Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist by Michael J. FoxGrowing up, my favorite movie series was Back to the Future. I watched it countless times as well as the tv cartoon spinoff. The characters Doc and Marty were ingrained in me, and I rooted for them to defeat Biff Tannen on their adventures through time, cheering, singing, cringing along the way. The movies hold a special place for me because in Part II, director/producer Steven Spielberg claimed that in 2015, the Cubs would win the World Series in a sweep. Ok, so they won the 2016 World Series in seven games, nearly giving me a heart attack in the process, but before it happened, I referred to Back to the Future Part II as a crystal ball, giving me hope for the future.
Hopeful is the word that one would use to describe the movies young star Michael J Fox. Diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease at the relatively young age of twenty nine, he has not let the disease define who he is. He grapples with it and the effects of the medications he takes on his body, but he is what he refers to as an incurable optimist. This book is not about Back to the Future although references to the movie make cameo appearances. It is not even officially about Michael J Fox, the Parkinsons patient, but about how he has made his Parkinsons diagnosis into a blessing, giving him a new lease and focus on life that he might not have had if he were not diagnosed.
As far as celebrity memoirs go, the writing is above average. I do not expect more or less from the prose as the majority of celebrities do not list writing as their profession. What this memoir does is uplift the reader into thinking that anything is possible. Having children post diagnosis and leading them through life, piece of cake. Michael and his loving wife Tracy are the parents of Sam, Aquinnah, Schuyler, and Esme, the three girls born after Michael was diagnosed. Founding the Fox Foundation and leading it to be the worlds leading source of funding for Parkinsons research, no problem. While Michaels celebrity has contributed to the foundation activism, he has remained genuine, and the Fox Foundation marches on, whether advocating for stem cell research or to find other cures for the millions of people who grapple with Parkinsons on a daily basis.
This memoir is full of what Fox refers to as his Forrest Gump moments as he mentions Muhammed Ali, Christopher Reeve, Lance Armstrong, and countless other celebrities. Fox has been a loving parent, son, sibling, and husband, and his foundation marches on. While I have missed Fox the actor, he has turned out to be an even better person, and I do hope that his foundation assists science in finding a cure for this disease. Always Looking Up became a fun, uplifting read and a worthwhile one at the that. For as Marty and Doc broadcasted in Back to the Future countless times, just because one may be afflicted with a life affecting diagnosis, you are the sole determinant of your future.
4 sparkling stars
Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again.
Rosemary Ellis: In your new book, Always Looking Up, you write that, ironically, you had to quit your day job to do your life's work. How did you realize that was your life's work, and where are you with it right now? Michael J. Fox: Well, the first part of my life was to be an actor and maybe have some success at that. Then [it was time] to find somebody to be in a relationship with and have a life that way. Because of Parkinson's, I had to change: How can I be of service here? Is there something unique to my situation that I can use to help people?
See a Problem?
Accessibility Contact Privacy Terms. Disability Information Publications. Fifteen years after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, Michael J. Fox tells his personal story of how he turned his challenges into opportunities in his new book, "Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist. Fox book Fifteen years after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease , Michael J. Fox tells his personal story of how he turned his challenges into opportunities in his new book, " Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist. Struck with Parkinson's, a debilitating, degenerative disease, at the height of his fame, Fox has taken what some might consider cause for depression and turned it into a beacon of hope for millions.
There are many words to describe Michael J. Fox: Actor. But readers of Always Looking Up will soon add another to the list: Optimist. Michael writes about the hard-won perspective that helped him see challenges as opportunities. Instead of building walls around himself, he developed a personal policy of engagement and discovery: an emotional, psychological, intellectual, and spiritual outlook that has served him throughout his struggle with Parkinson's disease.