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Them: Adventures with Extremists Audiobook

Them: Adventures with Extremists

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Publisher's Summary

Them began as a book about different kinds of extremists, but after Jon had got to know some of them - Islamic fundamentalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen - he found that they had one oddly similar belief: that a tiny, shadowy elite rule the world from a secret room. In Them, Jon sets out, with the help of the extremists, to locate that room. The journey is as creepy as it is comic, and along the way Jon is chased by men in dark glasses, unmasked as a Jew in the middle of a Jihad training camp, and witnesses international CEOs and politicians participate in a bizarre pagan ritual in the forests of northern California.

Them is a fascinating and entertaining exploration of extremism, in which Jon learns some alarming things about the looking-glass world of ‘them’ and ‘us’. Are the extremists on to something? Or has Jon become one of Them?

©2012 Jon Ronson (P)2012 Audible Ltd

What the Critics Say

"A funny, superbly controlled account of [Ronson’s] wanderings through the wonderland of fanaticism and delusion." (Brian Appleyard, New Statesman)

"This book is chilling and hilarious by turns. Ronson’s trademark laid-back attitude is a delight." (Independent)

"A funny and compulsively readable picaresque adventure through a paranoid shadow world." (Louis Theroux, Guardian)

"Ronson plays up to his charming buffoonery... But he is an acute social commentator. He is compelling." (Times Literary Supplement)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1674 )
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4.5 (1517 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Brad Littleton, MA, United States 05-28-13
    Brad Littleton, MA, United States 05-28-13 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Very Interesting Plunge into Extremism"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    First, this book is narrated by the author, always a plus. Jon Ronson found a way to attach himself to some very interesting types, mostly religious zealots and New World Order types. Some of the information is quite astonishing. The author has a way of bringing the human element to these idealogy-driven types. SInce all of this is essentially a ramble through interviews and tagging along, it has a very in-the-moment feel about it. I could not stop listening. The author's fun voice is contagious and his wry observations about himself and these strange people he seeks out are compelling listening.


    What other book might you compare Them: Adventures with Extremists to and why?

    His genre is somewhat himself. In a weird way, he reminds me of Bill Bryson's first hand travels and stories about odd people.


    Have you listened to any of Jon Ronson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes. The Psychopath Test. They are very similar as the author tries to interview people on opposing sides of either mental health medical or religious zealotry. These books teach you quite a lot about archane topics.


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

    Prophets are Phonies


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth the time and money. A very fun experience.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane United States 07-21-13
    Diane United States 07-21-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Not my favorite Jon Ronson book"

    I'm a huge fan of Jon Ronson but I didn't find this book as interesting as some of his others. His writing, as always, is clever and the book was well-researched but I didn't find the subject matter that compelling. Extremists - conspiracy theorists, wing-nuts, paranoid crazy people - are fascinating in small doses, but after a while they get boring.

    7 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Fletcher Salt Lake City, UT 09-11-17
    Andrew Fletcher Salt Lake City, UT 09-11-17 Member Since 2016

    Orion's Music

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    5
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    "Entertaining and Enjoyable"

    For the most part, I really enjoyed this book though I wasn't really sure how to take Ronson at first. His humor is so subtle that I had to keep checking online to make sure he was talking about real people. Sly, laugh out loud funny at times, thought provoking... a great book for the times that we live in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wschamps97 09-11-17
    Wschamps97 09-11-17 Member Since 2017
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    5
    2
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    "Jon Ronson is wonderful"

    This is the second book I've listened to by Jon Ronson. He is a magnificent storyteller, and his narration picks up the hilarious nuances one might miss while reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick 08-27-17
    Nick 08-27-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Surreal, sublime"

    The contrast of his writing style with the subject matter felt so absurd I had to double check that the work wasn't satire on more than one occasion. Excellent writing and even better hearing it in the author's voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    omniasubsole Upstate NY 08-22-17
    omniasubsole Upstate NY 08-22-17 Member Since 2016
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    "I couldn't stop listening"

    I really enjoyed this book as it seems to have such great import at this time in our history. it details the fact that where we are now has been building for a long time and Ronson does a wonderful job of conveying Humanity while also sharing the reality of extremist perspectives.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ShesSmart 08-05-17
    ShesSmart 08-05-17 Member Since 2017
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    2
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    "interesting and revealing"

    I appreciated the humor woven through very sensitive topics. The "adventures" covered more ground than I expected. Good listening. I'm downloading another of Ron's books now!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greenmachineiijh Arizona 07-04-17
    Greenmachineiijh Arizona 07-04-17 Member Since 2017

    Jason

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    2
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    "A Levelheaded Approach to Uniquely Human Condition"

    Listening to Jon Ronson's account of his time with extremists was both amusing and educative. It showed how often the monsters and bogeymen of the current political climate are often far more banal than we are lead to believe. The book also highlights the way in which lack of good communication and lack of acknowledgement of our shared humanity carries people out to the fringes of thought as well as behavior.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tintin Chicago IL 06-17-17
    Tintin Chicago IL 06-17-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Insight into the not-quite-so-crazy extreme"

    After "Shamed" I had to hear more Ronson, and this was another fascinating set of stories. This time he goes semi undercover into the heart of Islamic jihadist organization, the spectrum of white supremacist groups, am elite world of Jewish movie moguls, he shadows a mysterious wealthy eccentric, and visits what appears to be a secret drunken summer camp for would--be and world leaders. He's personable and only semi under cover -- most of the time he reveals himself as a journalist. Extremists of all stripes seem generally to like him, which makes these encounters more intimate and revealing.

