A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future...: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future...: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned

Michael J. Fox / Sep 23, 2019

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned Michael J Fox abandoned high school to pursue an acting career but went on to receive honorary degrees from several universities and garner the highest accolades for his acting as well as for his wr

  • Title: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future...: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned
  • Author: Michael J. Fox
  • ISBN: 9781401323868
  • Page: 181
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Michael J Fox abandoned high school to pursue an acting career, but went on to receive honorary degrees from several universities and garner the highest accolades for his acting, as well as for his writing In his new book, he inspires and motivates graduates to recognize opportunities, maximize their abilities, and roll with the punches all with his trademark optimism,Michael J Fox abandoned high school to pursue an acting career, but went on to receive honorary degrees from several universities and garner the highest accolades for his acting, as well as for his writing In his new book, he inspires and motivates graduates to recognize opportunities, maximize their abilities, and roll with the punches all with his trademark optimism, warmth, and humor In A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future, Michael draws on his own life experiences to make a case that real learning happens when life goes skidding sideways He writes of coming to Los Angeles from Canada at age eighteen and attempting to make his way as an actor Fox offers up a comically skewed take on how, in his own way, he fulfilled the requirements of a college syllabus He learned Economics as a starving artist an unexpected turn as a neophyte activist schooled him in Political Science and his approach to Comparative Literature involved stacking books up against their movie versions Replete with personal stories and hilarious anecdotes, Michael J Fox s new book is the perfect gift for graduates.

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    About "Michael J. Fox"

      • Michael J. Fox

        Canadian American film and television actor His roles include Marty McFly from the Back to the Future trilogy 1985 1990 Alex P Keaton from Family Ties 1982 1989 , for which he won three Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award and Mike Flaherty from Spin City 1996 2000 , for which he won an Emmy, three Golden Globes, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards He also starred in Doc Hollywood and Secret of My Succe s and the lead voices in Disney s Atlantis The Lost Empire and in the film Stuart Little and it s sequel.Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson s disease in 1991, and disclosed his condition to the public in 1998 As the symptoms of his disease worsened, he retired from full time acting in 2000.


    1. This was an OK book. I picked it up from the new release shelf at the library because I'd recently heard MJF's interview on NPR about this book, and it was a wonderful interview (so good that I stopped what I was doing to just sit & listen). If you listened to the interview, no need to get the book. Already covered. It's really one of those "Life Lessons" books you might give to a new graduate. In fact, one gets the impression it is a commencement speech in print. I really enjoyed the last c [...]

    2. I loved the title of this book and the cover art. I like Michael J Fox and this was an autobiography of sorts. I say 'of sorts' because it wasn't like most of the autobiographies I've read. It wasn't about his life and his struggles, especially with Parkinson's. It was exactly what the subtitle says it is, "Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned." It was a pep talk filled with his life lessons. This was a very positive book. So 3 stars.

    3. Saw this at the library and as a huge Back to the Future fan, I simply couldn't resist and I needed a little break from my usual mystery/thriller/horror fiction anyway. This little volume is easy to read and geared toward recent high school graduates. I enjoyed all the references to the movies and Michael's opinions on literature. I found it rather insightful :-)

    4. I've forgotten some of what this book was about. But I remember while I was reading it that I was surprised to find out that Michael J. Fox dropped out of high school. He did get his GED later on. It's a very short book, in which Fox gives little tid-bits about his life. His goal was for the reader to get whatever they wanted to out of his experiences without outright trying to tell you exactly what to do. It didn't really work for me. It wasn't that he did tell you what to do, just that I could [...]

    5. This little memoir by actor Michael J. Fox is marketed as a gift book for a new graduate, but anyone who grew up with him will enjoy it. First of all, he is nothing like Alex Keaton. Far from an over-achiever, he dropped out of high school to go to LA and pursue a career in acting. Because he was successful, he didn't even get his high school equivalency diploma until his middle age. Till then, though, he was learning the lessons of life, and he summarizes them in this short book. His years of p [...]

