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

Abridged / Go to Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: John Elder Robison

Narrated By: John Elder Robison

Publisher: Random House (Audio)

Date: September 2007

Duration: 5 hours 41 minutes

Summary:

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 was forty that an insightful therapist told him he had the form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome. That understanding transformed the way Robison saw himself—and the world.

Look Me in the Eye is the moving, darkly funny story of growing up with Asperger’s at a time when the diagnosis simply didn’t exist. A born storyteller, Robison takes you inside the head of a boy whom teachers and other adults regarded as “defective,” who could not avail himself of KISS’s endless supply of groupies, and who still has a peculiar aversion to using people’s given names (he calls his wife “Unit Two”). He 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 and write the bestselling memoir Running with Scissors.

Ultimately, this is the story of Robison’s journey from his world into ours, and his new life as a husband, father, and successful small business owner—repairing his beloved high-end automobiles. It’s a strange, sly, indelible account—sometimes alien, yet always deeply human.


From the Hardcover edition.

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  • Crystal Howell

    I loved this book!! It gave me great insight into my sons life. In early years I was determined to make him look at people in the eyes among other things Aspie's avoid doing because I felt it was disrespectful not understanding it had nothing to do with respect at all.

  • Alice Pieritz

    I wanted to read/listen to this book because I have recently realized I likely have Asperger's. I am 56 years old and have never had a clue. I will admit that it was not exactly what I expected it to be. Until chapter 20, it just seemed like a guy telling a bunch of stories about his life that weren't of particular interest to me. However, I am glad I kept listening. Chapter 20 until the end of the book made it all worthwhile. The insight in these chapters is remarkable and has helped me to see that I am not just a useless loner who has never really understood the society in which I live...that there are other people--likely very many other people--who see things from the same perspective as do I. I personally feel the narrator did an excellent job at keeping me interested throughout by his inflections and tone of voice.

  • Mandy Webster

    As the parent of a child with Aspergers, I couldn't have asked for a better book to give me an insight into what my own child may be experiencing. This is a must-read for anyone dealing with Aspergers, and a fascinating look at the life and struggles of an interesting and unique individual for everyone else.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent and insightful. A good read / listen. The author has succeeded in bring us into his world. Very enjoyable / enthralling.

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

by John Elder Robison

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Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's, John Elder Robison