Them began as a book about different kinds of extremists, but after Jon had got to know some of them - Islamic fundamentalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen - he found that they had one oddly similar belief: that a tiny, shadowy elite rule the world from a secret room. In Them, Jon sets out, with the help of the extremists, to locate that room. The journey is as creepy as it is comic, and along the way Jon is chased by men in dark glasses, unmasked as a Jew in the middle of a Jihad training camp, and witnesses international CEOs and politicians participate in a bizarre pagan ritual in the forests of northern California.
Them is a fascinating and entertaining exploration of extremism, in which Jon learns some alarming things about the looking-glass world of ‘them’ and ‘us’. Are the extremists on to something? Or has Jon become one of Them?
©2012 Jon Ronson (P)2012 Audible Ltd
"A funny, superbly controlled account of [Ronson’s] wanderings through the wonderland of fanaticism and delusion." (Brian Appleyard, New Statesman)
"This book is chilling and hilarious by turns. Ronson’s trademark laid-back attitude is a delight." (Independent)
"A funny and compulsively readable picaresque adventure through a paranoid shadow world." (Louis Theroux, Guardian)
"Ronson plays up to his charming buffoonery... But he is an acute social commentator. He is compelling." (Times Literary Supplement)
I've been a huge fan of Louis Theroux for many years, and to me Jon Ronson's book strikes the same tone as one of Louis' shows.
By building a rapport with people who have very extreme beliefs and opinions, they are humanized. One can even empathize to a degree. This is a much more productive policy than simply demonizing or disregarding them.
In most extremists there is a grain of something real that should be considered and built in to our own thinking. However, that is not to overlook the fact that many of these people are essentially delusional and even dangerous.
That is the most important aspect of Jon's book and Louis' shows - whilst opening our minds to empathize and relate, they also illuminate where the reasonable become unreasonable and the understandable become outrageous. And best of all this demarkation is often hilarious and self-evident when exposed by a reasonable person repeating the ludicrous words back to the ludicrous people who just spoke them.
It is genius and a service to the world in my opinion.
I am sure that Jon's book would have lost much of the humor and nuance had it been read by another narrator, so well done Jon.
I love to be read to!
A romp through crazy town with a great host. Also learned some things.
Jon Krakauer without the yuks. They like the same subjects.
I loved the descriptions of bohemian grove and the men urinating on trees!
His books are great and I am going to read all of them at some point. I love that he is the narrator. Self narrations really adds allot in my opinion. Good narration can make or break an audiobook in my opinion.
The content was good, but the reading made listening to this audiobook painful
The first hand accounts of extremists
His accent was strange and his reading was stiff. The pronounciations were bizarre. Antisemite was pronounced Anti sea mite, which I have never heard before. When someone who the author was interviewing laughed, the author made a weird "ha ha" sound. It was like fingernails down a chalkboard. Producers should really dissuade authors from reading their own books.
The content is really good, but I almost stopped listening to it.
I'm a huge fan of Jon Ronson but I didn't find this book as interesting as some of his others. His writing, as always, is clever and the book was well-researched but I didn't find the subject matter that compelling. Extremists - conspiracy theorists, wing-nuts, paranoid crazy people - are fascinating in small doses, but after a while they get boring.
Really eye opening about the Randy Weaver family. The others were extremists, but even Ronson agrees that the Weavers really weren't that whacko and puts their story in a real context.
Besides the section on Ruby Ridge I didn't like this book. It wasn't really what I expected.
How he bowed down to people that were obviously hateful toward him.
The performance is what kept me listening. He's a great reader, his humor is great and his timing is awesome. Just wish he had some backbone.
Disappointment mostly. I understand journalistic integrity but there comes a point where you should be a human being. I think the worst part is when he let that poor man go be publicly humiliated after he expressed to him that it was his worst fear. That was horrible.
I'd write more, but I'm afraid my reviews are being monitored by 10ft tall alien lizards from the Bilderberg group. Wake up sheeple! Buy this book before they suppress it!
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
This is a good listen in the typical style of Jon Ronson. I can't really explain why, though. I tried, but because of the subject matter, it involved using words that could not make it past the review police. If you like Ronson, you'll like this. Go ahead and press the unhelpful button. I wanted to be more helpful, but...
"Ronson at the beginning, boring in comparison"
not very well written, sometimes clumsy and obviously his first bestseller.
I didnt bother to get to the end
his later books are much better written and more interesting, dont buy this one
I love Jon Ronson`s books, I have them all but this is boring in comparison, I wont bother finishing it.
"A brilliant piece of journalism."
This is a fantastic, tragicomic, disturbing and enlightening debunking of 'New World Order' conspiracies which attacks all aspects of extremist thinking. It also uncovers the Anti Semitism that lays at the heart of all right wing conspiracy theories.
This book has been brilliantly narrated by the author and it will have you laughing and despairing at the same time.
Jon Ronson's voice and manner of speech suits his work far better than other narrators. I loved this book.
"We fear 'Them' but who are they?"
This is another hugely enjoyable investigation by Jon Ronson into the world of bizarre cults and very odd people. As usual I listened to this with one eye on my computer so I could Google some of the names mentioned. As ever all the information imparted by Jon proved to be true despite some really incredible elements. Jon's dry wit pervades this audiobook (which benefits greatly by his reading) and in particular I relished the startling exchanges with Ian Paisley and Denis Healey. The extremists comprise the usual suspects, extreme far right white supremacists, religious fanatics etc. but there is also some unexpected compassion for the people who are not necessarily bad but just generally unlucky in life or simply deluded. The finale of the book is quite spectacular and the bizarre Cremation of Care ceremony is very disturbing. This is an entertaining and informative book about a mad world and the people who are trying to make sense of it all. The very best of good luck with that one….
I had no knowledge of the author, but saw the audio book on special offer so gave it a try.
As a person who enjoys currently affairs and rational while heated debate, I partly suspecting I might have to turn it off, but instead found myself speaking out loud in amazement and at times laughing at the utter unbelievable nature of events described.
The author has an absolute talent for keeping to facts, and making you feel its your choice how to judge. This book is not an attack on extremists, and covers cases where people are assumed to be extremists, although on closer inspection probably weren't.
The delivery of the audio book was also wonderful. The tone and pace was very pleasant, and the straight forward delivery added to the comedy and ridiculous contradictions which are explored.
I will be recommending this book and author for many years to come.
As per usual Jon ronson excels at what he does! Just because your paranoid doesn't mean they're not watching you ........
"They are watching!"
Another great book by Jon Ronson.
Highly recommend if you enjoy his style of witty journalism. I enjoyed it very much.
"Interesting, typical Ronson, funny and insightful"
Parts of it, yes.
At times this book was very funy.
Very enjoyable and interesting, if you like Ronson then you will no doubt enjoy this book. I actually learnt a few things too....which is always good.
"Wonderful, wacky, entertaining"
I don't know.
Probably something written by Louis Theroux.
The slightly 'innocent abroad' delivery. He did a great job.
'You couldn't make it up".
Great fun. Especially the Muslim extremist and Ian Paisley chapters. Pure comic theatre! Jon Ronson tells it, but he doesn't really judge it. I admired his courage for hanging out with these people and for putting this book out there. Highly recommended.
"are we rhem"
really enjoyable and entertaining Jon ronson is an engaging writer and narrator. this book gives a really interesting look at the story behind the conspiracy
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