I am going to use the “I” word here – Toronto’s Michael McCreary‘s memoir is inspirational. And it’s laugh-out-loud funny, too.

McCreary is a 20-something stand-up comic who has penned a memoir titled Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic, A Comedian’s Guide to Life on the Spectrum ($14.95, Annick Press).

The book details McCreary life before he was diagnosed as well as his time after, including through elementary school and those awkward teenaged years. Throughout the book, McCreary pokes fun at himself, and fellow Aspies, while sharing great information about how people on the spectrum think and behave.

In his book, McCreary offers one of the best explanations I have heard about what autism is:

“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!”

McCreary talks about his parents and his siblings, including his younger brother who is also autistic, and growing up in Orangeville, a small town about an hour away from Toronto. He talks about some fabulous teachers he had, who allowed him to be the best he could be, and some terrible ones. We learn about McCreary’s love of movies and of making people laugh. We read as he hones his stand-up comedy skills, learns to stand up for himself (I read my son the part about self-advocacy) and sees opportunities he creates for himself along the way.

At one point in the book, McCreary talks about how people would come up to him after his shows and tell him he was inspiration and how he gave them hope for their own children.

I would have to agree. Funny, You Don’t Look Autistic is a fast and funny read, but it’s also important. The book shows the many faces of autism and it helps the neurotypical population understand a little more about people whose brains are wired differently from our own. Inspirational indeed.

A copy of this book was provided by Annick Press for an honest review.
The opinions are my own.

PS – I grew up near Orangeville and I must say it was pretty neat to see everything I know within the pages of this book. It certainly doesn’t happen that often.