Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Michael J Fox- Always Looking Up

Oh.My.Goddess. And warning... this post may ramble... and have split infinitives.

Okay, I know I have a book blog where I keep a list of books I've read this year (to date 56) and I've tried to refrain from posting book reviews here on "shoes/purses" because not everyone is the bibliophile I am, but... there's always a BUT.

I'm listening to the new Michael J. Fox memoir Always Looking Up and it is incredible. First I want to say that everyone should do this. And as an English teacher at heart, I canNOT believe I'm going to say this, but you must must must LISTEN to it on audio rather than read the paper version. There, I said it. Hang on, I need to chug some of my Cosmo before I continue...

Yes, you must listen to it on audio rather than read it- buy it, check it out from your local library, iTunes it, whatever, but I first say listen to it on audio. Fox himself reads this memoir and that adds to its incredible-ness, I think. And I know I rant and rave about the evils of audio books and that yes, I am experimenting with the concept myself this year- and Fox's book makes it all WORTHWHILE!!!!!!!!!

This is inspirational, funny and charming. It's real. The focus is on his family, faith, work and politics. He talks about his Parkinson's in a real way, matter of factual. He's strong and his story is moving. He's human. Since he was 17 years old he's been in Hollywood and when he talks of his friends and family, they are Hollywood people. He does name drop but not to emphasize his importance as a Hollywood player, but because that is the life he's lived. And he looks at his experiences that fame has allowed him and is still humbled by many of them. He has his own heroes- Lance Armstrong, Christopher Reeves and Muhammad Ali, to name a few.

He started a PD foundation and the goal is/ was to not be an endowment, but to spend every damn dime to cure PD. That's it- he makes no claims to be a scientist or an expert or anything as such, but he wants to have a cure and that's the goal and purpose of his foundation, which I think is amazing.

I'm only about a third of the way through the book, but I want to say how moved I am, how touched I am. I've been a fan of Fox since I was a kid. No, I didn't have a TV crush on him, but I just liked to watch him on screen. Even though he was the annoying Alex P. Keaton in Family Ties and I didn't like his character, I still liked watching him on screen but as a kid I never knew why. I've admired his career, the twists and turns it's taken through TV and film and back and forth. And I cried when I found out about his PD. I read his first book Lucky Man, and have since followed his career with a more keen eye- I admire his jump into politics and for taking the bull by the horns to fight for a cure to a disease that affects him, as well as millions of others. He doesn't use his fame as a bully pulpit but he does tell it like it is.

So, listen to him read his book. There is something special, the lilt, the uncanny ability to strike the right chord, the tonality that conveys more than just words or a message, the sounds of the pages turning as he reads, the crackle in the voice or the rushed speech- it's real. BUT, and there's always a but... there's a spirit of a lucky man who is Always Looking Up.


Beth Dunn said...

Oh my gosh you will love LF! It is so pretty there. I miss it. xoxo

Shan said...

Great! I'll reserve that sucker when my library gets it in! Oh my, I hadn't heard someone say they were opposed to audiobooks before but I knew you were out there ;). I usually have to admit when I say I've "read" a book, if I in fact actually listened instead. I do feel a little guilty because my spelling is starting to suffer these days (a side effect of audio "reading"). The thing is, they are awesome for getting housework done!! I can totally unload the dishwasher and escape into my book at the same time and not feel the pain of the mundane. It's teriff. But, I can see where you would disapprove as well.
I love MJF too. He used to remind me of my brother as Alex P.K. I admire him as well.

Maggie said...

Beth- keep your fingers crossed for me, please! :)

Shan- I'm trying out audiobooks this year and I've listened to several. i've found it's a little freaky to drive the car and hear a love scene or a big shoot out scene in a thriller- I about wreck by looking at the dashboard, staring- LOL.

And I'm becoming less "opposed" to audio books because I think it's a way to at least get people interested in reading!

As a teacher, I used to have my special ed. kids listen to the classic novels and follow along and made life much easier for them!

And as for MJF- this is a powerful listen. I'm so very glad I found it on audio- wow. just wow- glad you are gonna check it out! I hope you like it as much as I do!

The Pink Tutu said...

This sounds like a great book with a great message!