Funny, You Don't Look Autistic

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

Book Review: Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic: A Comedian’s Guide to Life on the Spectrum by Michael McCreary.  A book about a young comedian who also happens to be autistic?  I just had to read and review this one.
 
Title: Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic: A Comedian’s Guide to Life on the Spectrum
Author: Michael McCreary
Publish Date: March 12th 2019 by Annick Press Ltd
# of Pages: 176
Buy it: Find on Amazon
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
My Rating: ★★★★☆ I loved it, and would recommend it to others.
Add to your TBR List: ADD TO GOODREADS

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Why I Picked It Up: I requested this as an Advanced Review Copy (ARC) from Netgalley.  As some of you know, one of my twins was diagnosed as Austistic this year and I am craving to read anything I can get my hands on.  A bonus that this was a comedy and from the perspective of someone on the spectrum I had to read it.  

The Official Summary (from Netgalley)
Like many others on the autism spectrum, 20-something stand-up comic Michael McCreary has been told by more than a few well-meaning folks that he doesn’t “look” autistic. But, as he’s quick to point out in this memoir, autism “looks” different for just about everyone with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Diagnosed with ASD at age five, McCreary got hit with the performance bug not much later. During a difficult time in junior high, he started journaling, eventually turning his pain e into something empowering—and funny. He scored his first stand-up gig at age 14, and hasn’t looked back.

This unique and hilarious #OwnVoices memoir breaks down what it’s like to live with autism for readers on and off the spectrum. Candid scenes from McCreary’s life are broken up with funny visuals and factual asides. Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic is an invaluable and compelling read for young readers with ASD looking for voices to relate to, as well as for readers hoping to broaden their understanding of ASD.

What did I think about Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic: A Comedian’s Guide to Life on the Spectrum?
I received this book as an advanced review copy (ARC) from Netgalley thanks to the publisher Annick Press Ltd.  

I really enjoyed this book.  Of course I have a very personal reason, given that my daughter is autistic, but I think this book would be enjoyable for anyone.  So much of my current knowledge of Autism is from talking to parents, and not actually talking to people who are Autistic themselves.  I think that was truly why this book was a treasure.  It’s helps me to understand a little more, even if Michael is not at all like my daughter Sadie, but it’s still something.  

Michael shares about his life and experiences with humor, which of course isn’t often connected with autistic individuals.  This is both refreshing and encouraging and really something I needed.  Sometimes you find a book, sometimes they find you.  

So, what didn’t I like? 
I wanted more.  Michael is still very young, so the book only goes into his early 20s, because that’s how old he is!  I really liked seeing his personal growth and how he came to understand things about himself.  

A huge thanks to Annick Press Ltd and Netgalley for approving me to read this book and sent me a copy to read and give my honest review.  Reading this book meant something to me and I appreciated being given the opportunity.

I would love to keep seeing more from Michael McCreary.  I’m not sure if we’ll see more of his books, but I find him inspiring.  I would just like to see more about him and his success.  

See review on Books and Sassy Lilacs here:  https://booksandsassylilacs.com/book-review-funny-you-dont-look-autistic/
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A great memoir of growing up autistic. Michael McCreary is excellent at explaining the intricacies of autism and the many ways in presents, both in his own life and in others'. I found the audiobook version, which is narrated by the author, to be engaging and easy to follow. I highly recommend this book.
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Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic was written by Michael McCreary.
Summary: This book is about Michael. He is Canadian, a comedian, a brother, a playwright, a former improv student, and he is autistic. Throughout this book, Michael shares his story of growing up-and how things look from his side of the stage.
My Thoughts: I enjoyed this book. I found it funny, heartwarming, and at times a little heart-breaking. Overall, it was a great mix of learning about life from Michael’s perspective with bits of wisdom and humor thrown in for both neurotypical and autistic alike. I would recommend this book for anyone who has ASD, or anyone that would like to learn a little more about what it is like to have autism. Oh, and anyone who wouldn’t mind a good laugh now and then! 
I would like to thank Annick Press Ltd. for providing me with a free digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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This is a great book to read for people with and without autism. It debunks stereotypes and does so in a way only a stand-up comedian can. I recommend this to everyone because they can learn about what it's like to live with autism and have a few laughs along the way.
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Incredibly funny and educational. This is a fantastic comedy book, but would also be great for those wanting to learn more about Autism but don't want to sit through a non-fiction or textbook type read.
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This book was both funny and educational. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to have a better understanding of autism but also doesn't want to read a super serious book about it.
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Canadian comedian Michael McCreary found an unusual niche in the world of stand-up comedy: the autistic comedian.  (You can see his performance schedule at https://www.aspiecomic.com/.)  In Funny, You Don't Look Autistic: A Comedian's Guide to Life on the Spectrum, McCreary talks about his life on the spectrum and on the stage.



More than a memoir or biography, more than a book of humor, more than a primer on autism, Funny, You Don't Look Autistic contains all those elements.  McCreary writes about his diagnosis at age five, and the experiences that led to the gradual realization that he was destined for a career in comedy.  While he does write about his own diagnosis, as well as about his brother's, he makes it clear that he's not writing a "comprehensive and detailed examination of autism and its myriad workings in the brain."  He said that if that's what you want, put this book down "and pick up something that wasn't written by a comedian."



