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.@goodreads
I had no idea John Robison was Augusten Burrough's brother! He gives the foreword in the book.
This is a really sad story of a boy's childhood. He had family with troubles, kids and people that were mean. They didn't know he had something like he had and people didn't understand most of that stuff back then. They don't even understand it now. A lot of people are just mean.
Just because someone has any kind of mental or medical issue doesn't mean there is something wrong with them. They are not monsters!
By the time I was twelve, I had progressed from "If he doesn't get better, he may have to be institutionalized" to "He's a weird, screwed-up kid." But although my communication abilities had developed by leaps and bounds, people had ever higher expectations for me, and I began having trouble with what the therapists called "inappropriate expressions."
John was also abused by his alcoholic father. It makes me sick. Anyone that gets abused, it makes me sick.
I might sob, or I might be quiet. It depended on how hard he hit me. I thought of the knife my grandfather had given me for Christmas. Solingen steel. Eight inches long. Sharp. I could roll over and jam it into him, right to the hilt. Right in the belly. But I was afraid. What if I miss? What if it doesn't kill him? I had seen the movies, where they just kept coming. They didn't die like they were supposed to. He might kill me for real, then.
But not all is doom and gloom. John was very smart and making things. He actually made guitars and made these awesome guitars for Ace Frehley! How cool is that?
Smoking guitars, fire guitars, you name it.
But the thing is, this book is just another good book for people to learn a little more about how people are treated with Asperger's. Some are not treated bad but we all know the world, there seems to be more bad people than good.
*I would like to thank Random House and Blogging for Books for a print copy of this book in exchange for my honest review
AMAZON LINK TO THE BOOK: