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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (24,716 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Elder Robison Narrator: Mark Deakins Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2007 ISBN: 9781415942468
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Ever since he was young, John Robison 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, Augusten Burroughs, in them)—had earned him the label “social deviant.” It was not until he was forty that he was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger’s syndrome. That understanding transformed the way he saw himself—and the world. A born storyteller, Robison has written a moving, darkly funny memoir about a life that has taken him from developing exploding guitars for KISS to building a family of his own. It’s a strange, sly, indelible account—sometimes alien yet always deeply human.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Deeply felt and often darkly funny, Look Me in the Eye is a delight. People magazine, Critics Choice, 4 Stars
  • It's a fantastic life story (highlights include building guitars for KISS) told with grace, humor, and a bracing lack of sentimentality. Entertainment Weekly
  • Dramatic and revealing. Boston Globe
  • Lean, powerful in its descriptive accuracy and engaging in its understated humor...Emotionally gripping. Chicago Tribune
  • Robison’s lack of finesse with language is not only forgivable, but an asset to his story . . . His rigid sentences are arguably more telling of his condition than if he had created the most graceful prose this side of Proust. Chicago Sun-Times
  • Look Me in the Eye is a fantastic read that takes readers into the mind of an Aspergian both through its plot and through the calm, logical style in which Robison writes. . . Even if you have no personal connections with Asperger’s, you’ll find that Robison—like his brother, Burroughs—has a life worth reading about. Daily Camera
  • Not only does Robison share with his famous brother, Augusten Burroughs (Running With Scissors), a talent for writing; he also has that same deadpan, biting humor that's so irresistible. ELLE magazine
  • There's an endearing quality to Robison and his story that transcends the "Scissors" connection … Look Me in the Eye is often drolly funny and seldom angry or self-pitying. Even when describing his fear that he'd grow up to be a sociopathic killer, Robison brings a light touch to what could be construed as dark subject matter…Robison is also a natural storyteller and engaging conversationalist. The Boston Globe
  • “This is no misery memoir[Robison] is a gifted storyteller with a deadpan sense of humour and the book is a rollicking read.
    —Times (London)
  • Robison's memoir is must reading for its unblinking (as only an Aspergian can) glimpse into the life of a person who had to wait decades for the medical community to catch up with him. Booklist
  • “Well-written and fascinating. Library Journal
  • “Thoughtful and thoroughly memorable…Moving…In the end, Robison succeeds in his goal of “helping those who are struggling to grow up or live with Asperger’s” to see how it “is not a disease” but “a way of being” that needs no cure except understanding and encouragement from others. Publishers Weekly
  • Affecting, on occasion surprisingly comic memoir about growing up with Asperger’s syndrome….The view from inside this little-understood disorder offers both cold comfort and real hope, which makes it an exceptionally useful contribution to the literature.
    Kirkus Reviews
  • Of course this book is brilliant; my big brother wrote it. But even if it hadn’t been created by my big, lumbering, swearing, unshaven ‘early man’ sibling, this is as sweet and funny and sad and true and heartfelt a memoir as one could find, utterly unspoiled, uninfluenced, and original. from the foreword by Augusten Burroughs, author of Running with Scissors
  • Look Me In The Eye is a wonderful surprise on so many levels: it is compassionate, funny, and deeply insightful. By the end, I realized my vision of the world had undergone a slight but permanent alteration; I had taken for granted that our behavioral conventions were meaningful, when in fact they are arbitrary. That he is able to illuminate something so simple (but hidden, and unalterable) proves that John Elder Robison is at least as good a writer as he is an engineer, if not better. Haven Kimmel (who was in attendance at the 1978 KISS tour*), author of A Girl Named Zippy
  • “I hugely enjoyed reading Look Me in the Eye. This book is a wild rollercoaster ride through John Robison’s life--from troubled teenage prankster to successful employment in electronics, music, and classic cars. A kindly professor introduced him to electrical engineering, which led to jobs where he found techie soulmates that were like him. A fascinating glimpse into the mind of an engineer which should be on the reading list of anyone who is interested in the human mind. Temple Grandin, author of Thinking in Pictures and Animals in Translation
  • John Robison's book is an immensely affecting account of a life lived according to his gifts rather than his limitations. His story provides ample evidence for my belief that individuals on the autistic spectrum are just as capable of rich and productive lives as anyone else. Daniel Tammet, author of Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller
  • A 2010 Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee
  • An iTunes Top Seller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen Yoho | 2/14/2014

    " Food for thought, especially for teachers or family members who live with an Aspergian. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hybridmobile | 2/11/2014

    " Good book about an "autist". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tiana Mojelsky | 2/6/2014

    " I find it easier to relate to children, especially those with asperger's, after reading this book. Thanks to the author for that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Gessel | 1/29/2014

    " I read this on a whim after I saw a friend that said it was good. I know some people with Asperger's and so I thought it might be interesting. The story of this man's life is very interesting, though at times heart-wrenching what he goes through. A very good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer Braun | 1/26/2014

    " This was one of the best books I have read in a long time. This was not a dry, psychological text book about Asperger's Sydrome, but an emotional, insightful point of view from the author about his life, the struggles he endured and how he adapted his life so that he would fit in and be socially acceptable. He has great stories to share. I laughed out loud and even shed a tear at the end. I highly suggest this book to everyone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandra Larochelle | 1/22/2014

