Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's
Look Me in the Eye My Life with Asperger's Author:John Elder Robison Ever since he was small, John Robison had longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits -- an inclination to blurt out non sequitors, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes -- had earned him the label social deviant. No guidance came from his mother or his father. It was no wonder he... more » gravitated to machines, which could, at least, be counted on.
After fleeing his parents and dropping out of high school, his savant-like ability to visualize electronic circuits landed him a gig with KISS. Later, he drifted into a real job, as an engineer for a major toy company. But the higher Robison rose in the company, the more he had to pretend to be normal and do what he simply couldn't: communicate. It was not until he was forty that an insightful therapist told him he had the form of autism called Aspergers syndrome. That understanding transformed the way Robison saw himself -- and the world. Robison also provides a fascinating reverse angle on the younger brother he left at the mercy of their nutty parents -- the boy who would later change his name to Augusten Burroughs. Ultimately, this is the story of Robisons journey from his world into ours, a strange, sly, indelible account -- sometimes alien, yet always deeply human.« less
Written by the brother of the guy who wrote "Running with Scissors," this book is highly entertaining while giving an inside look at Asperger's Syndrome, a slight form of autism. Robison is candid about his feelings, his dysfunctional family life, his time working with the band KISS--but through it all he tells the stories with a sense of humor. Highly recommended.
Very interesting book. I found some of it troubling, and some of it brilliant...certainly well written. As a adult now, I hope his sense of what is a "trick" on others has changed, his jokes were some scary stuff!
Well worth the time to read, hopefully leading to a better understanding of Aspergers.
Suzanne reviewed Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's on
Helpful Score: 3
Interesting memoir of an "Aspergian" who has had many adventures in his life. It helps to have read Augusten Burroughs' "Running With Scissors" first, since the two authors are brothers. There is some crossover content in the books. I was amused and enlightened. Those of us over 40 years of age will probably better relate to the pop culture references from the '70's and '80's. A fast and easy read.
John Robison is brother to Augusten Burroughs, of "running with scissors" fame. While he did not grow up in Dr. Finch's home, he was faced with his own unique challenges. He didn't have any social skills, he thought people should be petted and he just couldn't work within rules. His unique talents took him far and wide (even brushes with fame and fortune) and it was only when he realized he needed to be true to his "misfit" nature that he found success and happiness. Not truly an account of "Aspergers" or autism, it is more the story of how a real human being discovers that what makes him unique also makes him "him". The flow of the book is a bit uneven and the writer's voice seems to change from chapter to chapter, but it is not enough to disrupt your interest in his journey.
I was expecting this book to focus more on Robison's struggles with Asperger's when in fact it is more of a recounting of his life with Asperger's as an aside. The man has certainly had some interesting life experiences but I didn't pick up this book to hear about his days creating special effects and pyrotechnics for KISS. The too few times that he does discuss his autistic behavior are very limited but insightful.
His social ineptness is noticeable throughout several sections of the book where he comes off as arrogant or rude. For example, in the chapter about his wife he wonders if he got the best of the three sisters and doesn't understand why people take offense to this ponderence, comparing it to wanting the best car on the lot.
I appreciate his conversational tone but his actual writing skills are fundamental making for a fairly monotonous read. I would only recommend this book to his fellow Aspergians or anyone actually interested in his time with KISS or Pink Floyd. For everyone else, you're not missing much by passing on this one.