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)
There are enough comical moments to keep the book interesting. The random assortment of stories and characters can be a little hard to follow. The quick moves from deeply sad moments to wierd to funny to... is also jarring. Okay, but I would be hesitant to read another by this author.
I write stuff and take pictures
Yup, Jon Ronson actually makes it fun. Ronson is great at telling stories that use the mundane bits of conversation. Mundane but important when they all come together. Half the time I listened to this I wasn't sure if the extremists were really crazy (they were) or if maybe they were on to something...is the conspiracy theory real (it's not...well...maybe...kinda)???
I would not buy a Jon Ronson audio book unless he were narrating. It would lose too much.
Jon Ronson manages to report on the ridiculous in a manner that is simultaneously sensitive and hilarious. I find the subject matter of extremists inherently interesting, but Ronson's masterful coverage of it made this one of my new favorite books.
The chapter about David Icke and his reptoid hypothesis was life changing. This book opened up a whole world of conspiracy theories to me, and I have had just the best time looking up alien lizards on the internet over the past week.
I mean, I just can't get over the mental picture I now have of George W. Bush unzipping his human-skin suit to reveal his lizard-y form. (I know that's probably not in line with the reptoid hypothesis, but I love the idea too much to give it up.)
funny, insightful clear-eyed view of sometimes eerily prophetic extremists and delusional psychopaths. Very entertaining and informative to boot!
I have friends that are true conspiracy theorists and it is not as entertaining as listening to this. I learned quite a bit.
THEM ranks in the top 10 of all the audiobooks I have listened to.
I couldn't believe what Jon was willing to do to get an inside look at extremists. Would YOU go to the Aryan Nation Compound in Idaho or the Ku Klux Klan headquarters in the South and meet with their leaders if you were Jewish? No. Nor would I. He has courage that borders on insanity!
Best moment in the book, bar none, is Jon's description of Thom Robb, the Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and his failed rally. My husband and I were both listening to the book and we laughed so hard we had tears rolling down our cheeks.
I definitely wanted to keep going.
This quote from the Wikipedia article about THEM says it best: "Ronson documents his journeys through the world with extremist tour guides and “the result is a funny, superbly controlled account of his wanderings through the wonderland of fanaticism and delusion".
Say something about yourself!
Yes, I have listened to it 3 or 4 times, I enjoy Jon Ronson's books so much I wish they would release all his books on audiobook.
Jon, the intrepid journalist.
Please release more of his books on audiobook.
"Classic Jon Ronson"
Completely fascinating, enjoyed it tremendously. Sometimes I was aghast and sometimes tearful and always with that amusement that comes with Ronson's delivery.
"Ronson hooks you with this"
The audio version for this book is just great, i think if i had the print version i would still be reading it now. Thats not to say the print version wouldnt be great as well. But the audio version is so flexible
Lost at sea, because this is what Jon Ronson is good at the secret societys etc
"Jon Ronson Rocks!"
I absolutely love books by Jon Ronson and already have a fine collection of his books, so am completely biased in a review. Any book by him is well worth a read though, honest! His journalistic style is brilliant, looking in to the most extreme behaviours of human nature that are sometimes so bizarre you have to go back and listen/read again, just to be sure you heard/read right.
"'Them' is wonderful journalism and comedy"
I'd already hugely enjoyed reading the book, but Jon Ronson's narration of the fascinating content is an even greater pleasure.
I really enjoyed this book and like Ronsons style. He spends years researching his subject material and presents a non inflammatory relatively rounded view of extremism.
Essentially this a a good listen and kept me interested and laughing till the end.
"Jon Ronson tells it as it is"
This book, written by Jon Ronson, manages to enter the psychy of the extremists he is looking at. He has a rare gift of being able to enter arenas where others wouldn't dare (read his other books to e.g. the Psycopath tests and Men who stare at goats). Not only does he enter these worlds but he still somehow remains quite a humble guy. His style of writing draws the reader in. We listened to this audio book whilst driving in France and we didn't want to stop for coffee because we didn't want to switch off the book. Definitely a good read/listen and I would certainly (and do) recommend his books widely
This was the first book I read by Jon Ronson so it's always had a special place in my heart. Years on it's still as brilliant as I remember, especially now hearing the author narrate.
The world has changed a lot since this book was written but rather than being dated it's an interesting flashback to extreme politics and conspiracies theories, pre-9/11.
Later events have put a very different complexion on the subjects of this book. Some positive, some negative but it's a fascinating listen throughout.
"from the horses mouth"
new to audio books but I have to say listening to the book read by the author does add a huge dimension to the experience highly recommend
"Another fascinating and enjoyable book by Jon."
Brilliant and interesting with Jon Ronson's trademark comedy and quick wit. Definitely a recommended read.
"I was expecting slightly more from this book"
I have to say I was slightly disappointed by this book. Jon Ronson is on fine form as always but I didn't find all of chapters that interesting. My favourites were David Ike, Bohemian Grove and Omar Bakri. I wanted a bit more exploration into what extremism is and how individuals are perversely drawn to these people.
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