This is a fascinating look at the life of someone with Asperger’s syndrome. It is not a textbook study of Aspergers it is simply the story of one man’s life. Robison tells stories about his life to illustrate what his life was like as a child, young adult, and successful business man. The stories are interesting, funny, brave, sad and honest.Robison was not diagnosed with Aspergers until he was forty. All his life he was thought of as weird, difficult, social misfit, unable to learn, a trouble-maker. The list of negatives could go on but the truth is he is odd, difficult, socially inept and a prankster, but intelligent, and a hard worker. He was told he was a failure who would never amount to anything but he has had a successful life in more than one business career, is married, has a son, writes books, consults and speaks about Aspergers.
Robison writes about his family, a mentally ill mother, alcoholic father, and a younger brother. He tells about trying to make friends but having no idea how to, having it suggested by school authorities he should leave school which he did at sixteen. He tells about the pranks, some very serious that could have been disastrous, and his girlfriend who became his first wife and mother of his son. His awareness that he could fix just about any machine or electric device opens up a whole new world for him. The stories are amazing and are humorous yet often heartbreaking.
When Robison was forty a friend who is a psychologist realized John has Aspergers. When the friend gives John a book about Aspergers he begins to understand that he is not weird just different and that he can learn social skills and how to look at people and have a conversation. As he begins to understand why he is different he can see himself and the world around him more clearly. His second wife plays a major part in helping him see that he is perhaps eccentric but not a misfit. She also helps him understand people and how to interact with them.
Some of his accomplishments besides his writing, speaking and consulting are; one of his first jobs was working and traveling with rock bands as a sound and lighting expert, including the band KISS, working for Milton Bradley in research and development of new action toys, and now owning his own business repairing and restoring fine automobiles.
As I said this is not a textbook. It is a memoir told plainly without undue sentimentality.It is not filled with medical jargon or hard to grasp theories. It is just a man telling his story and well worth reading.
This book was sent to me without charge by
in exchange for this review.