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Publisher's Summary

Jon Ronson is fascinated by madness, extraordinary behaviour and the human mind. He has spent his life investigating crazy events, following fascinating people and unearthing unusual stories. Collected here from various sources (including The Guardian and GQ America) are the best of his adventures. Always intrigued by our ability to believe the unbelievable, Jon meets the man preparing to welcome the aliens to Earth, the woman trying to build a fully conscious robotic replica of the love of her life and the Deal or No Deal contestants with a foolproof system to beat the Banker.

Jon realizes that it's possible for our madness to be a force for good when he meets America's real-life superheroes or a force for evil when he meets the Reverend 'Death' George Exoo, who has dubiously assisted in more than a hundred mercy killings. He goes to a UFO convention in the Nevada desert with Robbie Williams, asks Insane Clown Posse (who are possibly America's nastiest rappers) whether it's true they've actually been evangelical Christians all along and rummages through the extensive archives of Stanley Kubrick. Frequently hilarious, sometimes disturbing, always entertaining, these compelling encounters with people on the edge of madness will have you wondering just what we're capable of.

This is an updated edition with new afterword, written and narrated by Jon Ronson.

©2012 Jon Ronson (P)2012 Audible Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Excellent and fascinating.

I want his job. What a fascinating life he has! Even handed and honest, I can honestly say my eyes were opened.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Thoughtful Journalism About Fringe Phenomena

There are two kinds of readers: those who are devoted Jon Ronson fangirls-and-boys, and those who haven’t heard of Jon Ronson yet. Friends, I present Jon Ronson: a bespectacled British journalist who writes thoughtful long-form journalism about quirky fringe phenomena like telepathy, aliens, and psychopaths. He was first introduced to an American audience on the radio show This American Life, and he’s got a knack for the sort of stuff that makes fans of that show swoon — sniffing out the peculiar in everyday life, getting to the heart with equal parts empathy and wit, and drawing wry conclusions about modern life. Lost at Sea is his collection of haunting and hilarious shorter pieces from the past decade, including stories about Insane Clown Posse, James Bond, Stanley Kubrick, robots, and too many other bizarre and wonderful things to name. Ronson is a fabulous narrator of his own work, and my like for Lost at Sea blossomed into full-blown love when I switched from the print to the audio.

Footnote: the audio is worth it simply for the pleasure of hearing Jon Ronson read Insane Clown Posse lyrics in a dry British accent, and the chapters were the perfect length for commuting and exercise stints.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Mixed Bag

I loved The Psychopath Test so had high hopes for this. Unlike that book, Lost at Sea is a collection of various pieces Ronson has written over the years at the Guardian. As a result, this is something of a mixed bag. Some of the content here is great - Ronson's pursuit of the "psychic" huckster Sylvia Browne aboard a cruise ship, is one of many highlights. But there are far too many lowlights too. The longest piece here is about Frank, an eccentric former band mate of Ronson's whose shtick is that he wears a big fake rubber head. Not nearly as captivating a character as Ronson obviously believes him to be.

All in all, worth a listen but Ronson has done far better than this!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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enthralling

What made the experience of listening to Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries the most enjoyable?

Every story was very interesting. I listened to it nonstop on a road trip.

What did you like best about this story?

Jon Ronson and his honesty

What about Jon Ronson’s performance did you like?

The slow pace.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A peek into the word of lunatics

Any additional comments?

I'll probably listen to all of Jon Ronson's books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dubi
  • New York, NY
  • 12-31-15

Pop Anthropology

A collection of Jon Ronson articles, read by Ronson, primarily concerned with what motivates people to do, um, unusual things. There are religious and health cults here, the cults of personality and celebrity, the occult (faux psychics and UFOs), predatory lenders and predatory sex, and all sorts of fringe behavior.

Ronson's M.O. is simple. He is a straightforward interviewer who knows how to get to the point while always making the interviewee feel like he's on their side. He's not about researching every angle or understanding everyone's side of the story. He is singularly focused on understanding his subject and their motivation. This can make him seem overly sympathetic to some bad people, but it's just his way of getting them to open up to him.

