I can't tell if the book is supposed to be a non-fiction examination of things or a novel. It's just the author talking about meeting a few people. But not really looking at the entire "industry" of doctors, drug companies, hospitals, and prisons that may or may not treat "mad" people.
And the "test" that the author examines is either useful or quackery. And the author doesn't say which.
The scenes with the Scientologists are fascinating.
I looked up the actual test online and critiques of the doctor who created it.
Thank God I'm not a psychopath.
Entertaining, Mildly Disturbing
Just when I thought he was pro-psychopath test (or anti) Ronson seemed to suddenly see things from a different perspective. This guy is not afraid to contradict himself.
Generally speaking, Ronson's Woody Allen-esque manner can be quite entertaining.
This is one test you won't want to pass... and one movie you won't want to pass up.
I think it is easier to accept how disturbed and unbalanced we have become by introducing the topic with a splash of humor. Thank God we don't take any of this too seriously...but maybe we should.
Definitely. So many interesting stories and so many interesting facts. I love learning about mental disorders.
This is why I said the book was monotonous, not because of the story, but because of the tone Ronson used at the end of each sentence. It happened so often! Anyways, it can be forgiven since it was such a great book.
When it moved me it was due to the frightening and grotesque tales of psychopathic behavior.
The irony. The information which came across as entertaining, funny and ironic yet sad all at he same time. I also love listening to him read. He's so dry and a bit self deprecating which makes him likable.
His true "voice". He helps the reader feel irony or sadness or whatever the emotion he's trying to convey, in the way he reads
Just loved this book. So much that I bought "Them" which unfortunately I didn't like half as much. Maybe the subject matter just didn't appeal to me a much as this book did.
Thanks to this book, I have a better understanding of what personality traits make for a psychopath diagnosis. Obviously, there are psychopaths among us, not only in prisons and mental hospitals but also in executive suites and government offices. This helps explain why corporations and politics are so dysfunctional. We have almost no philospher kings and too many psychopaths in leadership positions. Doubt much can be done about this situation. But after listening to this book I am no longer surprised at the crazy things CEOs and politicians do.
I love suspense, murder mysteries, psycho thriller books most of all! I listen when not taking classes for my masters degree.
gripping, enlightening and entertaining
The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout who he referenced in his book. Both books explored each deficiency using real people as examples and just trying to explain explicitly using theories.
I love audio books, fiction and nonfiction. I seem to be drawn to the Scandinavian writers and their narrators.
I liked the book - it held my interest. However, it cannot be taken as a book of complete facts. A lot of people in the industry take issue with it. That said, I did have a boss that would score high on the PCL! Interesting view of our corporate leaders.
Good not great.
I liked Jon's audio performance. Very easy to listen too.
It is very eye opening when he gets to talking about psychopaths and Robert Hare's criteria.
I liked the book but it could have been much better. It kind of wandered for me. From the title of the book, I thought I would hear more about psychopathy. I like how Jon took you on the journey of his investigation. However I wished he focused more on psychopaths and not on all psycholigical disorders. It was a good read but really made me want to read more about Robert Hare's criteria and what his thoughts were.
I can barely understand this guy through his accent and his tone is so condending. I love these phychology reads, but talk about making your skin crawl...
A surprisingly light-hearted tour of psych wards and psychopathy, no doubt due to viewing it through the WoodyAllenesque glasses of the author's own neuroses. An interesting cast of characters (including the author; I loved his reading), and though it's good to know that some of them are in prison, it was interesting and entertaining to hear them speak for themselves and to define themselves.
There was far less of 'the madmen at the helm' than I expected from the author's own initial statement that that thought was a primary motivation for the book. That insanity drives policy has surely occurred to us all. And that's a book I'd still like to read, but this is not that book. This one never strayed far from the premise of the title, which was 'the madness industry' and the actual test in current use for diagnosing psychopathy, the Bob Hare checklist.
There is much in the subject, and even in this book, to horrorify, but as I said, it's actually a very light-hearted read. If you're looking to delve into the real heart of psychopathy, this is not the book. If you wouldn't mind a tour of the neighborhood, though, Jon Ronson makes an amusing guide.