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on 29 May 2009
It is difficult to appraise "Always looking up" without tripping over the cliches...funny...moving..uplifting... Fortunately for people who prefer reading books, rather than reviews, Michael J Fox is a true original, with the sharp, vivid prose of a natural author, and a genuinely remarkable story to tell. Stricken with early-onset Parkinson's disease at the age of 29, and the height of his Hollywood career, his early struggles to come to terms with his illness were recounted in the astonishing, must-read "Lucky Man". Now,in its sequel, he ranges widely over his recent life and explores his very personal philosophy of optimism. Whether writing with deep affection about his family, or unconcealed frustration over bruising encounters with the American political machine, a boundless energy and love of life illuminates every page - more incredible still when you consider that this is the work of a man trapped inside an increasingly unresponsive body.
He casts himself neither as saint, nor victim, revealing his flaws with entertaining candour. This is not your standard celebrity illness story, but a witty, inspirational portrait of an unsinkable human spirit. You finish this book feeling just a little better about life, the universe and everything. He may joke about being on the short side, but it is impossible not to look up to Michael J Fox.
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on 31 March 2009
Lucky Man being one of my favourite all time memoirs, it was always going to be a hard act to follow, but in Always Looking Up, Michael J Fox has created a worthy sequel. He's such a fine writer and such a fine man. Nothing more needs to be said; an absorbing, intelligent and deeply moving read. I read it in two sittings, which says it all really!
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`Always Looking Up' explores what has occurred in Michael J Fox's life since publication of his first memoir `Lucky Man'. Like his first book this is immediately engaging, open and heartfelt and I found it to be written with humour, human insight, passion, humility and a full range of other emotions. Based around four themes (Work, politics, faith and family) this tells of his stem cell advocacy, the minor screen roles he has played and his greater involvement with his family. I found some parts quite emotional to read and got choked up when he described his feelings and experiences at the time of his sisters death. This is as inspirational as `Lucky Man' and if you enjoy both of these books I highly recommend `Still Me' by Christopher Reeve which is one of the few books that honestly changed my life. Overall Michael J Fox manages to inspire and enthral and this made for a couple of days reflective and motivational reading.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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on 25 November 2011
Got both the Michael J Fox autobiographies for my kindle upon discovering that my Mother had just been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Although the books don't dwell on the disease itself they are informative of a person's struggle with the disease and how he got on with his life. Sad in parts and uplifting too. A true inspiration to not only other people with this disease but also to his family and himself.
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on 7 August 2012
I haven't read Michael's first book, I now intend to, as like a few of the other reviewers, I wanted to hear more about his family and life beyond being an actor. This book is split into four parts, one part is dedicated to his extensive, and to be applauded, work into stem cell research to help find a cure for Parkinson's, as well as other diseases. In parts I found myself switching off, its an interesting and controversial topic however having no knowledge in it whatsoever, some of the concepts and wording used went over my head and became a little boring.

I enjoyed reading about how he copes with the disease, and how he is supported by such a loving and close family, I just feel that there was maybe a bit too much space dedicated to areas such as politics and faith, however, that's just my opinion and as I don't have much interest in either, its easy to become distracted.

Still, as a whole I did enjoy the book, and the amount of money that Michael and his foundation have raised is beyond remarkable.
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on 25 February 2011
When i read Lucky Man - it was one of the best autobiographies i'd ever read. So i was delighted to see another memoir from Michael J Fox and i wasn't disappointed. He has a great engaging writing style and it was fantastic to catch up with his life as he has developed his foundation for Parkinson's and indeed how he continues to live with disease. He has a great writing style and his optimism flows through on every page. The book is split in to sections including Faith, Politics and Family. An honest memoir, sharing family insights, how parkinson's affects day to day life and highlighting how important the stem cell research is to this disease and many others. The strength of his family unit shines through in this book, he is a family man first and foremost and the strong relationship he has with his wife and 4 children is apparent in every section. The book it witty and filled with humour, it is very uplifting. A great man and a great read.
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"Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to his disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes." Matthew 14:19

Michael J. Fox's second memoir closely follows this section of Scripture in a seemingly unconscious way. In the book, he describes the transition from being a full-time actor to Parkinson's disease research-encouraging activist . . . seeking a cure within ten years -- what would be a miracle to all those with the disease. How do I know? My Dad discovered he had the disease about the same time Michael J. Fox did, but Dad is no longer with us.

Many people become leaders of various social causes, but most aren't as candid as Michael J. Fox in describing the sources of inspiration, frustration, and challenges that cause them to lift themselves above their daily lives to service for many others. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to undertake selfless leadership. Michael J. Fox's consistent self-deprecating humor (part of "always looking up" is explained by his diminutive stature) in the face of adversity is an inspiration for those who are in good health or poor.

I don't know anyone now who has Parkinson's disease so I've lost touch with what the disease's progression is like. The book is eloquent and detailed in capturing the various disease symptoms and side effects of medication. You can almost feel yourself inside his body. It's remarkable story telling. Anyone who is feeling sorry for her- or himself would do well to read this book and count blessing instead.

I was also very interested in his spiritual search. He's open to learning about different ideas about spirituality but doesn't have much of a sense of connection to the spiritual world except to believe that there's a higher power. As I read the book, I wondered where his spiritual search will end.

The book is also very open in describing the challenges of being a Dad who can't do all those physical things.

To me, this book was a huge breath of fresh air.

As much as I enjoyed Michael J. Fox, the brilliant comic actor, I admire Michael J. Fox, the optimistic man seeking to improve himself, even more.

Bravo!
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VINE VOICEon 10 April 2009
Michael J. Fox has for ever been a special character in the movie-making world and one of my all time favourites since Family Ties. Maybe it was caused by his boyish looks but I believe that it was much more brought by his character and perseverance. This book proves that it is the latter. MJF with his talent but also (if not mainly because of) his very hard work became one of the best known actors of the world.
At the peak of his career he was struck by Parkinson disease but did not succumb. His further successes both in professional and private sphere were a further proof of his great inner strength. It is so good that he decided to share his adventures with readers, the result is both moving and uplifting. This is a great book for people facing a difficult moment in their life - Fox's disease is not contagious but his optimism certainly is.
It just makes me so sad that the "incurable optimist" in the title is not just a language joke but a precise description of his medical condition.
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on 13 July 2009
I thought there would have been a lot more insight into his life. the begining was ok you got a bit of that but the book became more political and his battle to promote stem cell research in the USA. It did become repetative towards the end. Still a remarkable man.
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on 18 April 2009
having read lucky man i was very keen to read this new book by Michael J Fox. i bought the book yesterday and finished it today. it is a great book which moves you and inspires you. this inspiration comes not out of his approach to his illness but his approach to his family and his life. his honest approach to writing and sharing his experiences is simply amazing. i have been a fan for many years of his acting and through reading his books i am now a fan of the man behind the persona. definately worth taking the time to read this book.
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