I wish someone would answer the question arising every time I hear the author destroying all his/her excellent written work by narrating it: Is the author a narcissist or that strained financially to do something so self-destructive? Ronson, so talented as a writer, is terrible as a narrator with that SUPERSOFT sleep-inducing voice.
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My dad used to tell me, "The truth is stranger than fiction, Ange. You couldn't make this stuff up!"
My dad would love Jon Ronson.
Ronson is known for ferreting out strange people with strange beliefs or behaviors and exposing them to the world. He does it again in "Lost at Sea," a wonderful collection of tales about his odd encounters. Ronson makes himself a central character in all of his stories. He plays the good-natured skeptic who kind of wants to believe - the very role we imagine for ourselves in Ronson's place. His openness helps us empathize with his bizarre cast of characters. In the end, we, like Ronson, are a little bit better for having learned what they have to teach.
Perhaps the best part of this book is that Ronson himself narrates, and no one could do it better. Each emotion is clearly expressed through his lilting accent, which is at times quite hilarious. I've said it in previous reviews and I will say it again, you will want to talk like Jon Ronson for days after listening to his work because everything sounds funnier when you say it like Jon Ronson.
If you love the strange and bizarre, you will love this book. If you are a Ronson fan, you will not be disappointed by this latest installment of the strange and weird.
My top three picks:
1) Doesn't everyone have a solar? (Ronson interviews high functioning robots.)
2) Who killed Richard Cullen? (Ronson invents alteregos with various personality traits to see who is most likely to be solicited by ads for credit cards and bank loans.)
3) Is she for real? (Ronson signs up for a cruise featuring "grumpy" psychic Sylvian Brown.)
This book is divided into shorts that give a quick preview of Ronson's general writing style and a glance at his charming and sometimes mischievous personality.
His voice adds a level of naivety and playfulness to the stories which I have always appreciated and feel his voice helps conveyhis intent when in dialogue with some of the characters he encounters. I have listened to "men who stare at goats" which was narrated by someone else, and I wasn't as glued to the listening experience. Ronson does an amazing job.
His descriptions of the psuedo-psychic Sylvia Brown who I have always DESPISED! I was so thrilled to hear his interpretation of her. I am a visual person and I find his descriptions to be very realistic and hilarious like distorted caricatures that some how capture the true essence of a person's soul.
I hope that he continues to supply us with more books because I am running out of ronson books to read.
Yes, there is a diverse amount of information and it would be enjoyable to listen to again.
Poorly researched, choppy, stream of consciousness. I wonder why this guy even claims to be an author because the book does not hold interest for even a few minutes!
This is a collection of short writings. As such, it lacks the compelling nature of the other books here, in my humble opinion. Still excellent, however, since Ronson narrates.
Not as good as some, but what it lacks in depth it makes up for in breadth. Ronson's usual wry humor is as good as ever.
Part of why I wanted to listen to Jon Ronson's books and not read them is because I loved his spots on This American Life. This is like a very long, Jon Ronson-only This American Life episode... and I LOVE it! All of the stories are so interesting, so unique and read so well. I'm addicted to his work and can't wait to hear more of his audiobooks.
This is an interesting book, period. Non-fiction human interest-type books can sometimes be only moderately interesting when the writer is too heavy on just the facts, but this one is fantastic. The author writes about issues which are unusual or out of the ordinary, and all subjects are portrayed in an articulate way providing Mr. Ronson's observations as not to be overbearing. He is also a bit of a cynic, but not in a smarmy way. Just get the book, you won't be sorry you did.
There were several, but the most interesting story dealt with North Pole, Alaska and the social situation up there. Many good observations re the town's 24/7 Christmas theme. Most of the occupants seem depressed or angry with a veneer of "happy, happy, happy!!".
He reads the book he's authored. He's not a professional voice actor and his reactions to the things he's reading about are genuine - this shows through in his voice as he reads. Not a polished professional which is perfect for this book.
Enjoyable, thought-provoking and well worth the credit.
On the road quite a bit either solo or with kids in the car. Love finding entertainment for that broad range.
I LOVED the last chapter (~60 minutes) on America's Real Life Superheroes. Unlike the other chapters that had heavy or dark material, this one made me laugh out loud.
He gives his works a great voice, with meaning and intentions that may be lost if reading printed works.
For those of you who have heard the author read his works on weekend NPR, there's more where that came from. Probably best listened to in isolated chapters between other books.