    6. This is a short book of memoirs and learning Michael J. Fox received after he dropped out of high school to pursue acting. It's primarily addressed to people around the age he was when he dropped out and college kids. Fox is supportive of higher education (pointing out that there are far more success stories of college grads than high school drop outs, particularly in today's younger adults), but lets us know that learning doesn't just happen in a class room.There is humour here, naturally, but [...]

    7. This is a pocketbook I wish Michael had elaborated like his 400-page award-winners. His fantastic writing is en forme in "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Future". I was again swept away by intelligent, creatively-phrased nuggets that somehow maintain his anecdotal and wholly colloquial style, slang and all, as only Michael J. Fox can graciously do. The only reason it took four bedtimes to pour over this wonderful excursion of 2010 is because I have been celebrating my birthday week-end! [...]

    8. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future reminded me strongly of Steve Job's 2005 commencement address at Stanford. Both of these men chose not to pursue higher education. They both also found, through their own meandering ways, fulfilling, purposeful, and powerful lives that were rich in meaning for themselves and those who were fortunate enough to fall in with them. I don't think that the messages of "find your passion and live it", "keep learning even if you're not in a classroom", and [...]

    9. I bought this after listening to Always Looking up, by Michael J Fox. I recommend listening to this one first, I didn’t.This is a great book and I absolutely love Michael J Fox; however, Always looking Up included a lot of the same stories with more detail. This is a short read/listen; my husband and I listened to it on a short drive through the country a few counties over so it was the perfect length.Overall, I like the book and rate it with 4 Boundless Stars.Bethboundlessbookreviewsfacebook/ [...]

    10. this is a very quick easy read. Michael J. Fox wrote a book of lessons he has learned in his life. It read like it could be intended for a graduate or a commencement speech.I have always liked Michael J. Fox. he is honest and humble about the mistakes he has made, such as not managing his finances very well when he was starting out as an actor. to his experiences with Parkinson's disease. a nice quick read. not too deep thinking of a book but decent read.

    11. 3,5/5. Un livre qui n'est pas mauvais, mais très loin de ce à quoi je m'attendais. Je pensais lire un livre sur la maladie de l'auteur et son parcours à travers elle, alors, bien qu'on aborde le sujet, qu'on parle surtout d'éducation et de l'importance de celle-ci dans la vie d'un individu. Les idées sur l'éducation et l'importance de celle-ci malgré un succès financier qui peut la rendre «inutile» aux yeux de certaines personnes pourraient être inspirants pour un public adolescent po [...]

    12. This book is intended for graduates and I thought the message would be more of a happy, feel-good source leisure reading. But right from the beginning, he tells us this is not going to be an advice book and you don't need a book to tell you what you need. I found it an interesting biographical summary of his educational background, foray into acting and embrace of his medical condition - none of that an easy path and so it didn't quite strike the right note in terms of my expectations. Funny thi [...]

    13. A short book from Michael J. Fox that is full of advice from his life experiences. I listened to this on audio and it was narrated by Fox. When I hear his voice I think of my three favorite Fox characters: Alex P. Keaton (Family Ties), Mike Flaherty (Spin City), and Marty McFly (Back to the Future). I find his advice honest & sincere. I even got a little choked up when he talked about his friend/mentor Gary David Goldberg. I just wish this book was available about 30 years ago. :)

    14. A book this slight doesn't merit a lengthy review, so I won't bother. Not that I'm bitter; this is the kind of thing somebody stuck for a gift buys at Hallmark as a last resort -- I got it from the library. But still, why bother to publish in hardback a 3X5 hundred-pager if you're not going to include primary-colored Snoopy cartoons?I picked this up on the strength of an NPR interview with the author. Is there anyone unfamiliar with Michael J. Fox? He rose to fame in the role of young Reagan ent [...]

    15. I have had a crush on Michael J. Fox since my teenage years so I just had to read the book. It was great hearing his perspective on life and the cards he has been dealt through the years. He learned some very important lessons that every young man or woman should take heed to on their journey in life. Even though he is a famous movie actor, he started in a very middle class situation and even experienced poverty for a time in his life. He learned that if you choose not to go to college for an ed [...]

