Monday, May 2, 2016

look me in the eye by John Elder Robison

Product Details
my life with asperger's

This was a very interesting memoir of John's journey with Asperger's in a time when Asperger's wasn't even a known or recognized thing yet. He talks of his difficulty in communicating because of his inability to respond the way "normal" people responded. He flunked out of school and yet got a 97 on his GED. He had an incredible memory and an insatiable appetite to learn about things that interested him.

He had a very rough home life, a mom with a mental health disorder and a dad who thrived on drinking and then got very mean when he was drunk. He left home at 16. He joined up with one of the biggest bands of the time, KISS, and worked on making sound effects for their tour. He had an amazing ability with figuring out special effects and knowing how to put it all together. He later went on to help develop some of the first electronic toys, but once he had worked his way up the ladder to management, he ran into the familiar problem of not being good in relationships. He was apt to say exactly what was on his mind. He did not have the natural ability to cue in and know what was acceptable in conversations, but he wanted to learn and so tried hard to be socially acceptable.

Eventually, he quit the corporate life and went to work repairing high-end cars.

It was a pretty well-written book. I wasn't a huge fan of his description of marriage. He is divorced and remarried, and asks the question in the book about how he can know if he chose the best partner. His second wife is the middle of three girls and how does he know he chose the best one? His whole thought process there was a little disturbing, but I also think at least some of that questioning is the Asperger's logic trying to make sense of a more emotionally-based decision. Emotion is not real natural for Aspergians, as he calls himself and others like him, and so I think that may contribute to his questioning.

As something to note, I read the paperback copy of this book and that has been refined to be more teen friendly, meaning the course language has been removed, which is a huge plus to me. He does have some questionable tricks and jokes he played on people recorded in this book and even he admits he would not be okay with his son doing the things he did 40 years ago, but he records them because it describes his life.

If you are interested in reading about the inner workings of a mind with Asperger's, I would definitely recommend this book. I found it very interesting.

This book was given me by Blogging for Books for the purpose of reading and writing a review on it.

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