We’re drawn to true-life tales of transformation — rags to riches, zero to hero — and this book sets us up to expect a doozy.
In Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel, author Jason Padgett explains he was once a hard-partying jock in Alaska, hitting bars, gyms and tanning salons. Picture a bronzed, muscled dude in tight jeans, black leather vest, no shirt and a mullet. Padgett, who loved skydiving and bungee jumping, writes, “My only goal was to live with joyful abandon 24/7.”
That all changed the night two guys mugged the 31-year-old in a karaoke bar, violently punching and kicking him in the head. Suddenly his world became a fascinating light show of shifting shapes and colours in repeating patterns. He started seeing fractals everywhere, those elemental patterns in nature, such as the symmetry of a snowflake, the spiral of a nautilus shell or the veining of a leaf.