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)
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!
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.
the subject matter
no scene. it is all fascinating info, if you have ever wondered...
yes. and again.
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.
I find Hare's work fascinating, and his psychopath test is an important contribution to many fields. While much of the book is interesting, it becomes obvious as the narrative goes on that 1) Hare thinks of psychopaths and being essentially a different species,which is a bit disturbing, and 2) he is not very open-minded once he has decided an individual meets the psychopathic definition- whether or not he has actually diagnosed the person. Interesting, but Hare comes across as seeing psychopaths around every corner.
Few psychopaths are actually murderers. They're everywhere: many are career criminals, but some of them are CEOs at top companies. You've almost certainly come across one, hopefully without too much damage to your life. Many are less fortunate, though. This book helps you to spot them, and gives you strategies for minimising the damage they can cause you. Essential reading.
Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.
This book had a good mix between descriptions of numerous individual's psycopathic behaviors and an exploration of the theories of what causes psychopathy. It is a very good introduction to the subject, which holds a particular fascination for me.
If you liked this book, make sure and read "The Sociopath Next Door" by Martha Stout, as it is fascinating and you can apply it to your own actual life experiences.
The narrator initially seemed a little odd and hesitant but I quickly adapted to him (or possibly, he adapted to the narration process) and he did a fine job, thereafter.
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.
People who are easily titillated by vacuous sensationalistic prose will be thrilled by this book.
No - maybe in Guantanamo -
There is no narrator that could've improved this book.
I'd start on page one and cut out though the last page of the last chapter
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.
The subject matter is in the top 5 books on psychopaths that I have read.
Being that it is a nonfiction book, the most memorable moments are when I recognized the traits of paychopaths in certain people I have known.
He makes the book clear and understandable. He does what a good reader does. He becomes the book rather than imposing his interpretation onto the book.
Psychopaths. How many do you know?
Since I have had unhappy dealings with psycho/sociopaths, I am always trying to understand how they get to be that way and if there is a positive outcome. The book has furthered my understanding is a significent way.
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