60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Title For An Enlightened Gentleman
'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...
Published on April 4, 2009 by Peter Thomas Senese - Author.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Politics???
As a person who is currently fighting her way back from a brain injury (TBI), I thought this would be a wonderful book. I was very much looking forward to it actually. Boy, was I let down! Sorry Michael, I must not be as big into the politics as you are:( I thought it was going to be more about being optomistic. You can see why I thought that surely with the title of the...
Published on November 5, 2009 by Lindsay
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Title For An Enlightened Gentleman,
'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.
90 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book on a Number of Levels,
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.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great follow up to "Lucky Man",
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.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Always Looking Up is a book not about Fox's career, but rather an update of his earlier book Lucky Man.,
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.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book,
This review is from: Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist (Paperback)
I am a fan of Michael J. Fox as an actor, I've shied away from his two books because I did not see eye to eye with his politics. This changed my opinion, I would totally support stem cell research now thanks to this book. Although still far from being on the Liberal band wagon, this book greatly changed my views on a lot of things.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Politics???,
As a person who is currently fighting her way back from a brain injury (TBI), I thought this would be a wonderful book. I was very much looking forward to it actually. Boy, was I let down! Sorry Michael, I must not be as big into the politics as you are:( I thought it was going to be more about being optomistic. You can see why I thought that surely with the title of the book. He's a very good person doing very good things for others with problems. I just wish he would write a book about that instead!!!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Optimism, Integrity, and True Celebrity,
In "Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist", the follow up to his original bestselling memoir "Lucky Man", Michael J. Fox--famous for starring in hits like "Family Ties", the "Back to the Future" trilogy, and "The Secret of My Success" among other successful roles included in his lengthy acting resume--explores the last decade of his life according to themes that are most important to him: Work, Politics, Faith, and Family. As someone who has maintained a high profile despite a very public battle with PD, Fox comes across as an inspirational, strong, and intelligent role model as well as a symbol of hope for people fighting debilitating diseases. In his newest memoir, Fox describes leaving "Spin City", founding the Michael J. Fox Foundation, becoming a political activist for stem cell research, obtaining faith in the face of life-changing circumstances, and raising his young family despite fear that PD would prevent him from becoming the husband and father he wanted to be. True to his faith, Fox tries to be optimistic and even has a humorous commentary on otherwise grim events. Despite no longer being a working actor, except occasional guest spots on TV shows, Fox's life is still a whirlwind of activity. An especially entertaining part of the book is Fox's various celebrity encounters--such as his and Robin William's cheering of Lance Armstrong during his second victory of the Tour de France, Fox's comedic infomercial with Mohammed Ali, his sad relationship with Christopher Reeves, and his candid interview with Katie Couric following radio host's Rush Limbaugh's controversial statements. Fox also shares some deeply personal childhood memories, experiences raising his children, and becoming accustomed to his new post-acting lifestyle. Overall, Fox comes across as extremely likeable and painfully honest about his daily struggles. Referring to his height, he jokingly notes that it's not about the size of the dog but about the size of the fight in the dog. And the size of the fight in Michael J. Fox is certainly impressive. His foundation is currently number one in private funding for Parkinson's research. As a public figure, Fox does not hide behind his condition but is doing everything he can to beat it. He confesses his involvement in politics was solely to support the passing of federal funding for research against debilitating diseases like Parkinson's, to hopefully one day cure them--something practically impossible during the last eight years due to the strict laws in place. Fox's courageous efforts to live his life to the fullest and persevere in the face of frequent obstacles are closely documented in this book, which is hard to put down. Michael J. Fox's integrity deserves to be applauded and his inspirational book should be a highly enjoyable read for anyone struggling with life's circumstances and trying to find the strength within to carry on.
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring is an understatement,
As someone diagnosed with the neurological disorder Cerebral Palsy shortly after birth, it is always refreshing when I encounter a life lived according to gifts rather than limitations; Whether you are a fan of his movies or not, most should be able to acknowledge after reading this book that in the years since his diagnosis, Michael J. Fox has gained more than he has lost. A terrific, timely, and immensely uplifting read.
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I am befuddled.,
I love MJF and respect his work. But I just couldn't get through this book. I found it disjointed, hard to follow, and confusing. It seemed to jump around in space and time, and I couldn't get a handle on a continuous thread. I put it down halfway through the "Politics" chapter. I would have appreciated a primer on stem cell research to help make everything make sense. Instead he jumps right in with politician names, scientific details, and no explanations.
It would have been better if he just focused on one thread (his personal experiences, the timeline, his foundation) and used that as the structure for the story. Instead, it went all over the place and I got lost along the way.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, as always...,
I read "Lucky Man", and I was fortunate enough to be in the audience of the Oprah Winfrey Show recently when MJF was the guest. He's always articulate, quick-witted and shows both humility and grit. I purchased his book yesterday and read it within a day. A class act, he continues to express gratitude to those who orbit his life on a daily basis. The immediacy of the need for stem cell research must be so urgent for MJF and others suffering from debilitating neurological disorders, but as always, he expresses no criticism for those who hold an opposing viewpoint - he only asks that you carefully consider his viewpoint as a valid one as well. Blessings to Michael J. Fox and may his good fight continue until a cure is found!
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Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist by Michael J. Fox