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 fool proof 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.
©2012 Jon Ronson (P)2012 Audible Ltd
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.
Querky delightfully entrtaining
All the characters were so different. Each fascinating. A look into the fringes of our human family. And yet they might not be so fringe. One must ask oneself, what part of them is in me.
Ron's matter of fact voicing of the book was perfect. He reads the story without imposing any hint of sarcasm, judgment, or humor. Only irony is left.
I looked forward to each chapter to see what new weird situation and people Jon would introduce me to. I found it fascinating to look into a multiplicity of realities and people.
Jon is fearless in going for the story even when it was dangerous. He's a dispassionate observer and invites us to tag along. Loved it.
I love his unique perspective and read!
Fun and thought-provoking.
This audio book DELIGHTED me. Thank you, John Ronson! I look forward to more!
I love Jon Ronson. There is nothing he finds interesting that doesn't also interest me as well. Hearing him read the book is so soothing, and also riveting. It's like sitting with him as he tells you the most fascinating stories. The Psychopath Test was great, but this is almost more fun, as each chapter is a new story. So fun, compelling, and you just can't turn it off!!
Wow, the story about the Disney employee who fell overboard is just riveting. Also, the story about the chapter about real life super heroes. I also really love the story about his trying to live out the adventures of James Bond. Dang it . . . I love them all.
I love hearing him recount the stories himself. They are so personal and the conversations so interesting, and it is wonderful to imagine the inflection and emphasis of everyone's voice must have happened exactly as he reads it.
Tell us about yourself!Woof, woof woof ( I love audible, chasin and killin defenseless kittens and eatin em...yummy ). I luv dem thriller stories, and dream of J.D. Robb & yours truly doggy style, howl! Anyway, I is jus kiddin bout the kitties with peace, good health and lots of happy readin y'all!
Just another blimey, blabbering Brit eschewing on everything from mindless reality television, game show contestants and other droll topics of whimsical fancy. I profess to the difficulties of writers conjuring up novels filled with such imaginative storytelling and playful prose, enough that is to warrant a book deal and being lauded by the great Audible.com. Sadly, Mr. Ronson will not be on my holiday stocking stuffer to give or get lists this year...BLAH HUMBUG!!!
Why the writer was allowed to read his own book is beyond me. He rambles on about what - I'm not sure. Maybe if a professional read it, it would have made sense or sounded interesting.
This is the second book I couldn't finish and have now deleted it. Wish I could get my credit back.
I am the Evil Mama
The narrator drove me nuts; couldn't listen any more to the lisps and oh, so, soft voice. Kept wanting to slap him and say, "Man Up!"
I think Jon Ronson is a fantastic reporter and has lived an extraordinary life. I would love to meet him at a dinner party. That being said, I thought every sentence sounded the same. The inflection, pitch, timber, and timing were all on the same length for almost every sentence. Very robotic read. I had to skip some of the chapters that were less interesting because his voice couldn't keep me engaged.
"Absolutely Brilliant !"
I first "met" Jon Ronson when i picked up a copy of "the men who stare at goats" in the airport. It took me a while to work out if i was reading a true account or a clever parody, it was the former - i was hooked. Since then i have read "the psychopath test" and "them" and enjoyed both very much. However, this latest book is by far the best. I listened from start too finish, only pausing to eat and sleep (i bought it on holiday) Every chapter was a little christmas cracker of bangs and surprises. Some left me feeling sad, some left me feeling incredulous, some made me laugh out loud (the james bond chapter was hilarious) others left me feeling furious. the last one left me breathless and smiling from ear to ear. I loved this book and it will undoubtedly go on my "read (listen) again" list. This is the best book i have read since Malcolm Gladwells' "Outliers" and "Blink" Absolutely brilliant. I cant wait for his next one!
"Take a walk on the left-side."
As much as he undoubtably hates the comparison, Jon Ronson is the more down-trodden, less well-connected, face-for-radio version of Louis Theroux. They both pursue the left-fields of culture, often in seemingly mundane territories such as interviewing semi-washed up TV-show hosts or attending motivational seminars with self-help gurus, but whereas Louis, whose natural habitat is TV, would play events so as to get the interviewee to paint themselves into an emotional corner from which the viewer sees the mask fall away, Jon is more likely to turn inwards into self.analysis and doubt. Often by the end of each story I feel I know more about Jon himself than the victim he is supposed to be dissecting, his inner demons are worn for all to see, and this is what makes Lost at Sea such an enjoyable read. With Louis you feel he is always calmly in control leading his subjects through the steps, but with Jon you always wonder if he'll actually be able to make it to the end of each assignment without first having a break-down. I imagine this is why so much of the material he's covered over the years has been on mentally questionable people of one kind or another, from derranged psychics and their belivers to the "I've been vetted" founder of the Indigo children movement. He seems drawn to the delusional and psychotic. However, I do sometimes wonder if somewhere inside Ron there is still a little child with a less cynical journalistic mission, who secretly hopes to find something truly awe-inspiring such as a UFO or real life super heroes. A few times in the book he does come across some truly amazing people, but most of the time he finds only crack-pots, all beit entertaining ones. A final comment I'd like to make is that in my opinion Radio is Jon's best medium and as such it was great to have Jon, with his almost whispery delivery, narrating his book. I'd also highly recommend Jon's free short stories on Audible. Hilarious!
"More please Jon"
I can't get enough of Jon Ronson's writings, tv programs and radio show. Fantastic story teller and a great view on the world.
"Not a "Them""
Jon Ronson is a great researcher and tells the stories very well. The JK one just adds more fuel to the Saville fire
Less short stories
none in particular
I am now totally hooked on audiobooks by Jon Ronson, and this one did not disappoint - quite the reverse. Like the previous reviewer I found the James Bond chapter laugh-out-loud funny, it's worth buying just for that chapter. But the rest of the book is wonderful too, Ronson asks the obvious, child-like questions that we would all like to ask but generally don't. He is so interested in the people and situations he seeks out and he sometimes shines lights into places that intrepid, investigative journalists would normally go, whilst being rather timorous and only armed by his honest naivety.
I am already looking forward to his next book and also, please audible would you commission him to read his 'The Men Who Stare at Goats'? Please....
"Amazing as always."
Love Jon's books. Fascinating from the first story to the last and totally entertaining. This has been my favourite so far.
"Jon ronson is ace"
This is funny, intriguing and astonishing. Jon's narrative style is very enjoyable. I'm going to search out his other work now
Between each short story, I struggle to pick a favourite, each was interesting and some emotional. highly recommended.
"A really informative and entertaining listen"
Top 20, definitely
Ronson's delivery is hilarious and his writing is very engaging
His slightly whiny tone is very idiosyncratic and makes perfect sense with his writing style
I loved his James Bond Journey recreation, and exploration of Kubrick's boxes
"A collection of suprising real life stories"
This is quite a big collection of short stories/articles that Jon Ronson wrote over the years. His style of journalism is very distinct and it is not for every one, he makes himself part of the story. But I quite enjoyed that. I always like listening to a book read by the author because they know how they intended it to be read and for these stories that was definilty the case. I do have to say that I did expect more 'fun' strange stories but there were a couple of truly depressing ones. One of them I actually did not listen to because it is a subject which is bit tough for me personally. But overall I really enjoyed this book.
I did look for other material by Jon Ronson and found that he repeats himself in his books, so if you already own some of his books, make sure you realise there might be some overlap!
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