That said, his accounts and descriptions of his struggles shed light on autism.  He writes, "Having autism is like having too many tabs open on a computer.  Or more accurately, it's like trying to surf the web without an ad blocker.  Every time you click on something, another window pops up."  One of his big struggles, like many with autism, is social interactions and awkwardness.  He describes rehearsing conversations he anticipates having; many of his interactions are scripted, in a sense.  He says "awkwardness might be the defining emotion of being on the spectrum. . . . People told me I would grow out of my awkwardness once I reached high school . . . I'm still waiting."  (McCreary is in his early 20s.)



As he embarked on his stand-up career, many of his gigs were for groups of autistic people or advocacy or parent groups.  He was told repeatedly how inspirational he was.  "At eighteen, I didn't want to be inspirational; I just wanted to be funny."  But he came to see and appreciate the value he brought to his engagements when he heard comments like, "You gave me hope for my kid."  He came to understand that "An advocate can be a carefree prankster, and comic can be a deep-thinking philosopher.  Your job does not define you."



Despite his protestations, McCreary is inspirational and informative.  What a great advocate for people with autism, demonstrating that one need not hide one's disability, nor should one hide behind it.  He has used his gifts and embraced his struggles to make a niche for himself in his chosen career and in life.  I enjoy reading McCreary's story and am, yes, inspired by him.  (But, to be sure, he made me laugh a lot, too.)





Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!
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This fills a hole in YA literature, with an author who has autism explaining how it affects and has affected his life. He uses humor to relate to his readers. Readers both on and off the spectrum will appreciate this.
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I loved reading this book! 

First, I appreciate that Michael states upfront that this book should not be used to speak for all autistic people. It is *his* lived experience. The book is a memoir, but he does bust some misconceptions about autism and talks about the way that people perceive and talk about autism in a way that felt like a lot of what I, as an autistic person, have been trying to say but have felt like I wasn't saying properly. 

Michael's experience was funny, and it had a lot of relatable moments that I laughed and/or cringed at. He talks about people taking advantage of his misunderstanding of social cues, how to stand up to bullies, and other important things for an autistic person or their friends and family to hear about. 

Although I have not tried to be as out there as Michael, I have tried to use my own experience with autism as an opening to educate people, and, as part of that, I have recommended books. I will be recommending this book to the people I've talked to, and if you're interested in reading someone's experience as an autistic person, this is a hilarious and well-written example.
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An inspirational story of an autistic comic. Amazing book. I'll be buying copies of this as gifts all year long. 

Many thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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Michael McCreary's memoir about growing up while navigating both the usual growing pains of youth and adolescence and the added difficulties related to his autism is done with heart and humor. In my job I have worked with children from preK though high school who have diagnoses of autism and I could see aspects of many of those students in Michael and his friends. As a school psycholgoist I also appreciated when Michael reminded the readers that they may see some parallels with their own quirks and behaviors, but that did not necessarily mean they have autism. Even the diagnostic criteria in the DSM-V is worded so broadly it could apply to just about anyone, so this reminder to think about the level to which those behaviors impair their life and to seek out a professional opinion is important.

His honesty about not necessarily wanting to be "insprirational" just because he is autistic was a good reminder of how often we do that to people with any kind of disability (the show Speechless did a great episode about this topic).

My favorite chapter was the one about Temple Grandin - his interactions with her were funny and an example of how it is not always a terrible thing to meet our heroes.  My second favorite part was when he was comparing what someone says with what they mean, especially the "No offense..." part - I did once have to talk with a student about how just because she started a sentence with "No offense" didn't mean what she was about to say wasn't offensive or rude.

As with all memoirs you have to keep in mind that you are only getting one side of the story and it would be interesting to see if the people he had negative experiences with in school have a different take on the events in the book and/or how they view their actions now as adults. Children can be cruel without even realizing they are doing it (partly from a lack of social skills and empathy themselves). I would also be interested in reading a book from the perspectives of his parents and older brother.

I think there is something for everyone in this book. For adults (parents and teachers) there is insight into what goes on between children and teens when they are not around which they can use to help prepare children and students for situations they may encounter. For neurotypical teens and young adults there is an explanation of why someone with autism may do some of the things they do and say some of the things they say (and will hopefully lead to more empathy and understanding on their part). For other people with autism there is the reminder that they are not alone in their experiences. 

