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Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's Paperback – 9 Sep 2008
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"An entertaining, provocative and highly-readable story by a great storyteller...you will rethink your own definition of normal, and it may spark a new appreciation of the untapped potential behind every quirky, awkward person who doesn't quite fit in."
--New York Times blog
--People magazine (Critics Choice, 4 Stars)
"It's a fantastic life story (highlights include building guitars for KISS) told with grace, humor, and a bracing lack of sentimentality."
"A highly entertaining, crazy ride...heartbreaking, inspiring and funny."
"Lean, powerful in its descriptive accuracy and engaging in its understated humor...Emotionally gripping."
"Robison's lack of finesse with language is not only forgivable, but an asset to his story . . . His rigid sentences are arguably more telling of his condition than if he had created the most graceful prose this side of Proust."
--Chicago Sun-Times "Look Me in the Eye is a fantastic read that takes readers into the mind of an Aspergian both through its plot and through the calm, logical style in which Robison writes. . . Even if you have no personal connections with Asperger' s, you'll find that Robison--like his brother, Burroughs--has a life worth reading about."
--Daily Camera "Not only does Robison share with his famous brother, Augusten Burroughs (Running With Scissors), a talent for writing; he also has that same deadpan, biting humor that's so irresistible."
--ELLE magazine "Dramatic and revealing...There's an endearing quality to Robison and his story that transcends the "Scissors" connection ... Look Me in the Eye is often drolly funny and seldom angry or self-pitying. Even when describing his fear that he'd grow up to be a sociopathic killer, Robison brings a light touch to what could be construed as dark subject matter...Robison is also a natural storyteller and engaging conversationalist."
--The Boston Globe
"This is no misery memoir...[Robison] is a gifted storyteller with a deadpan sense of humour and the book is a rollicking read."
--Times (UK) "Look Me in the Eye should be required reading for teachers and human services professionals, concerned parents and anyone who likes a well-crafted story of a life zestfully lived to the beat of wildly different drums."
--Bookreporter "Robison's memoir is must reading for its unblinking (as only an Aspergian can) glimpse into the life of a person who had to wait decades for the medical community to catch up with him."
"Well-written and fascinating." --Library Journal
"Thoughtful and thoroughly memorable...Moving...In the end, Robison succeeds in his goal of "helping those who are struggling to grow up or live with Asperger's" to see how it "is not a disease" but "a way of being" that needs no cure except understanding and encouragement from others."
"Affecting, on occasion surprisingly comic memoir about growing up with Asperger's syndrome....The view from inside this little-understood disorder offers both cold comfort and real hope, which makes it an exceptionally useful contribution to the literature."
"Of course this book is 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 as sweet and funny and sad and true and heartfelt a memoir as one could find, utterly unspoiled, uninfluenced, and original."
--from the foreword by Augusten Burroughs, author of Running with Scissors
"Look Me In The Eye is a wonderful surprise on so many levels: it is compassionate, funny, and deeply insightful. By the end, I realized my vision of the world had undergone a slight but permanent alteration; I had taken for granted that our behavioral conventions were meaningful, when in fact they are arbitrary. That he is able to illuminate something so simple (but hidden, and unalterable) proves that John Elder Robison is at least as good a writer as he is an engineer, if not better."
--Haven Kimmel (who was in attendance at the 1978 KISS tour*), author of A Girl Named Zippy
"I hugely enjoyed reading Look Me in the Eye. This book is a wild rollercoaster ride through John Robison's life--from troubled teenage prankster to successful employment in electronics, music, and classic cars. A kindly professor introduced him to electrical engineering, which led to jobs where he found techie soulmates that were like him. A fascinating glimpse into the mind of an engineer which should be on the reading list of anyone who is interested in the human mind."
--Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures and Animals in Translation "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: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant
An extraordinarily moving and unexpectedly funny memoir of growing up with Asperger's syndrome, from the brother of Augusten Burroughs --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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It's readable and interesting and adds something to the knowledge on the subject.
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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