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Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist [Kindle Edition]

Michael J. Fox
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (246 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

There are many words to describe Michael J. Fox: Actor. Husband. Father. Activist. But readers of Always Looking Up will soon add another to the list: Optimist. Michael writes about the hard-won perspective that helped him see challenges as opportunities. Instead of building walls around himself, he developed a personal policy of engagement and discovery: an emotional, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual outlook that has served him throughout his struggle with Parkinson's disease. Michael's exit from a very demanding, very public arena offered him the time-and the inspiration-to open up new doors leading to unexpected places. One door even led him to the center of his own family, the greatest destination of all.

The last ten years, which is really the stuff of this book, began with such a loss: my retirement from Spin City. I found myself struggling with a strange new dynamic: the shifting of public and private personas. I had been Mike the actor, then Mike the actor with PD. Now was I just Mike with PD Parkinson's had consumed my career and, in a sense, had become my career. But where did all of this leave Me? I had to build a new life when I was already pretty happy with the old one...

Always Looking Up is a memoir of this last decade, told through the critical themes of Michael's life: work, politics, faith, and family. The book is a journey of self-discovery and reinvention, and a testament to the consolations that protect him from the ravages of Parkinson's.

With the humor and wit that captivated fans of his first book, Lucky Man, Michael describes how he became a happier, more satisfied person by recognizing the gifts of everyday life.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Considering that this audio book opens with the author detailing the laborious steps necessary just to get out of bed, it's miraculous that Fox's voice sounds just as charming, stalwart and nearly as steady as it did during his long film and television career. There are no frills of any kind with this recording, but none are needed; Fox's tale is engrossing on its own. He pulls no punches describing the hardships—both physical and emotional—that accompanied his diagnosis with Parkinson's, but listeners are quickly reminded that for every challenge the disease brought, Fox trained himself to find the silver lining. The first CD is enhanced with five photos (both viewable and printable) featuring Fox; his wife of two decades, Tracy Pollan; their children; and his eponymous foundation—photos are accessible by using the embedded PDF or via a Web link. A Hyperion hardcover. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Well-written, unfailingly cheery and warm-hearted and ... truly gripping" Daily Mail "The book is funny, beautiful, informative and poignant. Read it" Sunday Express

Product Details

  • File Size: 549 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion e-books (March 31, 2009)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0020Q3FUE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,163 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Title For An Enlightened Gentleman April 4, 2009
Format:Hardcover
'Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist' is a wonderfully shared memoir of a gentle gentleman who positively affected the lives of many. Michael Fox suffers from the physical challenges of Parkinson Disease; however, what he has done in his life, and what he shares strongly in this book to his reader audience is that in one way or another, we all are faced with human hardship. What we do in the face of these difficulties ... these unexpected changes ... these new paths that our life may unexpectedly take us down - what really counts is to find the moments of happiness within the challenges, to never lose hope and faith in change, and to use the changes in your life in one way or another as an advantage. In fact, Michael shares that his relationship with his wife, the gentle-heart and compassionate Tracy Pollan (I say this of Tracy not because of her unquestionable love of Michael, but her sense of kindness she always acts within to others), that if fact, his relationship became stronger due to the challenges that he and Tracy faced together ... his battle with the neurological degenerative disease that is Parkinson's.
I am a fan of Michael's work; however, I am clearly an admirer of Michael J. Fox the man, the husband, and the father - and with good reason. Michael is on multiple missions : the first is clear: to find a cure for Parkinson's Disease. However, the second is equally as important: to teach the world to find the optimistic view no matter what the situation.
'Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist' is a very meaningful book that all readers will walk away from with an added perspective of the wonderments of our life no matter how difficult the challenges we have.
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90 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book on a Number of Levels April 1, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having grown up watching his Alex P. Keaton character on "Family Ties," I've always been a fan of Michael J. Fox, the actor. After he revealed his diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease, I became more interested in him since my grandfather suffered from PD as well. This book is a remarkable examination of the things that fate can give you and the things that can be taken away but, more importantly, it is a celebration of the things that can not be taken away.
From a simplistic perspective, it's easy to feel sorry for Michael J. Fox. He seemed to have it all at one time, and to hear about how he struggles to get out of bed in the morning is heartbreaking. On a deeper and more important level, however, this book proclaims the triumph of an indomitable spirit.
As a biography, the book doesn't necessarily stick to the standard chronological order, but rather focuses on 4 key themes: Work, Politics, Faith and Family. When I got this book yesterday, I couldn't put it down. It is often funny and sometimes melancholy, but on the whole it is quite uplifting and entertaining. It is truly a wonderful book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great follow up to "Lucky Man" April 28, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've been a Michael J Fox fan since I first saw him on Family Ties. It was very sad to hear he was diagnosed with Parkinsons, but also fantastic to see him do so much to bring attention to the disease. He surely could have chosen to hide away and deal with all privately.

