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.
This book started out very strange but light hearted, which I soon learned is Jon Ronson's specialty. Based upon the book's cover graphic (yes -shallow but true), I expected a pompous & aggressive style, but was surprised by how unassuming Ron is. He seems to be a person who has a simple unthreatening way to investigate our human frailties and which seems to win people over. I had to stay with it for 2 or 3 stories before I started to pick up on Ron's unique outlook on the world. He tries to be objective in a true journalistic way. You learn that he is a well known reporter in England, but I do not think he ever says it himself. As a north american, many British characters are lost on me, but the personal stories are still intriguing and there is enough US content to keep my interest.Overall, I enjoyed his personality and see why he has become successful. I look forward to more stories.
You'll recognize Ronson's narration from This American Life or other such broadcasts. He has a voice and style, like David Sedaris, that is perfect for his writing. A collection of subjects that he investigated/interviewed/tried to sort out - few people can find the subject matter and true life characters that Ronson looks at and narrate it with dead pan sincerity.
This book was not what i expected. Some of the topics seemed a but off beat and i would wonder if they would amount to good listening. I was at the least smiling to every story. some made me pause and think, others made me laugh out loud. overall a great listen!
A fun listen. Jon Ronson found peculiar stories and told them without scorn... even though there are some real crazies in here! Each is funny and insightful, but I especially enjoyed the chapter on Insane Clown Posse.
I'd recommend to anyone who wants to hear outrageous stories told honestly and with a fair amount of wit.
If you want to enjoy a book of disjointed stories then this is the book for you.
How to be Black
Quality accent and dry sense of humor.
This book was like This American Life, but not done nearly as well.
i have not yet finished listening to the entire book.. but tis allready a 10/10.. Jon will have to try awfull hard to bring that score down.. i do not see this occuring.. from the first few lines i was held captive.. & each story since has kept me a happy hostage.. a must listen for anyone.. really.. everyone.. twas exactly what i needed to start the year.. thankyou Mr Ronson.. i have just downloaded your other tittle.. 'the psychopath test'
I would listen to parts of it. The book is a collection of short stories, and it seems that the best ones are toward the end.
I wouldn't know what to say. I read the book because I saw the author on Jon Stewart and it was portrayed as a funny book. However, as I read it, I felt like it was a less-funny Seinfeld; a book without a purpose. Parts were funny, and other parts were sad. Was the point to entertain, make a point, or show that the world stinks? I'm still unsure.
His interview with the Insane Clown Posse... wow. Just... wow. Yet again, it was a mix of funny and chilling reality.
Whatever its purpose, the book was very well written.