Most people are both repelled and intrigued by the images of cold-blooded, conscienceless murderers that increasingly populate our movies, television programs, and newspaper headlines. With their flagrant criminal violation of society's rules, serial killers like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy are among the most dramatic examples of the psychopath. Individuals with this personality disorder are fully aware of the consequences of their actions and know the difference between right and wrong, yet they are terrifyingly self-centered, remorseless, and unable to care about the feelings of others. Perhaps most frightening, they often seem completely normal to unsuspecting targets. Presenting a compelling portrait of these dangerous men and women based on 25 years of distinguished scientific research, Dr. Robert D. Hare vividly describes a world of con artists, hustlers, rapists, and other predators who charm, lie, and manipulate their way through life. Are psychopaths mad, or simply bad? How can they be recognized? And how can we protect ourselves? This book provides solid information and surprising insights for anyone seeking to understand this devastating condition.
©1999 Robert D. Hare, Ph.D. (P)2011 Tantor
"A fascinating, if terrifying, look at psychopaths.... Hare makes a strong case for the view that psychopaths are born, not made.... A chilling, eye-opening report - and a call to action." (Kirkus)
An authority on the subject of psychopaths, the author freely admits that he, too, had been fooled by one even though he wrote the book on the subject. For any of us who've been hoodwinked by these charming, fast talking con artists, this information provides a measure of relief with the knowledge that it can, and does, happen to any and everyone. Unfortunately, there is no effective cure, treatment, then when the book was written a decade or more ago,and nothing has happened since then to change their behavior or the results on the rest of us. Run away, run far, far away when you encounter one of these "without conscience" characters....and the word "character" is misapplied to these societal outcasts, because even villains love cats, or cigars, or music, or something -----or else they wouldn't be satisfying characters.
Audible: These banal questions for a review are horrible. Anyway, this book is certainly interesting - and the author is intelligent and thorough on the topic. However his constant digressions about "runaway juvenile violent crime" and "unprecedented criminality" painting a picture of an epidemic of psychopathy are neither accurate or honest.
Perhaps the original mid-90s publishing date can excuse this, but crime on the US and Canada, where the author has been drawing his anecdotes, has been drastically decreasing - not increasing - over the past two decades. This is especially true of violent crime.
While all starts well, when he turns the focus towards children at the end, his well thought out dissection of psychopathy takes on the clueless, uninformed tone of the frustrated parents he showcases - drawing way too many examples from film, TV and pop culture to be taken seriously. It's a damn shame, since he does begin to touch upon the true scourge psychopathy has wrought on society in the form of white collar criminals, con men and manipulators. However, he ends sounding like the narrator from a 1950s Reefer Madness short.
Redundant question, Audible.
Again, this review format is atrocious and horribly thought out. This is a non fiction book.
Interesting nonetheless. A worthwhile listen despite its flaws.
This was an interesting and informative read however it seemed like the author was scare mongering at points. His theory that young people were more likely to be phycopaths was based on opinion rather than fact and I personally discount this idea on due tomy own observation that the last generation has always lemented the ruin of society in the next. More media reports does not infact indicate a rise in actual crime. I recommend it but keep your sceptical mind on... as with anything.
Dr Hare has nailed it. Too well and too often. You can imagine these ppl whether they are in your life or not. Only negative, is that he is very reptative.
Some portion of this work should be taught in HS and even more in depth in College. Same goes for Narcacists. We need to teach our children what to watch out for before it is too late.
I have read the sociopath next door and enjoyed it immensely. This book is different in that he did not cobble together composites of sociopaths. Instead used examples of a variety of different sociopaths that we are all familiar with. He gave practical tips on how to spot a sociopath and avoid the web of lies and deceit. The narrators voice was wonderful and easy to listen to. This is good reading for anyone who wants to be able to deal with somebody they think is the same as everyone else but is actually a sociopaths laying a net to catch you.
Love this book, but have to admit that my jaw is on the floor after reading. Required material for anyone alive on Earth today.
I absolutely enjoyed analogies and examples provided in the book. Compare to Ronson's work, Dr. Hare provides hard data and in depth behavioral review of psychopaths rather than an entertaining perspective I received from Ronson. I would prefer an updated version, as most research and news stories are circa 1980s.
I would recommend this book to anyone curious about psychopathy and/or suspects a psychopath in their personal and/or professional life. I decided to research the subject as I came across a few folk in my military career who could fit the psychopath bill.
Also, Paul Boehmer did a wonderful job narrating the work. Would definitely like to listen to his narration again!
I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.
This is the book all the other books refer to on this subject, so I'm assuming it was written first. The writer is very impressed with himself, and that wears thin rather soon. He also repeats himself more than is really called for.
But he gives some fascinating scientific answers and inquiries into what makes a Sociopath what he is. It's still a classic in the field.
The subject, psychopathy, is well described but I found the narration irritating and difficult to listen to. The reader is painfully slow and maintains a constant timber: he uses commas as full stops, like a period, which makes the reading jerky. The writing uses common language and is easy to understand so there is no reason for such a slow delivery. This is definitely something to listen at double speed!
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