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Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism | [Ron Suskind]

Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism

This is the real-life story of Owen Suskind, the son of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind and his wife, Cornelia. An autistic boy who couldn't speak for years, Owen memorized dozens of Disney movies, turned them into a language to express love and loss, kinship, brotherhood. The family was forced to become animated characters, communicating with him in Disney dialogue and song; until they all emerge, together, revealing how, in darkness, we all literally need stories to survive.
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Publisher's Summary

Imagine being trapped inside a Disney movie and having to learn about life mostly from animated characters dancing across a screen of color. "A fantasy? A nightmare?" This is the real-life story of Owen Suskind, the son of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind and his wife, Cornelia. An autistic boy who couldn't speak for years, Owen memorized dozens of Disney movies, turned them into a language to express love and loss, kinship, brotherhood. The family was forced to become animated characters, communicating with him in Disney dialogue and song; until they all emerge, together, revealing how, in darkness, we all literally need stories to survive.

©2014 Ron Suskind (P)2014 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (121 )
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  •  
    Tom T. Rumble 04-12-14

    Tom T. Rumble

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Life, Animated ... is Love, Animated *****"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Life, Animated to be better than the print version?

    You should be so lucky to get stuck on a long trip with Ron Susskind doing the talking.This isn't a Pulitzer prize winning writer simply reading his book ... it's a father sharing his family's story revolving around his autistic son Owen.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    At the center of the story is Owen, an autistic boy, trapped in his own mind with the only door the Wonderful World of Disney animation.


    Which character – as performed by Ron Suskind – was your favorite?

    Susskind breathes life into his son Owen and takes us on a journey revealing the hidden world of autism.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    This book will make you laugh ... and cry ... but hearing Owen tell his own story at the conclusion is profound.


    Any additional comments?

    5 stars ***** ... a gifted writer tells an intimate family story about a very special son and an army of sidekicks who hold on to him as he fights to connect with life outside his mind ... "Life, Animated" ... is Love, Animated. 5 Stars *****

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea F. 03-07-15
    Andrea F. 03-07-15
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    "More proof that stories can save us"

    Thank you! As the author explains, this book is not about Disney, per se. It's about a family's love and how stories (many provided by Disney) can give us a way in, and many ways through, life's challenges.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Drew Gliebe 03-05-15
    Drew Gliebe 03-05-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Amazing"

    I cannot use language strong enough to describe how amazing the insights are within this book. I was encouraged through tears and forced to look truthfully within myself and my family and face the realities of living with and raising an autistic child. If your in my situation or are any way aquatinted with an autistic person, you owe it to them and yourself to read this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Latham, NY, United States 02-08-15
    Leslie Latham, NY, United States 02-08-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Heartwarming story told at a snail's pace"
    What did you like best about Life, Animated? What did you like least?

    The best thing about this book was also the worst. I loved hearing the story recounted by Owen's father (and Owen) but Ron speaks extremely slowly. At hour 8, I was surprised to see there were still 5 hours to go; it certainly seemed like I'd been listening far more than 8 hours.


    If you’ve listened to books by Ron Suskind before, how does this one compare?

    Never heard him as a narrator before.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Ron Suskind?

    I don't think anyone could have told his story as well.


    Could you see Life, Animated being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Not really


    Any additional comments?

    A lovely story of a loving family.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon Rosenman, OTR/L 12-14-14
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    "Inspiring!"
    Would you listen to Life, Animated again? Why?

    I loved to listen to how this loving and creative family change their lenses to see the world thru their son's eyes - Owen offers lessons for us all.


    What about Ron Suskind’s performance did you like?

    He was a great narrator - he is a story teller and he is telling a story that is near & dear to his heart.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommend this for everyone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Ebert-Santos 08-27-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Teachers parents doctors"

    As a pediatrician I will be recommending this book to you. I will buy a copy for my friend a special Ed teacher. Inspiring. Hopeful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Ashburn, VA United States 08-21-15
    Amazon Customer Ashburn, VA United States 08-21-15 Listener Since 2007
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    "Amazing. Best experienced on audible."

    This book was beautifully written and very insightful. It is a must listen on audible. The actual author doing the voices paints puts you right in those same moments with his son.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan Minnetonka, MN, United States 07-29-15
    Alan Minnetonka, MN, United States 07-29-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Has anyone else experienced a technical problem?"

    My download stops cold exactly 13 minutes into part 1 and freezes my iPod mini. Has anyone else experienced that problem? The backend team at Audible can't find anything wrong with the file.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Altadenamom Altadena, CA 07-22-15
    Altadenamom Altadena, CA 07-22-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Enlightening, Inspiring"

    Journalist and author Ron Suskind has given us an amazing gift by searching and finding hopeful life meaning in the midst of providing family memoir of raising a child with severe autism. This is a truly exciting story with breathtaking moments of unexpected deep insight from a mostly non-verbal child. Fantastic performance by the Pulitzer-winning author/father, complete with some spot-on impersonations of colorful Disney voice actors' characters.....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 06-02-15
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 06-02-15
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    "A work of art"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Life, Animated to be better than the print version?

    Definitely! The author narrates his book, and he reads it as a performer, but more importantly as a father. Owen's reading at the end was terrific too!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved how it treated Owen's family as complex people, making mistakes and learning from them. It was moving and complex, and I loved every minute of it!


    What does Ron Suskind bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    he reads it as a father, a man who loves his wife and his sons, with humour and sadness and hope.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Both in places! I cried when Owen lost his voice, and jumped for joy when The Little Mermaid gave it back. I feared for Owen when Ron and Cornelia realized they needed to better prepare him for the messiness of life, but also not overstimulate him.


    Any additional comments?

    Read this book! It is the story of autism, yes, but more importantly, it is the story of a family.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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