This book, and Jon's work in general, has helped to reinvigorate my interest in the world around me. My life was in no way dull before this, but was certainly lacking a kind of appeal that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Knowing that there are others out there, others not deeply entrenched in the academic or medical fields,who have an interest in the opaque world of psychopathy makes me feel as though I've found a home, or at least a firm footing.
Absolutely enjoyed it, even more so than "Them." You really get a feel for the people. Also, appreciated his candor.
An adventure by second hand means into a closed door of monsters. It's one of the most important books in history covering a topic that effects the global.
If you know nothing about what defines a psychopath (supposedly 10% of us are) then read the last 15% of the book. If you understand the basis of a psychopath (that many CEO and successful business people actually score the same as serial killers) then don't bother.
The book has lots of details and reads like a novel which is great except it's suppose to be telling you about the Psychopath Test. Well it doesn't do this until the end, last 15% of the book.
I wanted to like it and can't saying, this is interesting but what does it have to do with the story...or this is boring does this have anything to do with the story? It did not until the end. It could have been a 1 hour book. The ending was ok, it told me things I already knew about "psychopaths" so it felt like wasted time.
Trying to support 1) the comparably smaller non-fiction selection and 2) the few here that are not misinformation. Got mind? Use it.
Jon Ronson narrating a Jon Ronson adventure is highly recommendable. Gonzo journalism at its wildest: crazy events with vivid detail about a fascinating topic.
As always Mr. Ronson cleverly weaves informative background information into his twisting-and-turning narrative. So, you get some exposure to psychiatry and "psychopathy" during your wild ride down in the trenches of the madness industry.
This is clearly not meant to be a textbook; concise systematic review is neglected as the author hurls you right into the action. But it is nonetheless insightful, and you will find the experience most enjoyable.
I had the sense that I was along with the author during his research.
The surprises - I never knew what to expect.
If you read this book, you'll be able to spot the next con artist to cross your path.
Tony, the unwilling, "sane," madhouse inmate, has all the ingenuousness and charm of your favorite cousin, but he probably is, as Ronson surmises, a psychopath. Despite that, you want to let him loose to find out for sure. Maybe he's not. Maybe he needs someone to care about him. Psychopaths depend on the rest of us thinking like that.
Inductive, anecdotal, hearfelt
I really wanted Tony to be freed, simply because I don't know how sane people would convince the gatekeepers in a madhouse of their sanity. As Ronson goes to bat for Tony, the frustration of the struggle is clear and affecting.
Ronson's organization is inductive, which is counter to the style of most nonfiction works: however, as he launches into each anecdote, he creates a personal connection to the subject in each one that makes me interested in whatever point he is attempting to make. And, miracle of miracles, each discussion leads very naturally to the next anecdote. It's like hanging around with friends, telling stories about quirky co-workers.
I was excited for The Psychopath Test based on the topic. Unfortunately I found it difficult to understand and choppy for the most part. There were too many loose ends for me to feel complete at the book's end. Sadly I was disappointed.