I have always been fascinated by the human mind. This is one of the reasons why I love to read books about people who can think differently than the rest of us. It doesn’t matter if the writing it’s about a pure genius or a schizophrenic sociopath, because of the intriguing way that person thinks I am equally interested in reading their story.
I believe that the book that triggered the desire of reading this kind of novel was “The Silence of the Lambs”. Ever since then I am always searching for stories from this genre. I might say that I am lucky that this year I had the opportunity to read two books that present two real cases of uncommon human beings. One of this books is the one that I will talk about today: “Struck by Genius” which is written as an autobiography of Jason Padgett with the help of the journalist Maureen Seaberg.
How did Jason Padgett turn into a genius
The book presents the life of an ordinary man, who until his late 20s, early 30s was a partying Tomcat, working at his father’s furniture store and with no interest in science whatsoever. It all changed after one night when leaving from a bar he gets mugged and receives repeatedly blows to the head.
Soon after this incident, he develops agoraphobia, PTSD, and OCD, but also realizes that he now sees the world differently. He discovers that he can now draw, from a geometrical point of view, what he is seeing and he starts researching what is happening to him. I don’t want to make a spoiler out of Jason Padgett’s life story, so I won’t say more about the plot.
This Reading Badger’s thoughts
I must admit that there were parts of the book that I didn’t connect to due to my low-level math understanding. However, I felt that I was reading a real life “Flowers for Algernon” case, but with no fiction (even though it sounds like one) and a happy ending. I recommend this novel to everybody who is interested in tales about the human mind or just wants to read a book about a happy case in which a brain trauma changed a person’s life in better.