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)
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.
The irony. The information which came across as entertaining, funny and ironic yet sad all at he same time. I also love listening to him read. He's so dry and a bit self deprecating which makes him likable.
His true "voice". He helps the reader feel irony or sadness or whatever the emotion he's trying to convey, in the way he reads
Just loved this book. So much that I bought "Them" which unfortunately I didn't like half as much. Maybe the subject matter just didn't appeal to me a much as this book did.
I love suspense, murder mysteries, psycho thriller books most of all! I listen when not taking classes for my masters degree.
gripping, enlightening and entertaining
The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout who he referenced in his book. Both books explored each deficiency using real people as examples and just trying to explain explicitly using theories.
I love audio books, fiction and nonfiction. I seem to be drawn to the Scandinavian writers and their narrators.
I liked the book - it held my interest. However, it cannot be taken as a book of complete facts. A lot of people in the industry take issue with it. That said, I did have a boss that would score high on the PCL! Interesting view of our corporate leaders.
Good not great.
I liked Jon's audio performance. Very easy to listen too.
It is very eye opening when he gets to talking about psychopaths and Robert Hare's criteria.
I liked the book but it could have been much better. It kind of wandered for me. From the title of the book, I thought I would hear more about psychopathy. I like how Jon took you on the journey of his investigation. However I wished he focused more on psychopaths and not on all psycholigical disorders. It was a good read but really made me want to read more about Robert Hare's criteria and what his thoughts were.
I can barely understand this guy through his accent and his tone is so condending. I love these phychology reads, but talk about making your skin crawl...
A surprisingly light-hearted tour of psych wards and psychopathy, no doubt due to viewing it through the WoodyAllenesque glasses of the author's own neuroses. An interesting cast of characters (including the author; I loved his reading), and though it's good to know that some of them are in prison, it was interesting and entertaining to hear them speak for themselves and to define themselves.
There was far less of 'the madmen at the helm' than I expected from the author's own initial statement that that thought was a primary motivation for the book. That insanity drives policy has surely occurred to us all. And that's a book I'd still like to read, but this is not that book. This one never strayed far from the premise of the title, which was 'the madness industry' and the actual test in current use for diagnosing psychopathy, the Bob Hare checklist.
There is much in the subject, and even in this book, to horrorify, but as I said, it's actually a very light-hearted read. If you're looking to delve into the real heart of psychopathy, this is not the book. If you wouldn't mind a tour of the neighborhood, though, Jon Ronson makes an amusing guide.
I have bought some bad audio books this is by far the worst.
I rarely would put in the energy to write a negative review.
This one is needed.
Great Performance by Jon Ronson, the author.
No. It's good listening in segments, but I wanted to finish each segment in one sitting.
I recommend it for psych & business majors.
The Psychopath Test is a very intriguing journey into the horrors and apathy of the Psychopathic mind. Ronson describes these people almost as if they are a different species as he explores their impact on society, politics and economics. Starting out somewhat slow Ronson eventually does hit his stride and the sheer weirdness, macabre and fascinating realm of Psychos is hard to put down. However he does seem to lose his focus toward the end while meandering about in related mental illnesses and the reader ends the book feeling like they were so close to grasping something important but instead are just left knowing some cool anecdotes to discuss with their friends.
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