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Them: Adventures with Extremists Audiobook
Them: Adventures with Extremists
Written by: 
Jon Ronson
Narrated by: 
Jon Ronson
Them: Adventures with Extremists Audiobook

Them: Adventures with Extremists

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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

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  •  
    aaron los angeles, CA, United States 09-26-12
    aaron los angeles, CA, United States 09-26-12 Member Since 2016

    Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dated but VERY Good... and FUNNY!"

    First off, I'd listen to Ronson read the Dictionary. His dry wit, timing, and inflections are incredible. You feel as though he's reading to you, personally. This is a pre-9/11 book, but much of what it deals with is still relevant today. Ronson has this incredible knack for taking subjects that aren't very funny AT ALL (i.e. a Muslim extremist threatening to put a 'Fatwah' on him), and finding the humor in it.

    This is light reading at its finest. You may learn a bit about some of the extremists in the world, but nothing you probably couldn't have figured out on your own. The true joy of this book is the way that Ronson brings you into the story, keeps you constantly laughing, and delivers you on the other side, unscathed.

    We need more social satirists like Ronson. He's truly one of a kind!

    34 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 05-24-15
    Nothing really matters Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 05-24-15 Member Since 2014

    Rob Thomas

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bilderberg or Build-a-Bear?"

    This book is a collection of several very interesting snapshots of people society has labeled extremists. They seem to be the sort of people James (The Amazing) Randi called 'believers' since they will follow ideas that appeal to them unquestioningly and regardless of how strange or extreme they sound to others.

    Some of these folks are stranger than others, but most suspect the world is controlled by the secretive (and seemingly asinine) Bilderberg Group. They believe the Bilderberg Group is run by 'the Jews' or 12-foot tall reptilian aliens and is determined to set up a nefarious one-world government.

    The book brought home to me the other side of the 'Ruby Ridge' incident through Rachel Weaver's version of the events. The book also illustrated the, perhaps unsurprising, fact that the players on all the various sides are guilty of serious departures from the truth and character assassination.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a fairly balanced-seeming glimpse into the strange and sometimes surprising world of extreme beliefs.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lil Pinchands 09-30-12
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    "Serious Topics Shown in multiple lights"
    Would you listen to Them: Adventures with Extremists again? Why?

    Yes. Jon Ronson is a really entertaining writer and narrator. Some of the scenes were really well described and I felt as though I was in the scene. He unfolded the information in an interesting way and shed an interesting candid light on all of the characters he followed and interviewed.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Ruby Ridge Details was the most interesting and shocking. Omar Bakri and his hypocrytical life was the least interesting, but I guess part of that is because Ronson was shut off from being able to interview him.


    Have you listened to any of Jon Ronson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I didn't like it quite as much as the psychopath test, but it was definitely highly entertaining and a book I will always remember.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed a couple of times. Also, some of the scenes described were really unbelievable, so I guess maybe "shocked" would be a good description of my reaction.


    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Louisville, KY, United States 06-04-13
    Diane Louisville, KY, United States 06-04-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Conspiracies R Us"

    Although it has been more than a decade since this book was written, it remains as mind-boggling as when it was first published. Here, Ronson delves into Islamic fundamentalists, David Icke with his theories about reptilians in control of the planet, the Bilderberg Group and the shenanigans at Bohemian Grove.
    We are often left wondering who the real extremists are: Is it David Icke who maintains that world leaders are really reptilians in disguise or members of the JDL who insist that "reptilian" is code for "Jewish" ("No, he really means 'reptilian'" Ickes' followers claim)? Is it the Weaver family holed up on Ruby Ridge or the quasi-military force that took them down (a very sad episode)? Part of what makes Ronson's writing (and excellent narration) so compelling is the way he juxtaposes the ordinariness of every-day lives of these people with the often bizarre extremist views they hold.
    A both informative and very enjoyable listen.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karen Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 08-25-13
    karen Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 08-25-13

    Eclectic tastes. Love anything thought provoking. Especially if its blended with some from of humour.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Way fun but shocking"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Them: Adventures with Extremists to be better than the print version?

    Yes. Absolutely love Jon Ronson reading his works. You just cannot beat hearing his inflections on these incredible interviews. Shocking. Fun. Witty. Fresh!


    What other book might you compare Them: Adventures with Extremists to and why?

    Men Who Stare at Goats. Why? It's just unbelievable that these are based in reality. Hang on and prepare to be shocked but also to laugh at just how ridiculous these tales can be


    Which character – as performed by Jon Ronson – was your favorite?

    Jon Ronson. For sure


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Disbelief mixed with great chuckles


    Any additional comments?

    Read it. Witty and just great

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dubi New York, NY 04-13-16
    Dubi New York, NY 04-13-16

    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.

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    "Unhelpful Review"

    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...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TM 09-12-14
    TM 09-12-14

    TJM

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    "Silly, but Serious"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kim brookline, MA, United States 05-15-14
    kim brookline, MA, United States 05-15-14 Member Since 2013

    I love to be read to!

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    "Love Jon Ronson"
    What did you love best about Them: Adventures with Extremists?

    A romp through crazy town with a great host. Also learned some things.


    What other book might you compare Them: Adventures with Extremists to and why?

    Jon Krakauer without the yuks. They like the same subjects.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved the descriptions of bohemian grove and the men urinating on trees!


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Fond du Lac, WI, United States 01-26-14
    Mary Fond du Lac, WI, United States 01-26-14 Member Since 2013

    WI historian

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    "Bad reading of a good book"
    What made the experience of listening to Them: Adventures with Extremists the most enjoyable?

    The content was good, but the reading made listening to this audiobook painful


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The first hand accounts of extremists


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    The content is really good, but I almost stopped listening to it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane United States 07-21-13
    Diane United States 07-21-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Not my favorite Jon Ronson book"

    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.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
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  • Elisa
    Dundee, United Kingdom
    9/26/14
    Overall
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    "Classic Jon Ronson"
    Where does Them: Adventures with Extremists rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Completely fascinating, enjoyed it tremendously. Sometimes I was aghast and sometimes tearful and always with that amusement that comes with Ronson's delivery.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • P. W. Burridge
    uk
    10/9/13
    Overall
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    "Ronson hooks you with this"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Them: Adventures with Extremists to be better than the print version?

    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


    What other book might you compare Them: Adventures with Extremists to, and why?

    Lost at sea, because this is what Jon Ronson is good at the secret societys etc


    What does Jon Ronson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Feeling


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • E. Fitzgerald
    Swansea UK
    5/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
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    "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.
    Excellent :)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nigel
    Reading, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "'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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • M. A. Atkin
    brighton, uk
    4/11/13
    Overall
    "Classic Ronson"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • La Maison
    Rhuddlan, United Kingdom
    4/9/13
    Overall
    "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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lee
    Newton Abbot, United Kingdom
    2/6/13
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • craig mckechnie
    6/5/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • PhilipStirups
    7/21/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • leighisking77@hotmail.com
    U.K
    6/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "At times hilarious and thought provoking"

    If you've not listened to any of Jon's audio books. You should. Although some of the subjects of this book are a little dated, ( I listened in June 16) it is very interesting to listen to them in the current situation. ( I wonder what the bilderburg group have to say about the eu referendum?) I found the sections with Omar bakhri (spelling?) very interesting/alarming/funny in equal measure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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