Customer Reviews for

Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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 suc...
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.

posted by Alla_S on April 11, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

Not a book for Christian children to read

I bought the book with excitement and interest. I like MJF. His book is full of profanity and non Christian points of view. I was going to donate it to my school. I am a 34 year veteran teacher. Instead it went in the trash can. I do not want to be responsible for a chi...
I bought the book with excitement and interest. I like MJF. His book is full of profanity and non Christian points of view. I was going to donate it to my school. I am a 34 year veteran teacher. Instead it went in the trash can. I do not want to be responsible for a child reading a bio. with such language.

posted by Teacher34 on August 11, 2010

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Page 1 of 11
  • Posted April 11, 2009

    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.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 11, 2010

    Not a book for Christian children to read

    I bought the book with excitement and interest. I like MJF. His book is full of profanity and non Christian points of view. I was going to donate it to my school. I am a 34 year veteran teacher. Instead it went in the trash can. I do not want to be responsible for a child reading a bio. with such language.

    8 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2009

    Hoping for more...

    I love MIchael J. Fox. He is truly an inspiration, and his tireless work for Parkinson's is impressive. I was really hoping to enjoy this book more. A great deal of it is a detailed accounting of the political and fundraising aspect of his life. While I recognize this is, of course, a major part of what he does, I was hoping for more on the personal side of his life. The book is broken into sections, and I enjoyed the "family" chapters so much more than the "dry" political parts. His personality shines through, and you can hear his humor when he relates his feelings about his family! I would rate this 2-3 stars for the first 1/3 of the book, 4 stars for the rest.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2010

    LOVED this book!

    Inspiring, moved me to my core. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is facing obstacles in their own lives. Truly amazing read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2009

    Decent Read

    This is overall a good book. It got a little boring during the part where he discusses politics and stem cell research. I actually skipped through that part as it seemed to go on and on.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    How to make your life look like a picnic!

    I have always enjoyed Michael J. Fox; his command of physical comedy and comedic timing is still such a pleasure to watch as they live on in DVD and reruns. I was, likewise, extremely taken and cheered by the love story of Tracy and he. However, my enjoyment and admiration hit new heights after reading this amazing look at his life now. As his "new normal" was laid bare, page after page, I found myself impelled to put the book down and offer up a prayer, not for this incredible man, but for myself, asking that I may feel gratitude and thanks for the blessings I have been given. Anyone who feels they have been dealt a crappy hand needs to read this unflinching look at choosing one's attitude. The reader aches for Michael as he wakes each morning and begins the torturous journey to start his day. I will never again take brushing my teeth, showering or even putting on my shoes, for granted. It is incredibly easy to feel anguish for him, however, it is clear that he would welcome neither your sympathy nor your pity. Page by page, Mr. Fox peels away the public "Devil may care" impish grin that we have welcomed into our homes for two decades, replacing it with a maturity and strength that we hope never to need. I was especially touched that his decision to end his run on Spin City tortured him, not for himself, but for the miscellany whose lives would be affected by his departure.
    As a woman with many health problems that have led to bouts of depression and self sorrow, I found myself chiding my inner voice for its negative speak when this man is unable to even get out of bed or smile at a friend without forethought and tremendous concentration. This compendium should be required reading in every English class, in every school, especially now when disenfranchisement pollutes our world and the credo, "It's All About Me" prevails.
    Even more striking, to those of us who think of Marty McFly, rendering a primer for living in the moment, Mr. Fox's verisimilitude and command of the English language has allowed him to provide an intellectually stimulating read for those of us who savor the rich magic of words.
    May we all aspire to possess a fraction of the fortitude that Mr. Fox displays on a daily basis. Reading this book about his anguish and vexations, I challenge you to NOT find yourself looking at the world around you with a renewed sense of thankfulness.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2010

    Keeping Reality in Check

    On a daily basis, I seem to think about what is and is not hard in my life. This book really forces the reader to take a good look at, and probably redefine what is really hard and what is truly a challenge. I have always enjoyed Michael J. Fox, and this writing is no exception. This is not a poor, pitiful me book in any aspect. Rather, it is a brave and humorous book about Mr. Fox's daily challenges. The reader can not help but laugh out loud and marvel at his perserverance. This is definitely a pick me up and fix my atttitude kind of book. My mom read it in the hospital as she prepared for the painful and long task of rehab after knee replacement. It really made a different for her too. I definitely recommend reading this book cover to cover.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    this book was very inspiring.

