Buzz Bissinger’s twins were born three minutes—and a world—apart. Gerry, the older one, is a graduate student at Penn, preparing to become a teacher. His brother Zach has spent his life attending special schools. He’ll never drive a car, or kiss a girl, or live by himself. He is a savant, challenged by serious intellectual deficits but also blessed with rare talents: an astonishing memory, a dazzling knack for navigation, and a reflexive honesty that can make him both socially awkward and surprisingly wise.
Buzz realized that while he had always been an attentive father, he didn’t really understand what it was like to be Zach. So one summer night Buzz and Zach hit the road to revisit all the places they have lived together during Zach’s twenty-four years. Zach revels in his memories, and Buzz hopes this journey into their shared past will bring them closer and reveal to him the mysterious workings of his son’s mind and heart. The trip also becomes Buzz's personal journey, yielding revelations about his own parents, the price of ambition, and its effect on his twins.
As father and son journey from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, they see the best and worst of America and each other. Ultimately, Buzz gains a new and uplifting wisdom, realizing that Zach’s worldview has a sturdy logic of its own: a logic that deserves the greatest respect. And with the help of Zach’s twin, Gerry, Buzz learns an even more vital lesson about Zach: character transcends intellect. We come to see Zach as he truly is: patient, fearless, perceptive, kind—a man of excellent character.
The best-selling author of Friday Night Lights and 3 Nights in August journeys across country and into the psyche of his son and traveling companion, where he finds not only the remarkable skills and debilities known as savantism, but a host of qualities we should all emulate.
Baker & Taylor
The author recounts a father-son road trip during which he gained insight into the worldviews, challenges, and talents of his socially challenged savant son, Zach.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of
a journey into the mind and heart of my extraordinary son
Is that all there is?
Failure to forget
Lost in Milwaukee
Cardinals and cookies
"It will be okay"
I'll do anything
Scene of the crime
Mom and dad
Viva Las Vegas!
Coming into Los Angeles
Zach and Gerry
People with mental disabilities
People with mental disabilities
Parents of exceptional children
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