This is an insightful book. The narrator shares this in a very chilling way, conveying the creepiness of the subject matter well. The stories used as examples could be shortened though. I felt they went on a little too long, but did make their point. Prepare yourself before listening, it is truly chilling to ponder this information.
My reviews are honest. No sugar coating here.
We all have a little sociopath inside of us. Some more or less than others, but we all do. That being said, after reading this title, one might question oneself if they are a sociopath. This book was interesting to read because we all choose everyday on what is right, wrong, moral and immoral. We tend to justify our action by rationalizing our action before acting on it. We feel guilt by having a conscience and feel rewarded by doing the right thing, but yet, we draw the line at being a sociopath by having a moral responsibility. This book does a text book explanation and examples of a sociopath. The thought of being alone, having success through other means and being acting social, does not necessary us being in this category, but the lack of having a conscience does.
I found this short work fascinating, although not as fully developed as I would have liked. I would have found it more complete if there was more general discussion on how sociopaths fit into our culture to complement the vignettes.
I really enjoyed this book because it included stories consisting of composites from the author's career; lists of characteristics of sociopathy and its consequences to help me organize the field mentall; and strategies for detecting and addressing sociopaths. As a bonus, the author included surprising information about people in combat, people in more general chain of command scenarios, and she hints at how the study of sociopathy can help the rest of us understand what it means to not be a sociopath.
Now for my criticisms. Worst of all, Stout's other books are not in audio format. As for this book, more stories or case-type examples would have been fascinating. I would prefer more stories and analysis - like sleuthing with Professor Stout brilliantly leading to the ingenious professional insight - than long discourses on theories. But this is not a dry text book, so when I listened to it, I really enjoyed all of it, though those stories made me want more.
author of books for teens and children
This book was scary to listen too, but very engrossing. It ended on a somewhat hopeful note. It helped me understand my former coworker, a classic sociopath who killed his teenage sons before killing himself.
As this book opens, most people will question whether they are a sociopath... after all, who doesn't lust for power and think they know everything? But as it goes on, the psyche of a true sociopath becomes more and more insidious. The narrator does the manuscript of this book justice by speaking clearly and naturally. It is a delight to listen to in the car and in the office... even if it makes me question the sanity of my co-workers.
We have all run across those people who were just not right. Some of us have to deal with them. This book is an important read for all of us because it helps us understand what we are dealing with.
The book is primarily a presentation of composite characters from the author's practice. Although somewhat entertaining, it doesn't discuss as much of the science about psychopathy as I would have preferred. The recording was difficult to listen to, with the narrator's inflection based mostly in volume changes rather than pitch. Words at the beginning of sentences were spoken much louder, trailing off at the end of sentences to something almost inaudible. And every 2nd or 3rd word was punctuatued with higher volume. It was almost painful to listen to at times, whle other times I struggled to hear. Quotes were even worse; while some narrators use a slightly different voice to indicate a quote, this narrator uses a breathier, lower voice. Very difficult to hear! One other comment about the recording: when a phrase seems completely disconnected from the text around it, it is a heading. No pause, no change in voice; just a disconnected phrase that the listener soon realizes was a section heading thrown between sentences.
I found this book to be extrememly interesting. A reminder that we are all different in ways that can't be changed in some cases. I found the cases very interesting with in depth information in an interesting way. It was hard to stop listening. Shelly Frasier had the voice to set the tone of the book. I would highly recommend for those who find themselves saying "But why would someone do that?" as I often ask. Ever run into a person that exhibits such anti-social behavior without blinking an eye? Wonder why there is no shame from peoples despicable actions? After listening to this book, I think you will understand why.