The Psychopath Test is a fascinating journey through the minds of madness. Jon Ronson's exploration of a potential hoax being played on the world's top neurologists takes him, unexpectedly, into the heart of the madness industry. An influential psychologist who is convinced that many important CEOs and politicians are, in fact, psychopaths, teaches Ronson how to spot these high-flying individuals by looking out for little telltale verbal and nonverbal clues. And so Ronson, armed with his new psychopath-spotting abilities, enters the corridors of power.
He spends time with a death-squad leader institutionalized for mortgage fraud in Coxsackie, New York; a legendary CEO whose psychopathy has been speculated about in the press; and a patient in an asylum for the criminally insane who insists he's sane and certainly not a psychopath. Ronson not only solves the mystery of the hoax but also discovers, disturbingly, that sometimes the personalities at the helm of the madness industry are, with their drives and obsessions, as mad in their own way as those they study. And that relatively ordinary people are, more and more, defined by their maddest edges.
©2011 Jon Ronson (P)2011 Tantor
"Engrossing.... This book brings droll wit to buoy this fascinating journey through 'the madness business.'" (Publishers Weekly)
A bit of a psychological thriller, this book taking you on a journey into the mind of psychopaths. Are they all bad? You be the judge!
Perhaps if the author had someone else read it. He should not be the reader!
Yes, I would not buy another book that was read by the author.
First of all he was so dole and lifeless and could put me to sleep if I listened to him while driving.
Everyone, and just toss them all in the garbage.
I would ask for a refund, but, feel I made the choice, so I have to live with it, It wasn't Audible's fault.
Anyone who's ever found the Dexter series darkly comic, wondered about the possible benefits of of sociopathy, or worried that they might unknowingly be a psychopath would be well suited to listen to this book.
The narrator's staccato accent (especially when excited) was the equivalent of having hot nails driven into your skull whenever you started warming to the book. The intense bursts of profanity, coupled with the narrator's accent made me stop listening for a period, but the story and the stubborn refusal to waste money drew me back. The experience made me feel that some sort of warning label should be attached to the cover. Most people can stomach profanity that is absolutely necessary to make the character's more believable, but the moments of use in this book felt like an adolescent learning the words for the first time. It was excessive and unnecessary. I would definitely not recommend this book to anyone who doesn't want to feel as though the author is intentionally offending them.
The main character gave great internal dialogue that helped the thought process of the reader/listener to flow with the story and develop their own conclusions and ideas.
annoying accent and tone
It was an interesting narrative, but I ended up wondering if I really learned anything. Good listen for the gym.
true, as others have said, it is not a scholarly work. what the author does is question the definitions we use for mental illness and how those definitions function in society. he does not come to any simple conclusions, or any conclusions really, but it does not feel unfinished. the issues he raises just aren't easily answered. to approach this (huge) topic in a more formal way could have been boring and a bit tedious. this on the other hand was a funny and interesting journey.
i really enjoyed the narration, jon ronson's timing and emphasis made the story really entertaining.
family tree buff
Jon is very funny and does a fabulous job of giving you an inside look at the psychology industry. He makes the characters very real. I also love how he kept worrying that he possessed some of the 20 traits.
Kept wondering if Tony was a psychopath.
Never listened, but I plan to purchase Men who Stare at Goats.
Not an extreme reaction, but he did make me giggle quite often.
I did have to slow the Audible pace a bit, as in the beginning I had trouble understanding Jon's heavy British accent.
this book will make you think. there are a lot more psychopaths out there than I thought. scary stuff.
Entertaining, Mildly Disturbing
Just when I thought he was pro-psychopath test (or anti) Ronson seemed to suddenly see things from a different perspective. This guy is not afraid to contradict himself.
Generally speaking, Ronson's Woody Allen-esque manner can be quite entertaining.
This is one test you won't want to pass... and one movie you won't want to pass up.
I think it is easier to accept how disturbed and unbalanced we have become by introducing the topic with a splash of humor. Thank God we don't take any of this too seriously...but maybe we should.
Definitely. So many interesting stories and so many interesting facts. I love learning about mental disorders.
This is why I said the book was monotonous, not because of the story, but because of the tone Ronson used at the end of each sentence. It happened so often! Anyways, it can be forgiven since it was such a great book.
When it moved me it was due to the frightening and grotesque tales of psychopathic behavior.
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