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Extended Audio Sample Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s, by John Elder Robison Click for printable size audiobook cover
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: John Elder Robiso Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller
  • An iTunes Top Seller
  • A 2010 Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Valarie | 2/16/2014

    " I enjoyed reading this memoir by the brother of one of today's most famous memoirists, Augusten Burroughs. Seeing a different perspective of a family we already know from Burroughs' books, it really opens up a lot of interesting analysis for the memoir genre. The book is also captivating in its own right, as Robison eloquently explains his thought process, the result of Asperger's Syndrome. I couldn't give it five stars, though, because several chapters diverged into complicated technical descriptions of sound equipment and machinery, which isn't going to hold a lot of readers' interest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jennie | 2/8/2014

    " Not really a memoir about having Asperger's, but a memoir of John Robison, a man who just happened to have Asperger's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Dslab | 2/7/2014

    " I enjoyed Look Me in the Eye, though during the middle of the read, I began to feel like it was going to be more of a less than okay memoir, with less and less about his struggle with Aspergers. By the end, this was not true. Mr. Robison's story of achievement and finding self in spite of the lack of awareness and understanding was insightful and compassionate. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Shelley | 1/22/2014

    " Good book! I like the way in which (true to his disability) the author compartmentalized his topics. Deepened my understanding of being a highly functioning adult w a learned rather than innate sense of social norms "

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