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
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.
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.
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 really like that this book was a series of essays. Ronson's writing style is witty and engaging and I couldn't imagine it being narrated by anyone else.
The narration makes it golden. Fun stories, super narration and Jon Ronson...what more can a person want!
Unique in itself
No, I savor it over time
This book makes you happy.
I think Jonson has credible stuff in this book, but his own neurosis comes through and muddies the water. Many topics covered were ridiculous and not worth the coverage, i.e. Costumed idiots looking to get shot by gang members. The book was more of a collection of anecdotes than anything else.
I think it's one of the better ones. It's more of a bunch of little stories so it's better if you are going to listen a little at a time.
The wacky world
Relevant and well-crafted reporting of events that are telling of the way we perceive madness, crime, mental illness and the boundaries of normality. The narration and themes are captivating.
"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.
"Another awesome book by Jon Ronson"
Yes as Jon Ronson reading it adds to the enjoyment and intrigue of the stories.
A mixture of stories about some weird and wonderful people.
yes, this one is just as good as the others.
the last story about the real life superheroes was really interesting and shows the kindness of humans.
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