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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful (again)
If you haven't treated yourself to Ronson's work, you owe it to yourself. I first stumbled upon his writing in a bargain bin where I picked up 'Them' for 2 dollars. I am hard-pressed to think of a better-spent two bucks from any point in my life. Fortunately for me, I was able to pick up 'The Men Who Stare at Goats' immediately after reading 'Them' and found it equally...
Published on June 1 2011 by Daniel Kelly

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heavy topic, light delivery
I was really looking forward to this book before its release. In a sense I wasn't disappointed - the writing is clever, funny, sometimes shocking. Clearly, Ronson is in the right business, because his book reads like a masterpiece. I couldn't put this book down. Unfortunately, form and content don't always match up, and I've got to say that this is the case with the...
Published on July 18 2011 by Harrison Koehli


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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful (again), June 1 2011
By 
Daniel Kelly - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry (Hardcover)
If you haven't treated yourself to Ronson's work, you owe it to yourself. I first stumbled upon his writing in a bargain bin where I picked up 'Them' for 2 dollars. I am hard-pressed to think of a better-spent two bucks from any point in my life. Fortunately for me, I was able to pick up 'The Men Who Stare at Goats' immediately after reading 'Them' and found it equally engaging.
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.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Heavy topic, light delivery, July 18 2011
By 
Harrison Koehli (Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry (Hardcover)
I was really looking forward to this book before its release. In a sense I wasn't disappointed - the writing is clever, funny, sometimes shocking. Clearly, Ronson is in the right business, because his book reads like a masterpiece. I couldn't put this book down. Unfortunately, form and content don't always match up, and I've got to say that this is the case with the Psychopath Test. I don't think Ronson was the man for the job of dealing with what is probably the heaviest, most disturbing, and most socially relevant topic of modern times. But I've got to give credit to Ronson for even attempting to tackle it. He gives a lot of page space to his conversations with psychopathy expert Robert Hare, and I think his appearance on Jon Stewart's show when the book was released was the first time ever that the words "Psychopaths rule our world" were uttered on national television.

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., given his premise that "psychopaths rule our world", that they migrate to positions of power, especially in corporations, why couldn't he see the connection between the "Al Dunlaps" of the economic/corporate world and psychiatric/pharmaceutical drug-pushing world? That that is the reason for this push to label normal people "mentally ill" and keep us and our children drugged up, sick in mind and body, while the truly ill are the ones reaping the benefits?

And why didn't he follow up on his thoughts in the section on David Icke, where he wrote: "All that talk of snakes adopting human form reminded me of a story I once did about a conspiracy theorist named David Icke, who believed that the secret rulers of the world were giant, blood-drinking, child-sacrificing lizards who had shape-shifted into humans so they could perform their evil on an unsuspecting population. I suddenly realized how similar the two stories were, except in this one the people who spoke of snakes in suits were eminent and utterly sane psychologists, respected around the world. Was this a conspiracy theory that was actually true?"

I think Ronson's book would've packed a whole lot more of a punch if he'd checked out some of the current research on the topic, like Martha Stout's The Paranoia Switch, Barb Oakley's Evil Genes, and especially Andrew Lobaczewski's Political Ponerology. The last book mentioned is the story and conclusions of a group of Eastern European scientists who battled enormous odds to research this subject. Most of them "disappeared" or were arrested, tortured, and/or killed by the regimes under which they lived. If you want to know what is happening on this planet, do check it out. It will blow your mind (it did mine!).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, April 13 2014
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This was an out of the ordinary book for me. Very well writtin, with many facts I've never taken into consideration before.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and Informative.....however, April 2 2014
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I liked this read. I just started reading this booked and did not stop till it was done. The only issue I have is I don't think reading this book would make you an expert at being able to identify a psychopath. It does however create an awareness as to why some people behave the way they do. I would recommend reading this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well written!, Oct. 9 2013
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This review is from: The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry (Hardcover)
Not what was expecting, but a pleasant surprise. Learned a lot, but it read le a novel-not as the guide-book I thought i was ordering. Very absorbing!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling, June 5 2013
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The reader will find themselves drawn in and learning with Jon every step of the way. A wonderful read that will shape the way I look at the people around me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!, March 18 2013
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This book is amazing! I would recommend it to anyone who finds human behaviour interesting. Jon Ronson writes with such clarity and humour to make any subject interesting and fun to read about.
I read it in 1 day while travelling, and then both my parents and my friend read it on our vacation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, informative and humane look at a tragic mental illness, Feb. 10 2013
By 
Len (Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
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The psychopath test is checklist created by Robert Haynes to determine the degree of psychopathic behaviour likely to be exhibited by the individual taking it. Score too high in the wrong circumstances and you could be institutionalized for an indeterminate period of time. This is what happened to Tony who Jon meets at the Broadmoor psychiatric hospital. Much like McMurphy in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Tony sought an easier period of incarceration by convincing psychiatrists that he was crazy. The problem for Tony was that his original sentence of eight years turned into over 12 inside the mental institute. Mr. Ronson's very entertaining book flows from one story to another held together by the precarious thread of madness. His exploration of the subject begins with a piece of investigative journalism requested of him on behalf of neurologist who’d received a copy of the book “Being or Nothingness” written anonymously in a code she and others who'd received it believed could be deciphered. Mr. Ronson's first task was to find the author. This individual did not turn out to be the brilliant creator of puzzles, Douglas Hofstadter, but a little known psychiatrist from Norway. No discernable meaning could be discovered from the book because there was none to be found which got Mr. Ronson to wondering. This unknown Norwegian had managed to bring together a group of disparate individuals with little in common except the possession of this book. Mr. Ronson’s hypothesis was that madness was a stronger motivator of human behaviour than its alternative, sanity. Could person’s of psychopathic tendencies be prime drivers of change? In order to pursue his research further, he gets trained in the administration of the psychopath test. He postulates on the possibility that merciless entrepreneurs and CEOs could also be psychopaths and so, in his pursuit, he meets real psychopaths and those on the edge. What results is both entertaining and informative even though the thread of the narrative can be weak at times.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting read!, Jan. 14 2013
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Tunfæsk (Narvik, NORWAY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry (Hardcover)
Hard to put the book down, finished it in 4 days (too fast because then it was over!...).

Interesting stories, interesting research, interesting interviews. On top of all that it's a very well put-together story. Captivating!

Definitely worth a read, but beware, it may have you "self-diagnosing" (unqualified) psychopaths by the time you're through.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Page turner, July 16 2014
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Jennifer A Soucie (Iqaluit, NU, Canada) - See all my reviews
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I found myself drawn in by the writer's natural approach in this book. I didn't feel quite as uneasy reading it as other books on the topic.
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The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry
The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson (Hardcover - May 17 2011)
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