There are some clunkers here, but most are at least good and many are in fact stunning. My favorite is the chapter on Insane Clown Posse -- I could almost feel Ronson's jaw dropping along with mine. Also the Who Wants to be a Millionaire cheat, Stanley Kubrick's hoarding, and the school shooting conspiracy in North Pole, Alska, where it's Christmas all year round. It helps of course that Ronson's is reading his own material, even with his quirky delivery.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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interesting listen

I listened to every chapter with great interest. I frequently wondered how the author found so much time to do the research and spend the time needed with each of the subjects. Needless to say, I learned quite a bit about a variety of different things from real life super heroes (and mutual combat), Stanley Kubrick, and human euthanasia.

The audio quality umped around a bit and it was apparent the recordings were made in different locations, sometimes within the same chapter. It was a bit distracting. The narrator also sounded tired at times and it was not the same quality as when he read Psychopath Test. Regardless, I will be listening to this recording again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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a great collection of stories

very entertaining stories and a smooth narration make this a enjoyable and thought provoking listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good Stories!

I love Jon Ronson narrating his own books, which is rare. He's a great storyteller and this random collection is worth the purchase.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • DM
  • Orillia, ON, Canada
  • 07-29-15

Great commuting book

What made the experience of listening to Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries the most enjoyable?

This is a series of articles written over the last ten years. He covers a wide range of topics. His observational style is engaging and the topics are interesting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating investigative journalism

Very interesting stories, and very well told. Jon puts an interesting (twist? conclusion?) on his stories. I highly recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Mr
  • 04-07-13

a real pleasure

Listening to and audio written and read by the same person works so well in this context. Jon Ronson has a certain style to his writing and I feel this is enhanced by listening to him.



I love these short stories, they are a perfect length. By the time Jon wraps up one story you are ready to hear the next. Each story is as quirky and interesting as the last.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Caro
  • 10-18-12

Brilliant

I am now totally hooked on audiobooks by Jon Ronson, and this one did not disappoint - quite the reverse. Like the previous reviewer I found the James Bond chapter laugh-out-loud funny, it's worth buying just for that chapter. But the rest of the book is wonderful too, Ronson asks the obvious, child-like questions that we would all like to ask but generally don't. He is so interested in the people and situations he seeks out and he sometimes shines lights into places that intrepid, investigative journalists would normally go, whilst being rather timorous and only armed by his honest naivety.



I am already looking forward to his next book and also, please audible would you commission him to read his 'The Men Who Stare at Goats'? Please....

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • P. W. Burridge
  • 03-10-14

Not a "Them"

What did you like best about Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries? What did you like least?

Jon Ronson is a great researcher and tells the stories very well. The JK one just adds more fuel to the Saville fire

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Less short stories

Which character – as performed by Jon Ronson – was your favourite?

none in particular

Could you see Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

No

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Pamela
  • 11-22-17

Loved this collection

So interesting - there's such a range of topics covered and each one was enjoyable! Jon narrated them brilliantly.

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  • david
  • 11-01-17

Fantasticly strange

What a fabulous read.

Lots of interesting stories that intertwine and seem to link in very strange ways.

This is the second book and i am now onto my third.

Im hooked!....

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  • Daniel Jones
  • 10-20-17

Fantastic

Wonderful collection of stories that you hope will not end. Read by the author brilliantly, looking forward to listening to more by him.

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  • Paul
  • 10-20-17

I Really tried hard to get through this...failed!

I hate giving up on any book or story and will soldier through. But i am sorry to say i found this too morose, the dark humor (if it was there) was lost on me and the narration annoying so i abandoned it.

This might be me - so make your own mind up.

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  • Kazbahchickpea
  • 10-18-17

Interesting stories.

Some stories are more interesting than others but most make you want to go away and find out more about them. John's voice makes me laugh. 😁

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  • Bee
  • 10-04-17

Never a dull moment

Heartwarming, quirky, disturbing. All of human life is here.

Have read or heard some of these articles before but I was still totally absorbed.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-01-17

Uneven, very good in small chunks

Much like his voice, Ronson's storytelling is endearing in podcast length chunks but eventually drags.