Monday, December 10, 2012
Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's is a memoir written by John Elder Robison, brother of Augusten Burroughs- the author of Running with Scissors.
Augusten encountered many fans who thanked him for mentioning Asperger's in Running with Scissors and also writing an essay on John in his book Magical Thinking. Instead of writing a whole book about his brother, he convinced John to write it himself. Though I enjoyed RWS, some of the crazier events disturbed me. Robison's memoir is much tamer, yet still entertaining and humorous.
The memoir is less about Asperger's and more about John's take on his crazy family. As a young boy, he feared his alcoholic father and became increasingly disconnected to his mentally ill mother. He dropped out of school and left home at 17. Because of his Asperger's he was good at working with machines and ended up as a guitar technician for the band KISS. However, being around people was not comfortable for him, so he left and continued to struggle to find a career that would suit him. Interspersed with his stories from these various positions are chapters that describe Asperger's and how it has affected his relationships and career choices. These chapters give great understanding to people unfamiliar with Asperger's and Autism.
Look Me in the Eye is a must read for all fans of Augusten Burroughs works. Fans of memoirs will enjoy his tales of growing up in a dysfunctional family and how that lead to him being on the road with KISS. Those looking for understanding of Asperger's will want to skim the book and read the asperger's-focused chapters.
For more on Asperger's-
The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome by Jessica Kingsley
Online Asperger Syndrome Information & Support