Jon Ronson is fascinated by madness, extraordinary behaviour and the human mind. He has spent his life investigating crazy events, following fascinating people and unearthing unusual stories. Collected here from various sources (including The Guardian and GQ America) are the best of his adventures. Always intrigued by our ability to believe the unbelievable, Jon meets the man preparing to welcome the aliens to Earth, the woman trying to build a fully conscious robotic replica of the love of her life and the Deal or No Deal contestants with a foolproof system to beat the Banker.
Jon realizes that it's possible for our madness to be a force for good when he meets America's real-life superheroes or a force for evil when he meets the Reverend 'Death' George Exoo, who has dubiously assisted in more than a hundred mercy killings. He goes to a UFO convention in the Nevada desert with Robbie Williams, asks Insane Clown Posse (who are possibly America's nastiest rappers) whether it's true they've actually been evangelical Christians all along and rummages through the extensive archives of Stanley Kubrick. Frequently hilarious, sometimes disturbing, always entertaining, these compelling encounters with people on the edge of madness will have you wondering just what we're capable of.
This is an updated edition with new afterword, written and narrated by Jon Ronson.
©2012 Jon Ronson (P)2012 Audible Ltd
Jon Ronson is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. His wry self deprecating wit along with his penchant for the bizarre make for curious and interesting reads. I especially like this audio book since he's also got a strange yet curiously pleasing voice.
The ability of Mr. Jon Ronson to respect the characters with whom he interacts. HIs respect for the "Oddballs" of the world is worthy of praise. He is a true "participate observer" and a balanced translator of the humans who he encounters.
I enjoyed his authentic presentation and enthusiasm for his topic.
Hard to pick they are all good stories. I think the "Lost at Sea" is very well done.
Thank you Jon Ronson, whose name seems like a dyslexic joke I very much enjoyed your work. The NLP story is what Ronson was told but it omits Virginia Satir, the primary teacher for Bandler and Grinder.
I am a grower. A tangle of vines weaving round myrtle branch fences. Rusty metal, soft stone, and worn wood. Unkempt curls and knees covered in clay. I listen.
bizarre, witty, and thought provoking.
Each story takes on its own tone and reveals something altogether familiar and yet exposes the crazier/weirder side of our world.
I think one of my favorite chapters was when Ron Jonson took on the role of bond in a road trip. It was pretty hilarious and interesting.
I did want to listen, but do to the nature of the book having different stories in different chapters it was easy to pause in-between the chapters.
As I think back on all the stories I can't select a favorite one. I know that these stories are going to stay with me for years.
There are literally no missteps in the collection of short articles written by Ronson. They essentially read as extremely interesting and in-depth non-fiction stories, each one as thorough and thought provoking as the last.
Somehow each one seems to top the one preceding it, culminating in the opus story of Phoenix Jones at the very end. What a fantastic book, made all the better hearing these stories actually out of Ronson's mouth.
I like the unpretentious style of Jon Ronson's storytelling AND narrating.
the stories are incredible, interesting and highly entertaining.
The least helpful reviewer on audible.
Jon Ronson is EXTREMELY British!
I'm talking about jolly good show, have a spot of tea, God save the queen British. I was taken aback at first by his accent, but the shock didn't last long. The articles in this collection are so compelling that after a few minutes I didn't mind his accent. In fact, I got to where I kind of enjoyed it. I don't believe anyone else should have read this book.
Wow, these stories were awesome. They ranged from big credit companies taking advantage of the working class to the darkest side of assisted suicides. There was even one about Stanley Kubrick's estate and the huge collection of strangeness that was stored there.
He tells them all with an unbiased voice. It's a strange thing to explain. Once I understood what a particular article was about I would immediately have an opinion (and often an emotional reaction), but as the article progressed Mr. Ronson would have me sympathizing with the opposite view.
