I've had this book in my library for a long time and am glad that I finally got a chance to listen. This was an immensely interesting book about quantifying and categorizing behaviors so that names can be given to a spectrum of mental illnesses. Ronson takes us on a journey through some of "the madness industry" - who can be classified as a psychopath, can children have Childhood Bi-Polar Disorder? We are given no specific answers, but lots of "food for thought". Ronson's voice is unique and it took me awhile to be comfortable listening to him again (I had heard him narrating "The Family Portrait"), but I ended up enjoying his style - it made the book more intimate and personal.
Have listened to this many times. Love Jon Ronson and love all of his work. This book is no exception. He does a fantastic performance as only one who was there could do. Love it when the authors read their own books and Jon does a remarkable job.
Highly recommend all of his works.
A former globetrotting surf punk turned homeowner with ecclectic tastes. Classics, horror, crime, biographies or lectures? Yes please!
This explores all aspects of the "madness industry" in very interesting ways. It transcends the simple conspiracy theory nonsense that "all THEY want to do is medicate people for profit" and actually looks at how the diagnostic categories were derived, shows how people with certain conditions are used by media and industry (both to their detriment and ours) and how unscientific some attempts to respond to the mentally ill have been.
I found the narration to be quite enjoyable, as it allowed the pleasantly quirky disposition and inner thoughts of the author to come through. This was both fun and thought provoking.
Say something about yourself!
Ever wonder how credible people could get sucked into conspiracy theories? Read this book, and you'll find yourself asking exactly the kinds of questions that could qualify you for tinfoil hat territory. And yet... it's really difficult to dismiss the connective tissue presented here. From serial killers to sexual deviants to sociopaths and beyond, Jon Ronson asks honest questions in search of honest answers about the nature of what it means to be a psychopath and who qualifies, and those answers will probably mess with your head. It certainly messed with his, and that's a big part of the intriguing nature of this book.
As an investigative writer, Ronson is top notch, going where angels might fear to tread, and this book is solid in relating those misadventures. His narrating style is very calm and often one-note, and it takes some getting used to, but at the same time he still keeps you engaged with the material.