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 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.
Professional who loves a good book. Prefer non fiction-but will take on good fiction.
SUBJECT MATTER and was presented in a enjoyable manner
He did not
not that kind of book
Jon is a fantastic narrator who takes you down a path with a twist. His perspective is insightful, funny and interesting.
Fans of "This American Life" will be familiar with Jon Ronson. I really loved this book, including his narration. The subject matter is fascinating, and right away there is a mystery that draws you in, just like on the best episodes of TAL. Jon Ronson writes with humor, empathy, and insight. I felt like I was right there with him throughout his thought process. This went so quickly!
Yes on the basis that they can handle a slow starting book and a rather poor performance especially at the beginning part of the books (see notes on performance). The book itself is fairly interesting but seemed to drag out some details that were too minor to make into the book, or extended well beyond what they should have been.
The book has numerous parts that I thought I should fact check as well and all of the ones I highlighted were fine given some lenience. After about 90 minutes the book picks up and becomes quiet enjoyable with a segments which slow it down intermediately.
It was a find ending, which they followed the two main stories more. The man "psychopath" and the part about the book seemed to end abruptly.
I thought the book was interesting and there was good "voice" as in you can get the personality of the author. However, the first hour or so of the book is louder than the rest and the author tends to have a lisp and sounds effeminate. This sounds rude, but like some homosexuals sound (albeit he mentions he is married with children). If you can get past the first hour or slow of a heavy lisp and effeminate sounding voice it does get better and both issues are considerably less noticeable. The sample is later in the book and if you listen closely you can hear it though it is one of the sections that has it the least.
A documentary, and the author himself.
Good book, I would buy if it goes on sale.
Among the best!
Jon Ronson was easy to listen to and I loved his candor.
As the continued production psychological diagnostic tests creep closer to what is thought of as "normal", we see more children medicated at alarming rates and frighteningly young ages. The book raises serious question and important issues about American culture and what is rapidly becoming a psychological monoculture.
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