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)
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.
Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
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.
I either did not read the description closely enough or it was misleading at best. This book is essentially a text book describing the various facets of a psycopathic personality. I guess I expected much more detailed descriptions of various psycopaths and their crimes. What I got was a somewhat clinical analysis of what Dr's look for in order to make a diagnosis.
I suspect this might be a good entry level text for pschology students, but was not what I wanted to listen to as a casual read. To top it off, it was very dated, which
I also missed. Written 30+ years ago, I imagine that even most of what is written here has significantly
evolved in terms of information known and studies done since then.
I have not gone back and re-read the description that had made me think this would be a very different read than what it was, but suffice to say, for me it was like trying to read a text book as leisure reading
A little dramatic at times. But worthwhile. Case studies are juicy and author knows his stuff big-time. Plus it's an important message for society.
"Without Conscience" is one of the most important books I've ever "read." If only I had had access to this book earlier in life...say , by age 13... I would've been spared many painful experiences, or at least been armed with defense strategies. Many puzzling personal encounters and relationship glitches were explained, creating many ahhhh ha moments. Insights offered by Hare are an inoculation against naivety and are useful survival tools.....or defense weapons. I rated the book a 4, rather than 5 because I was confused by the 'Dr. Death of Texas ' chapter. I plan to read the book in print and then it will probably be made clear---but listening, it struck me as Hare back peddling on his own insights. I rated the performance a 4, only because it would have been helpful to hear the Chapter number and title announced as Boehmer moved through his reading. I want everyone I care about to read and heed this book.
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