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Look Me in the Eye: My Life with…
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Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's (2007)

by John Elder Robison

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Recently added byVivienneR, private library, Kim84manor, QueenAlyss, AnnaAdams, GCHS_Library, PRusso
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Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
I'm not sure how I came about this book a year ago. I found it in my Nook last month and decided it was time to give it a read. Much to my delight, the foreword was written by my favorite memoir-ist Augusten Burroughs who describes that his brother, John Elder, wrote his very own memoir! This made me very excited because here I knew I could find a few details filled in from the other novels Burroughs had written.

Robison did not disappoint. He did fill in a few details but more surprising was the natural voice he has for writing. I enjoyed his style of story telling - it made sense in my brain, the order with which he described details of his life. Pages were dedicated to his life with cars then immediately followed by pages describing his pranks, both spanning very different timelines but it gave the feel of a storytelling around the campfire. Unlike many, I was not unaware of Asperger's, thanks to my watching of Degrassi back once upon a time. It was gratifying to know that how I had associated Aspergers in my mind had correlated to real life experiences, for the most part. Robison is correct when he says he is lucky to have figured out how to adjust to the world - his life could have been very different had he not harnessed his natural talents and applied them to situations he knew he could conquer.

Robison followed a very interesting, and mostly satisfying, life. Life on the road with big bands like KISS, working with Milton Bradley, etc. But his personal story of a life-long evolution is the most interesting piece and I highly recommend this novel if you love a good memoir. ( )
  QueenAlyss | Mar 5, 2015 |
Asperger’s Syndrome is virtually unknown to most people, and up until three years ago, it was to me, as well. But then my nephew began exhibiting signs of Asperger’s, and with his challenges I was compelled to begin reading all I could to understand how he thinks and how I can develop the best relationship with him. For the most part, books about Asperger’s are clinical in nature, which is helpful to a point but doesn’t really tell me how it feels. I ran across a couple of titles written by children and teenagers who have been living with the Syndrome, but have had little luck finding them in the library or discount book stores. And then this book came to my attention.

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s is the story of one man’s life and how he came to find a “name” for all that he had struggled to understand in himself as he grew from childhood to middle age. The author, Robison, is actually the brother of Augusten Burroughs, but this biography speaks little of the famous younger brother — Robison was virtually grown by the time Burroughs’s life story was playing out — and focuses fully on Robison’s fascinating life experiences. After leaving home at the age of 16, he ambled his way into a life [b:on the road|6288|The Road|Cormac McCarthy|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21E8H3D1JSL._SL75_.jpg|3355573] with Pink Floyd’s sound company and later with the rock band KISS. He found himself working as a designer for a major toy manufacturer, and then eventually dropped completely out of the corporate world to restore cars in his garage. Success found him there, as well. Despite Robison’s achievements, he struggled with the aspects of his personality that didn’t seem to fit in “normal” society. Conversations didn’t follow a logical path. Thoughts in his own head didn’t fit with what he was seeing and hearing around him. Relationships didn’t come easy. And then a therapist friend shared his knowledge of Asperger’s, and suddenly Robison began to understand.

Look Me in the Eye was insightful in many areas, most especially regarding conversations, and Robison’s life was interesting enough to keep me engaged to the end of the book. I do understand a little better the ways my nephew may be seeing the world and people around him, and for that I’m thankful to have read this book. Robison’s childhood experiences were more humorous (or sad) than they were helpful to me, and I believe that comes from his not knowing of Asperger’s while in the midst of childhood situations. The hindsight is helpful to a degree, but certainly not to the extent I was hoping to find here. All in all, the book is more an interesting biography than a great light shone on the challenging disorder, though it is highly valuable for simply introducing the oblivious public to this misunderstood disorder of the Autism Spectrum. And that’s where the real value lies. ( )
  phrenetic.mind | Dec 30, 2014 |
This is a great book for someone who is trying to better understand someone that has Aspergers. ( )
  treemom2013 | Jul 2, 2014 |
The author is not enough aware of mores to realize that he is not as funny as he thinks. ( )
  cherilove | May 23, 2014 |
Once again, a book has shown why memoir really is my favorite genre of writing. There’s just something about reading the personal journey of someone that makes me love, well, being human. We’re all so different and we all have our stories to tell. We are so lucky when people like Robison work up the courage and the time and energy to write out their stories — I learned so much from his memoir. Several people I’m close to (including my SIL and one of my bridesmaids) have worked with autistic children, so my interest in the autism spectrum was already piqued. I also read Born on a Blue Day a while back, which was fascinating. Look Me in the Eye just extended my curiosity, and definitely had me grinning — there were a lot of funny, touching moments in the book. It also made me look more deeply at the way I may treat people who I find, well, socially awkward. I think it gave me more grace.

Read my full review here: http://letseatgrandpa.com/2013/05/04/book-review-8-look-me-in-the-eye-by-john-el... ( )
  letseatgrandpa | Oct 8, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
Since learning about Asperger's, I have read just about every personal account I can find with regard to Asperger's. While I found all of them interesting, I can't think of one that I would have called warm or engaging - until I read John Elder Robison's memoir Look Me In The Eye: My Life With Asperger's. ...Mr. Robison tells a story that is at once heartbreaking, inspiring and funny....Mr. Robison's life is a testament to the fact that a life with Asperger's can be as rich as anyone else's - despite the challenges.

 

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Elder Robisonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burroughs, AugustenForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deakins, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my brother, who encouraged me to write the story, and most especially for Unit Two and Cubby
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"Look me in the eye, young man!"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
John Robison recounts his struggles to fit in and communicate with others as he grew up, describing why he had so many problems relating to others and why he often turned to machines for comfort, rather than people, and explains how his life was changed when he was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at age forty.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307396185, Paperback)

New York Times Bestseller


“As sweet and funny and sad and true and heartfelt a memoir as one could find.”
—from the foreword by Augusten Burroughs


Ever since he was young, John Robison longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits—an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes (and stick his younger brother, Augusten Burroughs, in them)—had earned him the label “social deviant.” It was not until he was forty that he was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome. That understanding transformed the way he saw himself—and the world. A born storyteller, Robison has written a moving, darkly funny memoir about a life that has taken him from developing exploding guitars for KISS to building a family of his own. It’s a strange, sly, indelible account—sometimes alien yet always deeply human.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:38 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Memoir of John Robison whose odd behavior was explained when he was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger's syndrome when he was forty and the change that made in his life.

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