To me, reading this book was like plunging into cold water with its shocking revelations about the number of sociopaths that are out there affecting our lives. The descriptions and details give a clear and sometimes frightening glimpse into the mind of the sociopath. Most of us have no clear idea what a sociopath really is and how to recognize one although we often think we do from things we see in movies and the press. The author's research and clinical experiences lend a great deal of credibility and the writing is excellent. It never feels like sensationalism. As I listened, I began to see how some of the people I have known are probably sociopaths and many things I didn't understand about my experiences with them suddenly seemed much clearer. I highly recommend this book. It has helped me in dealing with some of the people that were enigmas in my own life. The narrator did an adequate but not masterful job in my opinion but my wife thought the narration was excellent.
This was an OK listen, but not overly insightful. If you've seen a half hour docco on sociopatha, or even read superficially online about them then you'll probably have the same amount of info as this book gives you.
I wouldn't recommend it.
You would imagine that what is basically a textbook about sociopaths would be boring, but this book never was. It explained a lot of what has happened in my life and helped me come to terms with why there never seemed to be a WHY when certain people did things I couldn't understand.
Also helped me realize I am not one! Ha ha!
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.
I don't write book reports.
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.