Sean Meriwether's Reviews > Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's

Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison
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As a person who may be a highly functional "Aspergie"—I prefer Aspy —I hoped to gain insights from someone who was officially diagnosed. I was a third of the way through before I realized Robinson was Augusten Burroughs's brother. Although this relationship is touched upon, it is surprising how infrequently the other brother appears in their own life stories.

Taking a cue from the title, I expected the book to delve into the personal mysteries of this unique condition. Robinson shares some common Aspy traits: the inability to register other's emotions, social awkwardness, intense focus and distraction, laser focus on personally interesting projects, mathematical or verbal acumen, and a frustrating inability to look people in the eye. However, most of the book documents his life journey as a neglected kid with self-absorbed parents, his time on the road with KISS, climbing the corporate ladder, and his emotionally spare relationships with those closest to him. The book is not very linear for a memoir, with some chapters transcribing entire conversations (sometimes worth skimming) while others span decades, with each chapter riffing off the subtitle. Worth appreciating is how he looks backward to appreciate how he leveraged the quirks of Asperger's Syndrome to enhance his mechanical abilities, for instance. It is worth noting in his conclusion that as a child he might have chosen "door number two", which would have aligned him more closely with an Autistic profile. Instead he learned how to live with people and integrate himself. Early diagnosis can help younger Aspys learn to understand and appreciate their differences instead of feel socially ostracized by them.
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Reading Progress

December 16, 2016 – Shelved
December 16, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
November 27, 2018 – Started Reading
November 27, 2018 – Shelved as: memoir
December 5, 2018 – Finished Reading

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