Nancy H Hieronymus, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Nancy H Hieronymus)
This book if very interesting and optimistic if a little slow. A famous movie star develops Parkinsons Disease and explains how he copes with it. He is married with children but carries on. This book is inspirational, heartwarming and helpful in understanding what a person with the disease goes through.
Book Dads, December 4, 2009 (view all comments by Book Dads)
Always Looking Up is Michael J. Fox’s memoir of his life after Parkinson’s disease, a follow-up to his earlier book, Lucky Man. Those who remember Fox from his early days in television and movies in the 1980s won’t be disappointed in reading Always Looking Up, as Fox writes with the same familiar and disarming charm that made him such a popular actor. It is Fox’s ability to be both candid and self-effacing that makes Always Looking Up such an enjoyable read, even when Fox is describing his daily struggles with the dyskinesias and other indignities of Parkinson’s. Fox’s memoir moves backwards and forwards in time, but largely centers on the path that his life took after making his Parkinson’s diagnosis public in 1998 and retiring from his television show Spin City in 2001. Fox describes the process of finding new directions for his life, including starting the Michael J. Fox Foundation and his adventures as a political neophyte campaigning in favor of stem cell research. The book is full of famous faces, from Muhammad Ali to Robin Williams, and incredible experiences such as riding in the pace car for the final lap in the Tour de France. Yet far from seeming like a spoiled celebrity, Fox writes of these experiences with such humility and obvious amazement at his own good fortune that you readily share his enjoyment of them as well.
Fox’s children, and his expectations of himself as a father, are a constant theme throughout the book. Rarely does Fox describe an episode in his life without also mentioning the whereabouts of the rest of his family, and daily parenting chores such as picking up children at preschool are woven into his stories of his professional life on the set of Spin City and elsewhere. And while Fox is quite obviously now a dedicated father, he also is honest and unashamed about describing those times when he fell short of his ideals of fatherhood due to his youth, the pressures of his career, or his struggles with alcohol. In later sections of the book, he writes deliberately about fatherhood and his four children: his eldest son Sam, his twin daughters, and his youngest daughter Esme. Fox entertainingly tells of his progression from nervous young father of an only son – recounting a hilarious-only-in-retrospect incident of Sam ending upside down in the rear passenger well of his car – to his far more relaxed fatherhood of Esme and her intent creation of “cockamamies”. He also reflects at length on the roots of his ideas on fatherhood from his experiences with his own father, and contrasts a relocation trip across the country with his family as an Army Brat with another cross-country road trip taken years later with his son Sam. Warm, compassionate and insightful, Always Looking Up is an entertaining and unpretentious memoir about life – and fatherhood – from one of America’s most familiar faces.
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Erica Horne, April 14, 2009 (view all comments by Erica Horne)
This is Michael J Fox's second book...his first being Lucky Man: A Memoir, in 2002 he announced to the world that he had Parkinson's disease and detailed what it was like living with and raising awareness for this currently incurable disease. 2009 he releases is second book, ALWAYS LOOKING UP.
Once again, the eighties icon turns a debilitating and degenerative disease and offers a ray of hope for people who might otherwise find depression. ALWAYS LOOKING UP blends many elements into a heart-warming and optimistic memoir that will bring hope, humor, and awareness to millions of people.
I say memoir because much of the book is from his own personal experiences and how he shed light on those dark times. He speaks of how Parkinson had strengthened his "family ties" Okay, I'm not as funny as Michael J Fox, but he doesn't think he would have the strong, close knit family he has if it wasn't tested by Parkinson's.
ALWAYS LOOKING UP, is the perfect name for this book, the man, and everything he has done to help raise awareness for this incurable disease...whether it's a guest appearance, a heartfelt memoir, or through his foundation: The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, ALWAYS LOOKING UP is about optimism and making choices and finding a cure.
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The beloved actor — and #1 bestselling author — writes about the personal philosophy that has carried him through his darkest hours, and speaks with others who have emerged from difficult periods with optimism to spare.
At the turn from our bedroom into the hallway, there is an old full-length mirror in a wooden frame. I can't help but catch a glimpse of myself as I pass. Turning fully toward the glass, I consider what I see. This reflected version of myself, wet, shaking, rumpled, pinched, and slightly stooped, would be alarming were it not for the self-satisfied expression pasted across my face. I would ask the obvious question, "What are you smiling about?" but I already know the answer: "It just gets better from here."-- from Always Looking Up
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