My only caution for this book is that (as Michael explains early on) this is the experience of one person with autism and cannot necessarily be applied to all people with autism. And although he was able to overcome a lot of obstacles and pursue his dream career does not mean that others with the same diagnosis will be able to as well. Michael and many of the representations in popular culture he mentions are people who would be considered to be on the higher funcitioning/less severe end of the spectrum, but there are many on the other end of the spectrum that are not able to write their own story and are not represented on tv shows or in movies.
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Amazing book! McCreary takes you on a ride that will make you laugh but also understand a illness that we don't know alot about because each person is so different when it comes to autism! Thank you netgalley for the free arc in exchange for an honest review!
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Funny, You Don't Look Autistic is one of the best books I've ever had the pleasure to review. I am Mom to a 16 yr old on the spectrum and was diagnosed at 39 as being on the spectrum myself. There are hurdles, stresses and heartache to figure out but it also IS funny, particularly peoples reactions to the label of autism. Michael McCreary is a talented writer and hilarious besides. It gives my Mom heart help having a positive outlook for my sons future and great comedic material when someone says, "But you can be autistic, you're 44 and can talk!" Thank you Michael for keepin it real.....and really funny.
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I’m a former teacher of students on the autism spectrum, so I was quite interested in reading this memoir from McCreary. He gives an insider’s view that those outside the spectrum may not know or understand. It was interesting to have that glimpse into McCreary’s life and a different kind of “normal.” This book is insightful, well-written, and humorous. The author helps the reader understand what makes him tick. If you are on the autism spectrum, or know someone who is, this is a good book to check out. It could be a helpful resource for parents and teachers.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.
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As someone who is on the autism spectrum, this book had some personal meaning for me. Michael McCreary is a 22 year old comedian who is on the spectrum and has already become an recognized speaker on the subject a Now he has written a book and while all his experiences might not always mirror the typical experiences of someone on the spectrum, he definitely describes situations that Aspie's might find themselves in. I think that most interesting thing that people can identify with is the conversations that take place inside his head as he is trying to come up with something to say to the person that he is talking to.

Overall, an easy read that I really enjoyed. 
This book was provided to me from NetGalley for free for an honest review.
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This book is a sharing true story by Michael McCreary regarding his life with autism - showing us that being on the spectrum is a dispfferent kind of “normal.”  His story is insightful, humorous at times, and revealing,  it is well written and can be a help as we try to understand what makes us all tick.  I would recommend it for anyone who knows (or might at some point know) someone on the autism spectrum.  Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I normally don’t read much non-fiction, but on the rare occasion a title jumps out at me. This time, a book jumped out at me because of the author.

Michael McCreary and I became friends several years ago as I have always been a film geek (and was in film school at the time) and he was dressed as Patrick Bateman. We hit it off right away and I’ve never felt better about things than I do when spending time with someone as bright and funny as Michael. When I saw in a Facebook ad that one of my favourite people had written a book about his life and experiences with having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) while being a comedian, I just knew I had to get my hands on it.

The way this book is written is exactly the way Michael talks. He has a very specific way of speaking that just wraps you up in whatever story he is telling you and is more than capable of making you laugh. The chapters are episodic glimpses of his life and experiences regarding solving the puzzle that is telling the difference when someone is being mean or actually telling a joke, or even dealing with being a performer in general. Broken up by colourful “soundbite” quotes and little charts or descriptions about stereotypes or helpful tips for others who have ASD, the book almost feels like a magazine article/interview rather than a book which not only feels like the better way to visualize the narrative, but is also very much Michael.

You may be thinking I am biased given that Michael is a very dear friend of mine, and I probably am. That being said, I was not just approaching this as Michael’s friend but also as someone who – although not neurotypical – does not have Autism, I found this to be rather insightful about something I am not ashamed to admit I don’t know very much about.

This book will be available in early 2019 and I really hope that people, whether autistic or not, pick up this book. I feel it could be a very useful tool for parents, teachers, or even children to understand ASD whether they have been diagnosed themselves or have friends/family/classmates who have been diagnosed.

I am so proud of Michael’s hard work and am so thankful I was able to get my hands on the ARC.
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This book is an honest look at what living with autism is like, good and bad.  I work with autistic students and found this to be a great read and I learned more about my students’ struggles.  I think everyone should read this to better understand the struggles those with autism face.
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Funny, You Don't Look Autistic by Michael McCreary is a memoir about a young comedian who was diagnosed at an early age with Autism and it is brilliant. I think the best thing about this book is how utterly honest it is. Within mere moments, readers are able to truly get to know the author almost as though they had spent a fair amount of time sat down conversing with him. Michael McCreary has a lot to say and much of the world has a lot to learn from him.

The book begins with Michael, young and undiagnosed, and takes its readers on a journey through the ups and downs of growing up atypical in a world full of neurotypicals. Filled with humorous jokes, Funny, You Don't Look Autistic educates readers in a way that I think will leave them wanting to know more and maybe feeling a little more empathetic than before. Understanding, after all, breeds empathy. And what better way to develop one's understanding of a person and their experiences than from the person themselves.

I deeply enjoyed the learning experience that came alongside this book as well as having the ability to join Michael in his journey growing up on the spectrum. At times, you almost feel as though you're moving alongside him as his life continues, a rather remarkable aspect to the novel considering the fact that he attended film camp on several occasions and is even developing a documentary of sorts.

An insightful and real look into a young man's life as he navigates the world and raises awareness about an important topic that is very close to him, this book is definitely one I would recommend to everyone I know. While it's certainly not the most comprehensive book about autism, and people should certainly read more on the subject, the strides this book achieves are quite impressive and well worth reading.

I was provided a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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