    With all the challenges Michael has in dealing with Parkinsons I am inspired to deal with my disabilities with less complaining and more living.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2009

    Not as good as A Lucky Man

    I'm a Michael J. Fox fan and enjoyed this book. It is especially inspiring for anyone who has to deal with a chronic illness or disability. Very down-to-earth.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2009

    Michael is just amazing,very honest and upbeat person.

    I just loved this book, I have passed it on to some of my friends who are having a difficult time with cancer.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it and Love him

    Michael J. is an inspiration! I didn't read his first book I will have to get it. But this was really interesting. I grew up with Family Ties and have been a huge fan forever. But as I was reading his book I forgot about him as the hilarious big brother and was able to enjoy just getting to know the person. This is a wonderful book. Get it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2012

    Extremely Helpful

    I'm so thankful to Michael J. Fox for sharing his story. My mom was diagnosed with Parkinson's this year and she didn't get many answers from her neurologist about the disease. We found a specialist, but she had to wait two months to see him. During those two months, her symptoms were running full force and she was scared about her future. I bought my mom Lucky Man and Always Looking Up to help her realize she wasn't alone. My mom could relate instantly with so many things that happened to Michael. Though reading about the progression of his symptoms was tough at times, being more informed about the disease really helped her. I want to thank Michael J. Fox. My mom has never been much of an optimist, but he helped her become one. He not only showed her she wasn't alone, but with his fight for a cure he gave her hope for the future.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2012

    I recommend this highly...

    Fox picks up his inspiring life story where his first biography left off. The Parkinsons' diagnosis was explored in his first book; now, some years later, his tv career pretty much a thing of the past; he finds himself at the fore-front of fund-raising for stem cell research. His bi-partisan support of pro-stem cell research politicians puts him directly in the cross-hairs of Rush Limbaugh. Through all of these challenges, his loving family keeps him centered; and he finds an expanded and renewed faith.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Enjoyable Read. Challenges Image of Mr. Fox.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was challenged to reevaluate some of the preconceived ideas I had of Mr.Fox. On the whole, it did not change my opinion of him. Michael J. Fox is an American story (by way of Canada) and while I don't share all of Mr. Fox's political views, I celebrate his spirit. His spirit has been sorely missing from this country for a long time. This book describes Mr. Fox’s struggle towards his own personal goal, but I feel anyone who gives this book an opportunity will walk away reenergized to pursue their own.
    Good guy, good read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2011

    Was it me?

    The beginning of the book was great. Funny and inspiring. I tried really hard to get through the rest, but here it is over a year later and I just couldn't. I kept waiting for it to get better, but it never did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2011

    Wanted to like, but SO disappointed in this book.

    I would love to be able to say this book was a lot of fun to read. I've been a fan of MJF since 'Family Ties' and so I bought this book to learn more about him. I did learn more about him, especially about Parkinson's Disease and the MJF Parkinsons Foundation. But, had a hard time stomaching this book. MJF is, quite frankly, full of himself. He constantly name drops in this book. He knows a ton of other celebrities of course, and the stories in my opinion, are told to make MJF seem important. It just wasn't necessary. MJF also talks about how, on 9/11/, several security people who were employees of a friend of his, drove MJF from CA to NY so that he could be with his family during that upsetting and frightening time. I have no problem that he wanted to be with his family, but thousands (millions?) of other people could not be with their families that day, and so to me, to even talk about how he found some people to drive him across country, well that's arrogant. It angered me. Maybe it's just me but I was put out by this. I think the 9/11 story should have been left out of the book. Other stories in this book just seem to me to point to how MJF has sort an inflated opinion of himself. I managed despite my feelings to finish the book, but unlike other books--where you don't want them to end--I was glad I was done and felt disappointed that I bought the book at all.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2011

    recommended

    one comment was he sweared way too much for this to be in a school library, not so on the nook version.maybe 2 swears in the entire book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2009

    Must Read

    This book is so great. You really get a good understanding of Michael J Fox is going through and how he copes. He is such an inspiration to so many people. I am living with a family member with Parkinsons disease and got a better feel of the disease from him............

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2009

    Michael J. Fox is an amazing man.

    What an eye opening read about Parkinson's Disease and the battles that people face who have the disease. Michael J. Fox truly is an incurable optimist, it was good to have the opportunity to see his world, struggles and opportunities, through his writing. A very interesting book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2009

    Fox Reading

    I read the Lucky Man, and this also is very good. Have always loved
    watching his movies, TV shows, and intrest just in him. He's very inspiring, knowing what he goes through each day, and still living his life. (What choice do any of us have , but to live life to the fullest)
    I listened to the Audio,which is read by him. Bless you MJF.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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