Look Me in the Eye by John Elder Robison
I don't know too much about Asperger's or autism, but I thought Look Me in the Eye was an interesting look from Robison's perspective. I kind of feel the hypochondriac urge to delare myself somewhat autistic, and I could sometimes relate to Robison's point of view: I'm not big on small talk; I much prefer honesty, I cannot give someone a fake compliment, and I tend to really focus on one thing at the time. That's where the similarity ends, though, and some of the chapters that Robison probably most enjoyed writing, I wasn't as interested in. Robison keeps it brief, but I really didn't need any details about his electronics work. He could have said, I did some really hard, innovative, gadgety stuff, and I could have simply believed him.
Robison also doesn't talk too specifically about how Asperger's affects him in his day-to-day, personal life. A couple of chapters are devoted to the subject, but Robison is married twice and he barely describes how he meets them or their interactions. I guess I am usually more interested in the personal and it wasn't always there. Also, Robison comes from a very unique and messed-up family and I was left wondering more than once whether his behavior (that I would consider odd) was a result of Asperger's, his parents, the times, or spending summers in rural Georgia. Robison was in Florida, working on a KISS tour and he shot a snake right outside of his motel door--with families nearby in the pool--with his (probably illegal) handgun. And Robison was surprised when the disgruntled motel owner objected. I enjoyed reading Look Me in the Eye, but I found myself eager to pick up Running With Scissors to see if I could get more of the story of Robison's family.
This review is part of the Cannonball Read series. For more of Sophia's reviews, check out her blog, My Life As Seen Through Books.