    Ronson's perspective on all this is measured, balancing nuances pro and con all the way. He puts himself in the most uncomfortable places protected by nerves of steel and a good heart. And he can tell a good story.

    I gave it 4 because I found fewer parallels and connections between the stories, as I did moreso with "Shamed." It was an enlightening listen, and entertaining, with food for thought. I'm looking forward to hearing more from Jon Ronson; he has a unique gift.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna 06-01-17
    Anna 06-01-17 Member Since 2013
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    "Thought-Provoking, Strange and Unclear Bias"

    This book was - in a word - bizarre. I loved being able to better understand certain groups of people who are marginalized because of their "crazy" beliefs. To paraphrase Trevor Noah, it is SO much easier to have a meaningful and fruitful conversation with someone if you share a common "language".

    At times, though, It was clear that the author started to believe these theories. It was unclear, however, how this may have affected his reporting. Was this done to illustrate the seductive nature of conspiracy theories? Possibly.

    Finally, there were times when the book seemed disorganized and repetitive. While I enjoyed the first few chapters a lot, about 2 hours from the end, listening to it felt like a chore instead of pleasure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Kaggy
    United Kingdom
    4/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "We fear 'Them' but who are they?"

    This is another hugely enjoyable investigation by Jon Ronson into the world of bizarre cults and very odd people. As usual I listened to this with one eye on my computer so I could Google some of the names mentioned. As ever all the information imparted by Jon proved to be true despite some really incredible elements. Jon's dry wit pervades this audiobook (which benefits greatly by his reading) and in particular I relished the startling exchanges with Ian Paisley and Denis Healey. The extremists comprise the usual suspects, extreme far right white supremacists, religious fanatics etc. but there is also some unexpected compassion for the people who are not necessarily bad but just generally unlucky in life or simply deluded. The finale of the book is quite spectacular and the bizarre Cremation of Care ceremony is very disturbing. This is an entertaining and informative book about a mad world and the people who are trying to make sense of it all. The very best of good luck with that one….

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Enfield, United Kingdom
    5/3/15
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    Story
    "Ronson at the beginning, boring in comparison"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    not very well written, sometimes clumsy and obviously his first bestseller.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I didnt bother to get to the end


    Do you think Them: Adventures with Extremists needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    his later books are much better written and more interesting, dont buy this one


    Any additional comments?

    I love Jon Ronson`s books, I have them all but this is boring in comparison, I wont bother finishing it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • martin
    weston super mare, United Kingdom
    8/1/13
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    "A brilliant piece of journalism."

    This is a fantastic, tragicomic, disturbing and enlightening debunking of 'New World Order' conspiracies which attacks all aspects of extremist thinking. It also uncovers the Anti Semitism that lays at the heart of all right wing conspiracy theories.
    This book has been brilliantly narrated by the author and it will have you laughing and despairing at the same time.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Boggy of Bucks
    Buckinghamshire
    1/3/13
    Overall
    "Enjoyable"

    Jon Ronson's voice and manner of speech suits his work far better than other narrators. I loved this book.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Anthony
    Sydney, Australia
    11/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining take on fundamentalism of all sorts"

    Amusing exploration of, mostly, ultra-right activists, Islamic fundamentalists and neoliberal proponents. Ronson explores relationships with a range of extremists, identifying their amusing but worrying underbellies - their inconsistencies, naivete, and oversimplified view of the world and their role within it.

    Successive chapters document Ronson's adventures (fabricated or real) with these extremists, sharing insights into them and their unbalanced take on reality. Amusing, scary, somewhat unhinged, and fairly entertaining. This 2001 book reveals the semi-logic and bizarre reasoning of these proponents at the fringes of politics and society.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ms. K.
    10/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Utterly Fantastic!"

    I had no knowledge of the author, but saw the audio book on special offer so gave it a try.

    As a person who enjoys currently affairs and rational while heated debate, I partly suspecting I might have to turn it off, but instead found myself speaking out loud in amazement and at times laughing at the utter unbelievable nature of events described.

    The author has an absolute talent for keeping to facts, and making you feel its your choice how to judge. This book is not an attack on extremists, and covers cases where people are assumed to be extremists, although on closer inspection probably weren't.

    The delivery of the audio book was also wonderful. The tone and pace was very pleasant, and the straight forward delivery added to the comedy and ridiculous contradictions which are explored.

    I will be recommending this book and author for many years to come.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • James
    Leigh, United Kingdom
    4/30/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome"

    As per usual Jon ronson excels at what he does! Just because your paranoid doesn't mean they're not watching you ........

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jimmy
    4/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "They are watching!"

    Another great book by Jon Ronson.
    Highly recommend if you enjoy his style of witty journalism. I enjoyed it very much.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jayneylonglegs
    Lancashire
    3/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting, typical Ronson, funny and insightful"
    Would you listen to Them: Adventures with Extremists again? Why?

    Parts of it, yes.


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

    Ronson himself.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    At times this book was very funy.


    Any additional comments?

    Very enjoyable and interesting, if you like Ronson then you will no doubt enjoy this book. I actually learnt a few things too....which is always good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • PJ
    United Kingdom
    3/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful, wacky, entertaining"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Them: Adventures with Extremists to be better than the print version?

    I don't know.


    What other book might you compare Them: Adventures with Extremists to, and why?

    Probably something written by Louis Theroux.


    What about Jon Ronson’s performance did you like?

    The slightly 'innocent abroad' delivery. He did a great job.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    'You couldn't make it up".


    Any additional comments?

    Great fun. Especially the Muslim extremist and Ian Paisley chapters. Pure comic theatre! Jon Ronson tells it, but he doesn't really judge it. I admired his courage for hanging out with these people and for putting this book out there. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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