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Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist Hardcover – March 31, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 294 customer reviews

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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"FIVE STARS The book is funny, beautiful, informative and poignant. Read it" Sunday Express --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; First Edition edition (March 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401303382
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401303389
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (294 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #285,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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