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Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us | [Robert D. Hare]

Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us

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....
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

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  •  
    sarah Gold coast., Australia 11-18-11
    sarah Gold coast., Australia 11-18-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting"

    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.

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pennalie Texaco Flats 03-10-14
    Pennalie Texaco Flats 03-10-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Basic Stuff at Best"

    It took me forever to get through this book. With the final sentence ended I asked myself what I had learned. The only real insight was a 10-minute section on the difficulty psychopaths have with sequencing and story-telling. Fascinating. But overall, I found the information gleaned to be rather superficial and skewed almost entirely to criminality. In addition, Boehmer's narration was rather snooty throughout. He added authentic sarcasm where it was clear that the author was condescending to his colleagues or when quoting actual psychopaths. But by the end, I was over the whole "smartest guy in the room" feel that I got from the author and especially as it was narrated.

    Robert Hare is the self-proclaimed inventor of the Psychopathy Checklist. But that is the one thing missing from this audio book - the actual check list. And so he ends the book by saying that if you are a victim of a psychopath, educate yourself and seek professional help - which is probably what many people thought they were doing when buying this book. Hmm.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 07-27-13
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 07-27-13 Member Since 2008

    I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.

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    "Classic Text on Sociopaths"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Worcester, MA 07-24-13
    Amazon Customer Worcester, MA 07-24-13 Member Since 2012

    Anestis

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    "Worst audible book I've ever listened to."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People who are easily titillated by vacuous sensationalistic prose will be thrilled by this book.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Robert D. Hare again?

    No - maybe in Guantanamo -


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Paul Boehmer?

    There is no narrator that could've improved this book.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Without Conscience?

    I'd start on page one and cut out though the last page of the last chapter


    Any additional comments?

    Incredibly drawn out, boring, vacuous and sensationalist, I managed to listen to the book from beginning to end desperately hoping for some kind of payoff. Paralleling the desperadoes in love with their own "psychopath" desperately hoping for some meaningful change, there was indeed, no payoff. You'll have a lot more fun watching Dexter or Breaking Bad if you're interested in psychopathology rather than listening to the drab deliberations of a "scientist" whose conclusion is "psychopaths are bad, try to protect yourself from them. Here are some redundant examples" Please save your money or credits.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DWR Minnesota, USA 07-08-13
    DWR Minnesota, USA 07-08-13
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    "Interesting subject but poorly read."

    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!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tcp100 Flemington, NJ United States 06-28-13
    tcp100 Flemington, NJ United States 06-28-13

    tcp100

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    "Intriguing and engaging - but dated and hyperbolic"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    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.


    Would you recommend Without Conscience to your friends? Why or why not?

    Redundant question, Audible.


    Which character – as performed by Paul Boehmer – was your favorite?

    Again, this review format is atrocious and horribly thought out. This is a non fiction book.


    Was Without Conscience worth the listening time?

    Absolutely.


    Any additional comments?

    Interesting nonetheless. A worthwhile listen despite its flaws.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claire Jerusalem, Israel 06-23-13
    Claire Jerusalem, Israel 06-23-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Wasted my $4.95."

    The science is old and watered down to middle school level. The narrator sounds like he is bored but has been instructed to "read with expression".

    I couldn't be bothered to finish. Don't bother to buy it.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ComicGurlGeek Roswell, GA, United States 02-28-13
    ComicGurlGeek Roswell, GA, United States 02-28-13 Member Since 2011

    wheee

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    "Unscientific"

    I absolutely can not stand the idea that people are reading this book and going away thinking that they have learned something.

    The conclusions that Dr. Hare have reached are based on an extremely limited sample, using an incomplete analysis and without a contemporary understanding of neuroscience. I had to stop listening when he referred to the lateralization of brain hemispheres (right brain does this, left brain does that) as a fact, when it has been debunked as a myth since the early 90s.

    I do have respect for Dr. Hare in that he was, at one point, a pioneer in the study of clinical psychopathy, in that he actually went out and tried to study people who were obviously afflicted. But his theories need to evolve with current research if he is to be taken seriously. What outside research he did call upon in the book was limited and obviously cherry-picked to support his own outdated theories. That is no behavior for a man calling himself a scientist.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick Industry, CA, United States 11-22-12
    Nick Industry, CA, United States 11-22-12 Member Since 2011
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    "IF YOU'VE EVER WONDERED..."
    Where does Without Conscience rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    top 5


    What did you like best about this story?

    the subject matter


    Which scene was your favorite?

    no scene. it is all fascinating info, if you have ever wondered...


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

    yes. and again.


    Any additional comments?

    If you ever wondered, "How can they lie like that?", or why there seems to be an opportunist to snatch a child ,with only seconds of inattention a recurring event in news we hear and remember, this begins to throw light on that question. The light on that question is as significant as any you will have the rest of your life, IF you care about the quality of your life. And that of the rest of us.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    annewbe CA 10-09-12
    annewbe CA 10-09-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Good"

    I really enjoyed this book. It was great listening about killers & Psychopaths. I would recommend this book for sure.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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