The one about SETI inspired me to read Paul Davies' book "The Eerie Silence." The one where he interviewed the father of a highschool student arrested for conspiracy to commit mass murder at his Alaskan school made me want to cry. The one where he patrolled the streets with real life superheroes made me laugh while at the same time scared the crap out of me.
Listening to this book was kind of like watching a documentary news program like 20/20 or Dateline, albeit a very British version of these shows. Did I mention how British Jon Ronson is? Sometimes the britishness was confusing. Like, when he talked about the English court system. What's a barrister?
If I haven't made it clear, I'm now a HUGE Jon Ronson fan. As soon as I get more credits I'll be purchasing more of his books.
I liked it. Jon Ronson has a knack for storytelling. The book is quite interesting although I think the psycopath test is his best yet. I gave it there stars because of the foul language and over detailed description of the deeds of paedophiles . I really don't care much for private lives and intimate acts of individuals on the fringe s of society
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.
"Fabulous Journalistic Chronicles"
I really love Jon Ronson. At first I wasn't sure about his reading voice (sorry) but actually, it became quite nice and comforting. In conjunction with that - his stories were able to be both somewhat hauntingly miserable and uplifting at once. I suppose it is this that makes the book so successful to me: Ronson makes his writing interesting but above all makes a reader learn or notice something unusual.
Besides all of the deep nonsense I've just said about, this is a bloody good book to listen to in the bath or on a long drive. :)
"Funny, sad, thought provoking and profound."
The beauty of this collection of essays and articles there is something for everyone. I anticipated dipping in and out of this audiobook between fiction but I blasted through it in a week.
The story of the the guy who committed suicide because of debt. Ronson wrote this eye opening story 2 years before the Credit Crunch. It tears apart the banking system and the madness of de-regulation.
Jon's narration is superb, it really adds to the stories. I feel that his storytelling channels his memories of the interviews to make them sound even more sincere. However saying thatI feel his voice may put some people of a little.
I didn't think it would be but as one story ended I dove into the next. I'd read a few in The Guardian and the last story, Frank, was a free download on Audible last year so I skipped that.
A great collection of stories. They will have you smiling (or laughing) on one page and have you feeling sad on the next.Its also perfect for a commute as most stories are 20-30 minutes long so you could get a couple in.
"Enjoyable little bites"
overall an enjoyable read, but as it is a collection of articles and essays covering many different topics, some of these sections are more enjoyable than others.
Love Jon Ronson's journalistic wanderings and his search for the nature of human experience, good and bad. Wonderful!
"Love this collection of stories"
Each story was interesting and very different from the last. You will get through this book so quickly! The only complaint I have is the audio quality of some of the segments, as some were recorded at different times and in different conditions. However, don't let this put you off, as Ronson it an incredible narrater.
"Fascinating, quirky, exciting stories"
Narrated beautifully by the author - I love listening to him. I've listened through twice already.
I loved Publicly Shamed. This is a collection of articles (excellent in their own right it has to be said) meaning there's no cohesion / guiding principle to drive the book.
If read all his other books first and then read this. It's good but not his best. Still a big fan.5
"Really enjoyed it "
I like the variety of the stories and how Jon Ronson tells and narrates them.
"Mixed bag of Jon Ronson's thoughtful articles"
No opinion - have not read in print.
V similar to other Jon Ronson title, but this is a series of articles. Some similarities to the likes of Michael Lewis or Malcolm Gladwell, but with a lighter touch, a more emotional view, and with Ronson appearing as a character in his own journalistic stories.
Story of the family of the Girl "Lost at Sea"
It is quite a mixed bag but the unifying theme (mostly) is Ronson's desire to get close to the "real" people behind unusual stories or events.
"No Idea What This Book Was About"
Have read many Jon Ronson books over the years and quite enjoyed them,this seems like a collection of oddities that didn't make the cut for other projects,there doesn't seem to be any theme other than poking a cheap laugh at some assorted weirdoes Ronson has interviewed for various reasons.Seems like he's realised he can make a few mortgage payments by sticking his name on anything.dissappointing.
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