The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry Hardcover – May 12 2011
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“Because of Ronson’s relentless self-deprecation and goofy, British humor, it’s easy to tag along without fully realizing the rigor of his reporting, which is itself frenzied with compulsive questioning and obsessive research.” -- The Boston Globe
“A rollicking, page-turner of a book... no ordinary piece of investigative journalism… Ronson’s storytelling skills are strong enough to enliven even the necessary reflections that would be one yawn after another if entrusted to a lesser writer.” -- San Francisco Chronicle
“…A book that manages to be as cheerily kooky as it is well-researched.” -- Los Angeles Times
“Engagingly irreverent…” -- New York Times
“[A] fascinating and humane book…” -- Washington Post Book World
“…Both terrifying and hilarious.” -- O, The Oprah Magazine
About the Author
Jon Ronson’s works include The Amazing Adventures of Phoenix Jones, and Them: Adventures with Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats—both international bestsellers. The Men Who Stare at Goats was as a major motion picture, released in 2009 and starring George Clooney. Ronson lives in London.
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Top Customer Reviews
Ronson does not disappoint in this, his third effort. The book draws the reader in from the first page and does not relent until the final. The fact that Ronson suffers from anxiety issues makes his dealings with psychopaths all the more interesting. There were moments in my reading when I literally felt chills go through my body (read the part on the Haitian death-squad leader).
I can not recommend this book highly enough. I encourage anyone who enjoys a well-told true story to invest in this tale. You will not be disappointed.
But, while Ronson provides a quirky, witty account of his interactions with some probable psychopaths, that's pretty much all there is to his book. Instead of realizing the seriousness of the subject he was writing (not to mention the fact that people have been hunted and murdered for following this line of research), he makes some odd twists and turns, basically ending the book without actually answering the questions he set out at the beginning. His logic is tortured at times, and he builds arguments based on premises that are refuted by the very people he interviews, sometimes just pages earlier. (For example, his defence of "semi-psychopaths" and conflation of psychopathy with mental illness, which "Professor Maden" tried to explain to him earlier on.)
He also missed the opportunity to make some pretty big connections, i.e.Read more ›
Ronson asks the questions, "What does it mean to be a psychopath in today's society?" and "How do psychopaths differ from other human beings?" and answers them by travelling the world talking to different experts on the subject. He even goes so far to befriend a man in a mental facility accused of being a psychopath.
Ronson truly does offer a unique view into the world of psychopaths. The one problem I have with this book, however, is that I expected it to focus heavily on psychopaths in positions of power in today's world; people in the government, top tiers of business corporations, and in the media. Although he does address these questions somewhat, and does talk to a few people regarding this, he doesn't delve into it in nearly as much detail as I had hoped.
Overall, a very intersting read, but I would love it if he dove further into the idea that many people in power may possibly be psychopaths.
I would recommend this book to anyone, especially someone with an existing interest in psycholoy, medicine, and power.
Most recent customer reviews
Bought this for my wife. She was a little resistant at first but has been fascinated by it.
I read it before her and found it amazing. It is an excellent read.
a big chuck of the book was verbatim from this author's TED talk which I watched first, so that was kind of a disappointment. All the good parts of the book I already knew about.Published 4 months ago by pinkandpurple
Scary, scary, scary. I ended up thinking of past bosses and am pretty sure they would fit the psycho profile.Published 4 months ago by janice
Much more than a book about psychopaths. It's a look at the whole "madness industry" where, it seems, every human behaviour has to have a diagnostic label. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Trevor
The first Jon Ronson book I read. I couldn't put it down. I will no doubt be reading anything else he puts out.Published 7 months ago by D. Florek
This is a very strangely written book. I would not reccommend it to anyone.Published 11 months ago by Eliza Forbes
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