Embracing the Wide Sky: A tour across the horizons of the mind Hardcover – 22 Jan 2009
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Entertaining and informative about an impressive range of subjects . . . EMBRACING THE WIDE SKY is fun and inspirational (FT Weekend)
Packed with his clear summaries of fascinating experiments . . . Recent debate has bumped up this book from delightful to vital (Daily Telegraph)
What's remarkable is that Tammet's many wanderings always seem measured and logical. . . truly fascinating. (Guardian)
The book is full of information such as this, packed with his [Tammet's] clear summaries of fascinating experiments. (Sydney Morning Herald)
Far from a one-dimensional prodigy, his is a rich multi-textured intelligence. A beautiful mind. (Scotsman Magazine)
A beautifully written and brilliant portrait of the human mind and the extraordinary potential within every one of us, by real-life Rain-Man and bestselling author of Born On A Blue Day - Daniel Tammet.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The writing is straightforward and functional rather than inspired, but by no means dull or clunky. The concept of using autistic experiences to better understand non-autistic minds works well and there are some interesting ideas presenting in a simple and accessible pop-sci way.
Where it all started to fall apart for me was around Chapter 8 where the focus moved beyond the brain and started to look at wider social issues. In this section complex issues were addressed from a surprisingly elitist, simplistic and close-minded perspective which made for an irritating and uncomfortable read and ultimately spoiled a decent book. I've never enjoyed being told what to think, particularly where the basis is a gross over-simplification of a complex issue. To usefully understand our shades-of-grey world you need both intelligence, and the ability to tolerate ambuguity, and I think the latter is what is missing from this book and costs it a star or two.
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A particularly illuminating moment for me came with a comment about a study into children with autistic-spectrum disorder, comparing their creativity with a control group. One question was "how would you make this toy more fun?" - the control group did better than the kids with ASD. But as Tammet explains, for someone who sees detail before they see broader issues (and as Tammet says of himself, someone who sees the scratches on the table before they see the table), this is such a sloppily-worded question that it's incredibly difficult to answer. What kind of fun? Fun for whom? When?
Understanding this, and taking savant skills out of the realm of the superhuman & into the real world, is one of the book's key strengths. The principal weakness is that Tammet isn't an incredibly engaging writer and can come across as a bit stiff and stilted at times - but this is in the nature of his brain, so it would be a bit foolish to expect otherwise and considered in this context he writes with great skill. The book challenges preconceptions about autism without being judgmental or confrontational, and has left me thinking quite a bit about the nature of the brain. Well worth the purchase.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love these books by Daniel Tammett, written about himself, by him, rather than by someone else . I have bought extra copies, because it's so difficult to describe to someone else... Read morePublished on 15 Feb. 2014 by Seaweedgirl1
Despite the author's impressive memory, the parts of the book on mnemonic theory are exceedingly poorly researched and dull. Read morePublished on 5 Aug. 2013 by Zero
Interesting book for all the mathematicians out there, the author describes how he sees numbers in different perspectives and assigns smells, shapes and colors to them in order to... Read morePublished on 1 Aug. 2013 by Bruno
I bought this book for myslef as I have been reading a lot of books about Aspergers or books written by people with Aspergers. Read morePublished on 10 April 2013 by Jill
It was the poem by Emily Dickinson quoted in the introduction that drew me to this book, which begins 'The brain is wider than the sky. Read morePublished on 1 Nov. 2012 by J. T. Meddle
An excellent and informative book, recommended to all interested in this subject. Arrived promptly and in great condition. Great price too!Published on 26 Oct. 2012 by Mr. Adnan Al-mahrouq
I read this book a while ago and thought it was rather vague .just read'Moonwalking with Einstein'and realised why. Read morePublished on 19 Oct. 2011 by books
I view books about 'geniuses' with jaded suspicion. They either seem to be trite how-to manuals for 'awakening your own genius', or sycophantic biographies about particular... Read morePublished on 10 July 2011 by regodibay
found his writing hard going book did not flow as well as his first. But I like him very muchPublished on 26 Jun. 2011 by GG05
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