In his first book, "Lucky Man," he was honest about his life, his reaction to the diagnosis and his choices to deal and live with it. This book is the follow up and more of the same honesty. He's not sugar coating his life. He is struggling with the same things all PD patience do. How he chooses to channel the frustrations and the optimism that keeps him truly living his life should be inspirational to anyone living with an incurable diseases or who's been touched by in with friends and family.

Michael J Fox is young enough that the hope for a cure in his lifetime could actually be a possibility. Either way he should be an inspiration for many.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Some books are actually better in the CD version, such
as ALWAYS LOOKING UP--written and read by Michael J.
Fox . . . I say that because while I imagine it is a fine book to read,
I do believe that you'd like it even more if you heard it like I
did . . . that way, you get to actually hear Fox' voice, which
will bring back memories of why you liked him so much (think
FAMILY TIES, BACK TO THE FUTURE, etc.)

Yet this is not a book about his show business career, though
there are bits and pieces about it that are thrown in . . . rather,
it is an update of his earlier book: LUCKY MAN . . . since
that was published, the author has not regularly appeared on the
screen . . .he instead has undertaken become an incurable
optimist, becoming perhaps this country's leading activist
for a cure for Parkinson's Disease.

I was touched to learn how Fox manages to get through
his daily life, made increasingly difficult by his illness . . . yet you
don't get the feeling he is complaining about what has happened
to him . . . he just does what he has to do, yet a lot
more as he has also gotten involved in both politics and
the running of the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

There's also information about how his situation has affected
his wife and children (in many ways, it seems, in a positive
fashion) . . . and, of course, the trademark Fox wit shines
through when he throws in such one-liners as this one:

* Keep the fight clean and the sex dirty.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written
Michael J FOx has written another great book. He has inspired millions with this disease through his stories, hard work, intelligence and talent. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Bookworm
4.0 out of 5 stars Political, Medical & Humorous. I love MJF
I'm writing this review from my smartphone, so it won't be as long or thought-out as it deserves. But I just can't wait for the computer. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Jen Marceaux
3.0 out of 5 stars Loved his story of how he dealt with his illness
Could not get into the whole book. Loved his story of how he dealt with his illness. Took a lot of courage but after that is was pretty dry.
Published 28 days ago by Jeanette Hunter
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool book
Cool book. Inspirational.
Published 1 month ago by Amanda
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
I really can say I enjoyed this book.
However, he goes more in depth about his political life in this book than is covered in Lucky Man. Read more
Published 3 months ago by A.
4.0 out of 5 stars A positive and uplifting MJF
Being basically a “Child of the eighties,” most people couldn’t help but watch Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future or the TV sitcom, Family Ties. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Alan C.
4.0 out of 5 stars personally relevant
As someone who has a family member struggling with an incurable illness the stem cell issue was personally relevant. Read more
Published 4 months ago by SnowBall_Champ
3.0 out of 5 stars Dated and Slow, but Still Worth It
I've wanted to read this book for years. In fact, I purchased my copy at Borders before the company went out of business. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Christina
4.0 out of 5 stars An add-on
Michael's first book was better; this one seemed to project a "filler" profile. All in all, still a good read.
Published 5 months ago by iaminthevineyard
5.0 out of 5 stars Go TEAM FOX!
I found his writing both artistic and inspiring as my husband was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's. The book and Michael's story of his experiences resonate in our own. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Heidi Long
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More About the Author

Michael J. Fox is best known today for his hit Channel Four sitcom Spin City that he also produced. In the eighties he became an international mega-star, first through TV shows such as Family Ties, then through the record-breaking Back To The Future movies.

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