    16. Having been born in the 80s and having grown up with Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, Alex Keaton and seeing him in other films to seeing him live with Parkinson's Diseasewhen I saw this book on the shelf at the library I picked it up to see what it was about. This itty bitty "memoir" styled book of lessons was an itty bitty inspirational glance into life. Was it life changing? No, but it was a delightful little book. There were some really great quotes that I really absorbed and enjoyed.Here are [...]

    17. 1. Genre: nonfiction2. Awards:none3. Grade level: high school4. Use in classroom + activity:I would give this book to my students who are going through a difficult time in life, no matter what it is. This autobiography by Michael J. Fox not only gives students a character to relate to, but also a role model because he is an amazing actor, founded the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Disease research, and has gone through struggles just like a regular person. I will have my students refle [...]

    18. This book may have been intended as a gift book for graduates, but there is something here for everyone. In a straightforward manner, Fox shares with us the ups and downs he experienced when he first was out on his own. We learn what worked, what didn't, and what he might have done differently, had he only known. With a touch of humor, Fox, a high school dropout, illustrates clearly how he learned about economics, physics, political science, literature, and geography all while trying to succeed [...]

    19. Thank God this hoverboard didn't stay aloft for long. Cause it is hard to kick oneself while aboard. It is not that the book is terrible, or anything like that, but I expected more memoir and less cliche-filled instructional manual, organized along college-level course offerings and life lessons, such as they are, from Hollywood. Fox is a wonderfully comic actor who contributed to many well-loved television shows and movies, and he seems to have managed well the tough hurdles that have been thro [...]

    20. This was really good -- short and sweet anecdotes from someone with amazing perspective on life. It's meant for young people, HS and college grads, to get a grip on what they may face in life and to be prepared to encounter situations that you can't control and just have to work around or accept. Unfortunately, as I read it, I thought of the phrase "Youth is wasted on the young." I would bet that the simple wisdom in this book will go over the heads -- or in one ear and out the other -- of young [...]

    21. This little gem of a book is set up to be a message to a graduate, either high school, college or any other right of passage. Michael J. Fox relates how his real life experience may actually work out to be the equivalent of a college education. There are chapters on Physics, Geography, Economics etc. Much edgier than Dr. Seuss's "Oh, The Places You'll Go" and laugh out loud funny I think it will be included in my gift to the next person I know who graduates.

    22. A quick and easy read. If you want more details on his life, read his other books. The best part of the book was part 4. I usually find "optimistic" celebrity outlooks/preaching annoying, but it seems to be different coming from Michael J. Fox. It was actually somewhat inspiring. He is still funny and humble and I may even have to read his other books. Also could be a good book for a recent graduate. It really is a graduation speach.

    23. Michael J. Fox's "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future" a small yet with powerful context which he explains his sruggles as an actor and his work on the TV series and the movie Back to the Future in (1985) he then further explains the economics of the acting buisness. His book looks at its desriptents of his life and lifstyle.His strong, bold choice of words makes his book grab your attentionHis writing is reletivly scientific and fantastic to read.

    24. Another memoir from Michael J. Fox that is charming and insightful, this is a pleasant little book. "Lucky Man" and "Always Looking Up" were much stronger in presentation and impact than this short book, but Fox wasn't trying for the same kind of power. He set out to make a nice book of life lessons and advice to the graduate, which is exactly what he did in a very satisfactory way.

    25. When he is asked to address graduates, faculty, family and friends at commencements Michael J. Fox opens with a question: “What the hell were you people thinking? You are aware that I’m a high school dropout?” And I’m glad I got this from the library, and not bought it or was given it. It’s a pleasant enough way to spend an hour or so, but this autobiography/ advice book isn’t much else.

    26. I was always a fan of Michael J. Fox shows growing up so reading this book was both enjoyable and surprising I never realized he was not a high school graduate. Not a particularly exciting read but I loved it!

    27. Read this book in one sitting. Reads like a commencement address to a graduating class. Some great advice on how to live a good life. If you have read his other two books, there is no new information. Makes a great graduation gift.

    28. Mainly aimed at young people starting out in the world, I still found it an interesting book. He has good insights into what is important in life.

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