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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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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  • 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 March 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not that good

    He is a great guy and has been through alot but... to be honest I found myself trying to stay awake while reading this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Heart filled, moving forward through a disability

    I found this to be a very moving book about Micheal's life. Ejoyed but sad in many areas. I believe that his views are in the right light!

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    Good book, drags a bit here and there, but generally worth reading

    This is definitely not "Lucky Man," so if you're looking for another installment by Michael J. Fox that chronicles the life of a celebrity, look elsewhere. This book is based on his dealing with illness, and his fight to support stem cell research as the ultimate solution to Parkinson's Disease, and other maladies as well. He may very well be right about that (I happen to agree), but even if you don't feel that way, this book is worth reading. It's full of facts on the stem cell issue, and very revealing about how it feels to work within "the system" to try to get something important done. And for those tabloid thinkers out there, it contains a few obligatory stories about his experiences behind the scenes with other celebrities. His memories of Christopher Reeve and Muhammad Ali are wonderful and inspirational.

    I was led to believe the book is about optimism as a lifestyle (see title...), but I think that was incorrect. If you're looking for a book about adopting optimism as your primary motivator, this isn't your book. I kept waiting for the title to play into the text in a thematic way, but it never really did. Bad writing? No, not really. Expectations and preconceptions from the Oprah show? Yeah.

    In my opinion it drags a bit within the "politics" section of the book, but slog through that and you will find a worthwhile read. I liked it, even though it wasn't what I was expecting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2009

    the show was far more inspiring.

    having trouble getting through it.

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  • Posted May 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A heartgripping story for the author in his state of health

    I find ALWAYS LOOKING UP to be a true layout for it's subtitle, The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist.

    Considering the obstacles that he, Michael has to endure - with Parkinson's Disease - provides a "hands on" reference point for his explanations of "his new life, even though he was pretty happy with the old one."

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  • Posted May 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Incurable Optimist

    "Always Looking Up" will be a good read for those interested in the life of Michael J. Fox, Parkinson's Disease, or a great example of someone persevering through life's challenges. I had not followed Michael J. Fox's career since the "Back To The Future" trilogy so I found this book interesting in that the author outlines his life and challenges that occurred throughout - both personally and professionally. Very revealing and interesting look at a famous actor turned bestselling author and Parkinson's Research advocate. Although I am not in agreement with all presented ideas, I did find some solid information and an engaging story.

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  • Posted May 4, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Okay, but not great......

    His first book was much better. Although I have always been a fan of his, I do believe this dragged a bit, especially the political part. It seemed a bit disjointed and all over the place at times.

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    Posted April 3, 2012

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