Pure Genius Paul Lachine and Graham MurdochWhether people acquire savant syndrome or are born with it, they exhibit a range of astounding skills. Most share one common thread: tremendous memory. KIM PEEK The inspiration for Rain Man, Peek could read two pages of a book simultaneously (one with each eye) and instantly commit them to memory. His recall of more than 12,000 books made him a walking encyclopedia. Peek, who died in 2009, could also sum columns of numbers in the telephone book.