Tuesday, May 27, 2008

John Elder Robison - Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's

This is a fascinating read about Robison growing up with Asperger's syndrome at a time when the diagnosis didn't yet exist and realising that he was "different" from other people and learning on his own how to adapt. It wasn't until he was forty that he was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome by a therapist friend of his. Robison describes his childhood days and his difficulty in making friends in a frank and mostly lighthearted tone, but the heartbreak and loneliness of those days are not lost on readers. It must have been an immense struggle to be misunderstood all the time or to be called a sociopath, bringing about doubt about oneself. I enjoyed the chapters that featured John and Snort/Varmint, especially in the early years, and also those with him and his son, 'Cubby'. I would have liked to know a little bit more about Robison's current life -- how he met his second wife, 'Unit Two'; his relationship with Augusten; and just other bits and pieces to give a little more insight. I also would have liked to read the essay that Robison wrote about his father, but unfortunately, this is no longer on Augusten's website. Regardless, I am glad to have had the opportunity to read this and take a glimpse into a life that I otherwise wouldn't have understood.