    " This is a must read for everyone. Enlightening. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 1/17/2014

    " Amazing book, loved hearing about Asperger's from an Aspie, helped put a lot of things in perspective for me! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samantha McNally | 1/9/2014

    " Look Me In The Eye is a story about, the now grown, John Elder Robison and his struggle to live a normal life, although he was faced with a form of autism called Asperger's, which makes it hard for anyone affected to make friends and more importantly to look people in the eye. "Look me in the eye" was a sentence John Elder heard from any adult throughout most of his childhood and early adult-hood.This story had side splitting humor coupled by a heart-wrenching feeling, that is excellently contrasted throughout the book as John Elder's life story progressed on. I give this book a five star rating and an exciting two-thumbs up, for it's originality and creativity. I would recommend this book to all interested readers, if you're looking to have a fun time reading this novel. It is absolutely worth the read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth Snyder | 1/6/2014

    " Right up my alley. Good book, but I enjoy his brother's writing a little better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaretha Krug | 12/25/2013

    " Very interesting and insightful book about living with Aspergers. A must-read for teachers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacy | 12/24/2013

    " I enjoyed this book very much! John Elder describes his life with Asperger's with humor and candor. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bonita Storbakken | 12/22/2013

    " funny, true, interesting, hopeful, great! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Candice | 12/22/2013

    " I loved this book. Smart, funny, brilliant. I suggest it to everyone "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Theresa | 12/10/2013

    " Great story! Educational for me! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kkop12 | 11/26/2013

    " Very insightful and honest. I am always intrigued by adults that are diagnosed with Aspergers. For work, but also personally. I'd highly recommend. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marcella | 11/26/2013

    " Great read and insight into living w/ Asperger's from childhood thru Adulthood. Written by the brother of Augusten Burroughs (my fav. author). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renee Zabelcomcastnet | 10/1/2013

    " If you work with children with Aspergers this is a great book to help understand how they're feeling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 SLK | 8/15/2013

    " I read this years ago. Definitely made me laugh out loud, and cry a bit. His matter of fact descriptions of his life helped soften the outrageous episodes that compose it. Worth reading to get a window look into the feelings behind the actions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kat | 7/26/2013

    " This is a great memoir. It was also interesting to see how his skills and and traits changed as he got older and changed his experiences. I highly recommend this book to anyone that likes memoirs or reading about psychology. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Roslynn | 7/21/2013

    " I really think everyone should read this. I loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kirsten Brancheau | 4/23/2013

    " Wonderful, sad, funny, insightful, enlightening. I learned a lot from this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol Smith | 3/3/2013

    " Interesting story about growing up with Asperger's and living with it as an adult. This story would have been a good read even without the added complication of ASD. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessie | 11/30/2012

    " Readable account of an interesting life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peg | 5/10/2012

    " I read this book in two days. Easy read and hard to put down. The story gives the reader a first-person perspective on growing up with and finally being diagnosed with Aspergers. This guy has had an amazing life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Travis Ferrell | 4/13/2012

    " An excellent memoir. I've yet to read an autobiography by a person with Asperger's that didn't strike me in some way. Robinson's experience with lower ed really bothered me, as well. A very good book about tenacity and finding one's niche. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle Knickerbocker | 11/22/2011

    " Good insight into my quirks for me and my neuro-typical partner! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeremyandangela | 9/15/2011

    " Loved it!! note that this is Augusten Burroghs brother "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Schanty | 5/23/2011

    " I am almost finished reading this. I know that when you are reading a good book you feel like you can't put it down. With this one, it's so good that I find myself spacing the reading out in longer increments so that I can have just a little more time with it. I have grown attached. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ginny | 5/16/2011

    " Robinson's journey to a successful adulthood, after struggling with undiagnosed Asperger's and an incresibly dysfunctional family, makes for a great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 5/16/2011

    " Having a child on the spectrum it was a timely read. It was comforting to hear the thought process that goes on within John Elders mind....any insight is helpful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 5/12/2011

    " Excellent book. Stories are amusing, interesting and short and to the point. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jon | 5/11/2011

    " Loved it. Very different from Page but as good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 5/7/2011

    " well written perspective of an adult living with Aspergers. For the time it gave a totally different view then any other works on the market and it was a refreshing view. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 5/5/2011

    " Great insight into the world of autism. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robyn | 4/21/2011

    " This gives a really good understanding of how someone with Asperger's may think. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Petra X | 4/20/2011

    " I did a whole bloody review and it disappeared.
    When I stop being cross about it I will write a proper one. Maybe.
    I wish there was an automatic save function as there is on some blogging sites.
    Hate hate hate losing a review. "

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About the Author
Author John Elder Robison

John Elder Robison is the author of Be Different, Raising Cubby, and the New York Times bestseller Look Me in the Eye. He lectures widely on autism and neurological differences, and is a member of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Robison also serves on committees and review boards for the Center for Disease Control, the National Institute of Health, and Autism Speaks. A machinery enthusiast and avid photographer, he lives with his family in Amherst, Massachusetts.

About the Narrator

Mark Deakins is an actor whose television appearances include Head Case, Star Trek: Voyager, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. His film credits include Intervention, Star Trek: Insurrection, and The Devil’s Advocate. He recently wrote, directed, and produced the short film The Smith Interviews.