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A WHOLE LOT - a novel by Bradley Wind
Abel Velasco calculates many things. Things like the arc of falling sycamore leaves, the duration of a dog sneeze, or the number of times his aunt might hit him.
He can’t help it – he’s a savant.
It is 1982. Abel has left foster care to live with his newly found relatives. His typical teenage struggles are compounded by the complication of his savant talents. Searching for a challenge, Abel becomes obsessed with the mysterious architecture of an abandoned mansion and strangely numbered bible, launching his journey from suburban New Jersey to Berkeley, California and beyond.
Dr. Darold A. Treffert, author of "Extraordinary People," consultant for the movie "Rainman" and expert on savant syndrome wrote to me: "Savant syndrome typically is present from birth as a part of some developmental disorder, including autism. But there are also cases of what I call "acquired savant" syndrome following head injury. The Acquired Savant raises interesting questions about the little Rain Man that might reside, perhaps, within us all."
"Work done on the hereditary origin of genius shows that highly eminent scientists are more likely to be first-born sons. In Wind's A Whole Lot, we are given a savant - a math prodigy - Abel, the first-born son of a drug addict who has been institutionalized, leaving Abel to a peripatetic existence of foster homes and indifferent and abusive extended family. The cards he's been dealt do not bode well for his future development; the deck has been stacked against him, creating a compelling narrative and this, along with Abel's unflappable perseverance and resolute drive is why I take pleasure in rooting tor Abel throughout.
Artists and writers can't help but work with a certain blindness during the creative process, toiling away with very little feedback, if any, from the public at large. It's messy business. I can confidently say Bradley Wind should take comfort in the knowledge his time was well spent on this tightly woven and engaging first novel."
- Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D., Author of Ungifted:Intelligence Redefined and Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind