimately reemerges into society by attending community college, meeting his eventual wife, pursuing yoga, and continuing to learn about his condition. Psychology Today blogger Seaberg serves as witness and scribe to the events of Padgett’s life, though the clear and personable tone that she and Padgett collectively strike won’t fully sate readers’ curiosity about the book’s miracles. The arc of the story, however, upholds the notion that positive turns come from unexpected places, and the implication that we all possess an inherent type of genius, whatever its truth, is sure to garner at least a modicum of public attention. 17 b&w drawings, 8p. 4-color insert. (May)