Be Different

  • by John Elder Robison
  • Narrated by John Elder Robison
  • 6 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The author of the New York Times best-selling Look Me in the Eye returns to help Aspergians, and even ordinary geeks, embrace being different and fix the things that hold them back in life.
With his usual honesty, dry wit, and unapologetic eccentricity, John Robison argues that Asperger's is about difference, not disability. In this book he offers stories from his own life and from the lives of other Aspergians to give the listener a window into the Aspergian mind.
Equally important, he offers practical advice - to Aspergians, their parents, and educators - on how Asperians can improve the weak communication and social skills that keep them from taking full advantage of, or even recognizing, their often remarkable gifts.


What the Critics Say

"An essential guidebook for anyone who has difficulty fitting in. It will help all the creative, quirky, geeky, and wonderfully different kids to become successful in life. This book is fantastic." (Temple Grandin, author, Thinking in Pictures)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

You have to BE an Aspie to see the full value

For many years, I lived like so many, feeling NOT NORMAL but not knowing why. Once I realized why, I began to understand more and more about myself, and just HOW I am different. I am not sure anyone except those of us who live it can fully appreciate just what the author is describing here. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone, if only to broaden the readers' views on a world many may not even know exists. It will open your eyes to just how such a brilliant mind can be hidden inside a troubled boy. Mr. Robison is different, not just in how his brain works, but in his ability to turn his difference into such an asset.Even at my age, even I found inspiration and hope after this book. For someone 50 years younger, the potential is wonderful, if only so they can come to understand the nature of their difference and learn to not blame themselves along the way. This is the kind of book one will want to buy to share with others. Look/listen closely to Mr. Robison's description of how he saw/heard the sounds from the mega-amps, watching and understanding the sounds through all the senses, then turned that incredible insight into a musical/magical instrument. There is some depth in his perceptions at that moment that many will not recognize ... don't miss it.
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Interesting but not fulfilling

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Interesting read, good performance by the reader. This book has nice stories about the author's use of his Asperger manifestations into becoming a success. While I liked the stories, I was looking for more practical applications for my Aspergian, which the book was a little short on.

Would you recommend Be Different to your friends? Why or why not?

Probably not. I was not looking for an interesting story, I was looking for practical ideas for Aspergians, which this book did not provide

Have you listened to any of John Elder Robison’s other performances before? How does this one compare?


Did Be Different inspire you to do anything?

It incorporated a few god ideas which I'll try to apply

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- Francois M.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-22-2011
  • Publisher: Random House Audio