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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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  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Diana
  • Antelope Valley, CA, United States
  • 08-20-14

Investigative Journalism at the fringe of humanity

Jon Ronson is a very good reporter. His in-depth short stories are written, and read, with a sly and wry sense of humor. It is amazing how deep he delves into some stories, and how long he takes for some stories - months and years.

I wouldn't have been interested in most of the topics he chose to cover, but learned things that are kept out of mainstream media and that are good to know. Most reporters wouldn't be able to take the time it takes to do the stories Jon Ronson does.

There were a few laugh out loud moments in this audiobook, but for the most part the stories were captivating and fascinating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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As good as Ronson usually is

Any additional comments?

Not as good as some, but what it lacks in depth it makes up for in breadth. Ronson's usual wry humor is as good as ever.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Taste the fringe

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

I LOVED the last chapter (~60 minutes) on America's Real Life Superheroes. Unlike the other chapters that had heavy or dark material, this one made me laugh out loud.

What does Jon Ronson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He gives his works a great voice, with meaning and intentions that may be lost if reading printed works.

Any additional comments?

For those of you who have heard the author read his works on weekend NPR, there's more where that came from. Probably best listened to in isolated chapters between other books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • gerry
  • milton, ON, Canada
  • 07-20-13

Quirky Stories - Unassuming Delivery

This book started out very strange but light hearted, which I soon learned is Jon Ronson's specialty. Based upon the book's cover graphic (yes -shallow but true), I expected a pompous & aggressive style, but was surprised by how unassuming Ron is. He seems to be a person who has a simple unthreatening way to investigate our human frailties and which seems to win people over. I had to stay with it for 2 or 3 stories before I started to pick up on Ron's unique outlook on the world. He tries to be objective in a true journalistic way. You learn that he is a well known reporter in England, but I do not think he ever says it himself. As a north american, many British characters are lost on me, but the personal stories are still intriguing and there is enough US content to keep my interest.Overall, I enjoyed his personality and see why he has become successful. I look forward to more stories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • garret
  • meridian, ID, United States
  • 04-01-13

What a fun book!

What did you like best about this story?

This book was not what i expected. Some of the topics seemed a but off beat and i would wonder if they would amount to good listening. I was at the least smiling to every story. some made me pause and think, others made me laugh out loud. overall a great listen!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • anna
  • HOUSTON, TX, United States
  • 03-26-13

Hilarious *and* empathetic

A fun listen. Jon Ronson found peculiar stories and told them without scorn... even though there are some real crazies in here! Each is funny and insightful, but I especially enjoyed the chapter on Insane Clown Posse.

I'd recommend to anyone who wants to hear outrageous stories told honestly and with a fair amount of wit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Peter
  • Sydney, Australia
  • 01-02-13

tis a hi-5 to the MAX!

i have not yet finished listening to the entire book.. but tis allready a 10/10.. Jon will have to try awfull hard to bring that score down.. i do not see this occuring.. from the first few lines i was held captive.. & each story since has kept me a happy hostage.. a must listen for anyone.. really.. everyone.. twas exactly what i needed to start the year.. thankyou Mr Ronson.. i have just downloaded your other tittle.. 'the psychopath test'

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Well... that was interesting...

Would you listen to Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries again? Why?

I would listen to parts of it. The book is a collection of short stories, and it seems that the best ones are toward the end.

Would you recommend Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries to your friends? Why or why not?

I wouldn't know what to say. I read the book because I saw the author on Jon Stewart and it was portrayed as a funny book. However, as I read it, I felt like it was a less-funny Seinfeld; a book without a purpose. Parts were funny, and other parts were sad. Was the point to entertain, make a point, or show that the world stinks? I'm still unsure.

Which scene was your favorite?

His interview with the Insane Clown Posse... wow. Just... wow. Yet again, it was a mix of funny and chilling reality.

Any additional comments?

Whatever its purpose, the book was very well written.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Tol
  • Durham, N.C.
  • 12-09-12

Another Great Jon Ronson Book

I really like that this book was a series of essays. Ronson's writing style is witty and engaging and I couldn't imagine it being narrated by anyone else.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Jon Ronson is The Man

Would you consider the audio edition of Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries to be better than the print version?

The narration makes it golden. Fun stories, super narration and Jon Ronson...what more can a person want!

What other book might you compare Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries to and why?

Unique in itself

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

All

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

No, I savor it over time

Any additional comments?

This book makes you happy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Laura Butler
  • 05-18-17

hilarious yet terrifying social topics

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

jon ronson makes the most eye opening insights seem hilariously trivial, while equally imparting how terrifying the world is.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries?

interview with the insane clown possey.

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  • Tanika
  • 02-10-17

Really enjoyed it

It's not the first Jon Ronson book I've read, but it is the first one I've listened to. Just before I hit play, I had a sudden panic. What if they'd got someone else with a big butch voice to read the audiobook? How would that possibly work?
Then, as Jon Ronson's unmistakable voice began, I relaxed. It was a great listen, funny, poignant, though of course some stories I liked more than others. But even those that I might have skipped if it was a book were okay, because you could hear Jon reading it in the exact tone intended. If the topic was uncomfortable, he sounded uncomfortable with you. He's practically the same age as me with a similar background, so the context is spot on but even so, I think the diverse subjects covered would entertain anyone. That feeling of just being a little bit on the outside, observing everyone else, completely resonates. With me, anyway.

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  • iffath
  • 02-08-17

Very enjoyable!

A great collection of interesting and insightful stories told in Jon Ronsons usual engaging way. Brilliantly paced and very entertaining

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  • Alan K
  • 01-17-17

good but not his best

I enjoyed John's book as ever. an interesting collection of stories. a must have if you enjoy his writing but I'd recommend The Psychopath Test or Them if you haven't already read/listened to his work.

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  • Ms. Deborah Klayman
  • 12-27-16

An entertaining, eclectic mix of stories

An entertaining, eclectic mix of stories narrated by the author. From Stanley Kubrick's research boxes to Frank Sidebottom via real life superheroes and co-called psychics, there is something for everyone.

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  • T Coulson
  • 12-09-16

fasinating

So many amazing stories put together by Jon Ronson. The stories were both witty and moving and completely bonkers in places

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  • Neil
  • 11-28-16

The perfect commuting companion

Each chapter is a different story and I found them all engaging and entertaining. Ronson's soft voice is the perfect accompaniment to the tales. As a writer, he is very generous to his subjects both where he agrees with them and where he is skeptical.

I would have loved this to be longer!

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  • Lucy
  • 11-04-16

Laugh out loud moments couple with such sincerity

What a great book. Well narrated. The stories range between sparky anecdotes to amusing stories and sometimes such shocking truths. A must listen.

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  • Matthew
  • 11-02-16

greatly entertaining and interesting

Brilliant book wonderfully performed. loved every story only complaint is that it wasn't longer. Even the shorter stories are good and each one makes you think.

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  • William
  • 10-30-16

anything ronson is good

interesting, laugh out loud funny and great narration. loved it and looking to buy my next one asap