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Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's
Author: John Elder Robison
ISBN 13: 9780307396181
ISBN 10: 307396185
Edition: Reprint
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
Publication Date: 2008-09-09
Format: Paperback
Pages: 302
List Price: $16.00

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 sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes (and stick his younger brother in them) had earned him the label social deviant. No guidance came from his mother, who conversed with light fixtures, or his father, who spent evenings pickling himself in sherry. It was no wonder he 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, for whom he created their legendary fire-breathing guitars. 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 wasn t worth the paycheck. It was not until he w...

Publishers Weekly

Although this memoir deals with some dark topics-including Asperger's syndrome, family alcoholism and mental illness-debut author Robison maintains a keen humor and sense of dramatic irony throughout. The gravelly voiced Robison proves to be a capable storyteller, whether describing the pranks he used to play on his much younger brother (Augusten Burroughs, who reads his foreword) or the relief of finally being diagnosed with Asperger's in middle age after a lifetime of social isolation and relatively odd behaviors. Robison is a vocal and emphatic advocate for Asperger's, which he insists is not a disease but a different-and sometimes better-neurology. Asperger's gave Robison a single-minded ability to focus on his love of electronics, giving him a place in the world as the wizard behind Kiss's smoking and flaming guitars or, later in life, a gift for diagnosing and fixing high-end imported cars. This memoir is highly entertaining and the abridgment is smoothly edited. Simultaneous release with the Crown hardcover (Reviews, July 9). (Oct.)

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