Book Review| Look Me In The Eye

Look Me In The Eye: My Life With Asperger’s

By John Elder Robison











“So is there a cure?’ I asked.
“It’s not a disease,” he explained. “It doesn’t need curing. It’s just how you are”


This memoir pulled me in right away. In Look Me In The Eye: My Life With Asperger’s, John Elder Robison recounts his childhood with a straight forward candidness and a story telling style that makes for easy reading or listening. The emotions his story evokes run the gamut from humorous to heartbreaking and everything in between. Many of the events he recounts are of a mature nature.

There is sense of hope as well as moments of dark humor. I liked the balance in this memoir. As a mother, I found myself both horrified and chuckling at some of his childhood dealings with his little brother. The recounting of his various careers is amazing, considering he was a dropout who was never expected to amount to much.

John Elder Robison’s message of finding a way and doing your best shines though. I found myself rooting for him as he told of his struggles.

I would recommend this book for any adult or young adult who is interested in learning more about Asperger’s, enjoys memoir, or who likes a good story about overcoming. Parents who are concerned with the subject matter should preview the book. This is a good book for discussion and inspiration.

Issues of Concern (I listened to the audiobook read by John Elder Robison. This was an abridged version.)

Mature topics presented in a matter of fact manner in the natural flow of the memoir. Parent’s mental illness, child abuse, father’s alcoholism, sexual abuse by a doctor against his mother, language, mentions of drug use, arrest when working with a band, mention of mother’s bisexualism, mention of brother’s same sex partner, there may be additional issues in the unabridged version

Lit Lovers Book Discussion Questions for Look Me in the Eye 

Teacher’s Guide for Look Me In The Eye    

Student Study Guide for Look Me In The Eye

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  1. I loved this book. I found this book the day I was told my grandson probably had Asperger’s. I’d never heard of this syndrome, but as soon as I started reading the book, I recognized my son-in-love. In my attempt to help my grandson come to terms with what he could be diagnosed with in the coming months, I began reading him the book. I didn’t tell him I thought he might have Asperger’s, I just read him the book to help him understand that not all people are the same and hope he would be kinder to himself and others.

    When I first started reading it to him, my grandson would say things like, “I hope I never get that disease. That sounds horrible.”

    Then I read the chapter where the author lists others who were possible Aspies like Albert Einstein. He said then, “Maybe that disease is not so bad.”

    John Elder Robison’s next book, Raising Cubby is even better. I will gladly read everything he writes because of his honest way of saying what he needs to say and because he still reminds me so much of my son-in-love.

    1. I haven’t read Raising Cubby yet, but I plan to. I am sure it is entertaining and enlightening! I did listen to his book, Be Different: My Adventures with Asperger’s and My Advice for Fellow Aspergians, Misfits, Families, and Teachers. It was another good one.

      Have you read Freaks, Geeks, and Asperger’s Syndrome? It was written by a young teen boy.

  2. After reading this, I Googled famous people with Asperger’s and was surprised that there’s a long list. Wow. It’s not a hindrance to anything. Kudos to people who can manage it.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Thanks for the great book review! I’ve had several students with Asperger’s, and I always find it fascinating how people deal with being different (whether it’s Asperger’s or something else).

  4. I learned a lot from this review. I have a second cousin and niece with autism. I can’t imagine having the disease myself and being able to function. Thanks for sharing on Literacy Musing Mondays. I pinned your review to our board. 😉

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