Look Me in the Eye

My Life With Asperger's

Robison, John Elder

Book - 2007
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Look Me in the Eye
John Robison longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits had earned him the label "social deviant." No guidance came from his mother, who conversed with light fixtures, or his father, who spent evenings drunk. No wonder he gravitated to machines, which could be counted on. 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, 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 Asperger's syndrome. That understanding transformed the way Robison saw himself--and the world.--From publisher description.

Publisher: New York : Crown Publishers, c2007
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307395986
Branch Call Number: 616.85883 R666L 2007
Characteristics: xiv, 288 p. ;,25 cm


From Library Staff

By the time John Robison was a teenager, his odd habits had earned him the label "social deviant." He went on to design guitars for the band KISS, but really couldn't figure out why he still couldn't connect with other people--until he was diagnosed with Asperger's.

The author describes life growing up different in an odd family, his unusual talents, his struggle to live a "normal" life, his diagnosis at the age of forty with Asperger's syndrome, and the dramatic changes that have occurred since that diagnosis.

From the critics

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Feb 13, 2013
  • howgwyn rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed the first part of the book where Robison describes growing up with autism from his point of view and reflects on how that view point is different from people not on the austism spectrum. Yet I felt the latter part of the book felt rushed and repetative.

Jan 05, 2013
  • GuyN rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This gives a better picture of a person with Asperger's Syndrome (now merely on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum as the term is being dropped) than nonfiction books on the subject. Robison tells it like it was for him and does so with humor and insight. Incidentally he invented stuff for Pink Floyd and Kiss, so there are a few insider rock stories. Even if you don't know a person on this spectrum (actually you probably do but don't know it) you might find yourself hesitating to rush to judgement on someone until you understand their worldview a bit better. In spite of the icky picture on the cover, this is a highly entertaining book.

Aug 09, 2012
  • kayjuni rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

My sister recommended I read Look Me in the Eye. She also grew up as an undiagnosed Aspergian, like the author. He gives insight into how hard it was growing up misunderstood and how he struggled with why he couldn't be "normal". He talks a little at the end about what a relief it was when he was finally diagnosed, he finally had an explanation for why he was different, which is very similar to what my sister felt when she was diagnosed. He also talks very candidly about growing up the son of abusive alcoholics and how his mother's struggle with her own mental illness affected him.
My only criticism is I kind of lost interest for a little while in the middle because he talked a lot about going on tour with KISS and working for a toy company and different pranks he pulled. They were good stories, but I felt like his writing in these parts lost a little of the personal tone that made the rest of the book so powerful.
I think everyone, not just people who have or know someone who has Asperger's, should read this book to gain an understanding of people who act a little different.

Jul 16, 2012
  • results rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book truly helped me understand and sympathize with what's it's like to be Aspergian.

May 16, 2012
  • Donnalee Smith rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I'd read this book because I have a family member with Asperger's, but this is a fascinating story in its own right. This book is often funny, sometimes sad, but it is an always fascinating book for looking at the world from someone else's perspective. The connection to the Running With Scissors family may be an added bonus for some people, and the connection to classic rock bands like Kiss and PInk Floyd may be an added bonus for some other readers.

Feb 10, 2012
  • dotdeangelo rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Since I love his brother's work I was already half sold before I started the read. Turned out to like it much.


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Jun 13, 2012
  • kayjuni rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

"Asperger's is not a disease. It's a way of being. There is no cure, nor is there a need for one."


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