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Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's Paperback – 5 Feb 2009
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"John has a life that is humanity's version of extreme sport. Even without the Asperger's he would have had an appalling childhood ... This is no misery memoir, however. He is a gifted storyteller with a deadpan sense of humour and the book is a rollicking read" (The Times)
"Of course it's brilliant; my big brother wrote it. But even if it hadn't been created by my big, lumbering, swearing, unshaven "early man" sibling, this is a sweet and funny and sad and true and heartfelt a memoir as one could find, utterly unspoiled, uninfluenced, and original" (Augusten Burroughs)
"John Robison's book is an immensely affecting account of a life lived according to his gifts rather than his limitations. His story provides ample evidence for my belief that individuals on the autistic spectrum are just as capable of rich and productive lives as anyone else" (Daniel Tammet, author of BORN ON A BLUE DAY)
"Deeply felt and often darkly funny, Look Me in the Eye is a delight" (People magazine)
"It's a fantastic life story (highlights include building guitars for KISS) told with grace, humor, and a bracing lack of sentimentality" (Entertainment News)
An extraordinarily moving and unexpectedly funny memoir of growing up with Asperger's syndrome, from the brother of Augusten BurroughsSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
It's readable and interesting and adds something to the knowledge on the subject.
The author didn't have the best upbringing but rather than dwell on that, he tells amusing accounts of his growing up and relationships; from his brother 'Varmint' to the fascinating understanding of his wife.
It's a book that looks back on childhood but also moves on to adulthood. I felt the later chapters had more information as an insight to Asperger's but I found the whole book was an enjoyable read.
The older brother of Running with Scissors author Augusten Burroughs, John Elder describes his life in that extremely troubled family. His mother's mental illness, his father's alcoholism, and his own difficulties in relating to other children isolated John Elder and created a deep sense of loneliness that did not diminish until adulthood. Escaping by dropping out of high school, John Elder leaves town for a consuming job repairing musical equipment for a high-profile rock group. He describes his gradually successful efforts to reach out of his very private world and connect with friends, his first wife, his son, and then his second wife. Readers feel his sense of closure later in the book as he eventually returns to his home town and rebuilds relationships with his parents and childhood schoolmates. He goes home again, and makes it work out.
John Elder did not learn about Asberger's Syndrome until he was 40 years old, and had already worked out how to approach life with his own personal palette of strengths and weaknesses. Now able to reinterpret the challenges of growing up, he gives readers a guided tour of the effect of Asperger's on his life. We see him struggle to understand how other children think, how to talk to them, and how to cope with recurring rejection from them. We also see how his single-minded focus on machines and electronics turned him into a talented sound engineer and special effects wizard. In his adult life we experience his exhilarating success as a toy company R&D engineer, then his unfulfilling struggle to manage people as a corporate executive. He finally leaves to run his own high-end car repair business and is happy again working with machines and directly with people who appreciate his skills.
This book is an inspirational tale of a challenging life rebuilt into a fulfilling one. It gives one view of what it is like to live day-to-day with Asperger's Syndrome. Readers who want to know more about this condition can follow the author's recommendations and read Tony Attwood's The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome or explore the web site of the Online Asperger Syndrome Information and Support Site (OASIS). Both are highly recommended by this reviewer as well.
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