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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost in a good book
In nearly every article of the book, journalist Jon Ronson is able to pick an extraordinary subject to write about in an interesting and engaging way. I loved reading about real life "superhero" Phoenix Jones as he patrols the streets of Chicago, trying to make drunk drivers eat tacos before getting behind the wheel, or discovering that the rap duo Insane Clown Posse have...
Published on 19 Oct 2012 by Sam Quixote

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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy if you've read his other books. This just seems to contain material from his other books
I'm a big fan of Jon Ronson and I've bought every book he's brought out so far. But I feel a bit cheated with this one, as most of it is material that I've read before, either in his columns or in other books. As the other reviews say, don't buy if you're a fan and have read his other books, as a lot of it repeated here.

So, anyone wanna buy an 'as new' copy...
Published on 31 Oct 2012 by Dave D


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost in a good book, 19 Oct 2012
By 
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
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In nearly every article of the book, journalist Jon Ronson is able to pick an extraordinary subject to write about in an interesting and engaging way. I loved reading about real life "superhero" Phoenix Jones as he patrols the streets of Chicago, trying to make drunk drivers eat tacos before getting behind the wheel, or discovering that the rap duo Insane Clown Posse have been covert Christians their entire careers, believing they were making converts of their listeners subliminally for 20 years. Other subjects are equally fascinating such as finding out pop star Robbie Williams is a UFO enthusiast and that Stanley Kubrick was a hoarder of everything related to his film career.

There are some really funny pieces included such as Ronson's recreation of James Bond's car journey from Ian Fleming's "Goldfinger", eating and drinking everything Bond did on the journey and making himself very sick (Bond, it turns out, was a glutton alcoholic chain smoker who rarely exercised). Ronson also goes on a cruise to meet psychic Sylvia Browne, a woman who goes on TV to tell parents of missing children (often incorrectly) their kids are dead, and finds out, surprise surprise, she's not just a fake but an unpleasant old bag as well.

Religion and pseudo-religious beliefs play a big part in the articles where Ronson meets the Jesus Christians, a fringe Christian group with a membership of 24 people worldwide, most of whom have decided that as well as giving away most of their possessions that they will give away a kidney as well! He meets the UK's biggest atheist-converter Nicky Gumbel, meets TV hypnotist Paul McKenna and his colleague Richard Bandler who admits to being a sociopath and has a sketchy past involving murder but who now makes millions teaching people something called neurolinguistic programming (NLP) which promises to make you a better salesperson.

The other side of the book take a sobering look at the dark side of humanity. They include a couple of murder/suicide cases, the economic class issues in America, and the sad story of Richard Cullen who committed suicide after becoming hopelessly in debt. Richard Cullen took out numerous credit cards which gave him money with crippling interest rates and was approved for various loans different banks approved, leaving Richard with a six figure debt and no way out. From this one man, Ronson follows the trail back to the banks and exposes the fiasco that was the sub-prime market. This article came out 2 years before the sub-prime crash of 2007.

My favourite piece in the book, "Santa's Little Conspirators", is the story of a group of 13 year old high-school students in the town of North Pole, Alaska, accused of conspiring to commit a Columbine-style massacre at their school (they were stopped before anyone was hurt). North Pole is unique as a town where it is Christmas 365 days of the year and everything in the town is Christmas themed. The would-be killers, like all students in North Pole high school, answered letters from children all over the world addressed to "Santa, North Pole" under elfish pseudonyms. Some of the letters written by small children and given to them to answer are heart breaking like "please make mummy and daddy stop fighting" and "I would like to wear more clothes this year".

While parts of "Lost at Sea" have been published in Ronson's other books - more than half have been printed in "Out of the Ordinary" and all but one have been printed in "What I Do" - and numerous other articles have appeared in GQ magazine and the Guardian newspaper, for those who've not read Jon Ronson extensively, this is an excellent collection of his journalism in one handy volume. Like most of Ronson's journalism, the articles feel too strange to be real, this mixture of strangeness and truth adding to the readability of the articles and lending them an air of surreal-ness. "Lost at Sea" is a fascinating collection of oddball human stories that offers hours of riveting reading pleasure and is a must-read for all readers looking for extraordinary and entertaining non-fiction stories written in an accessible and compelling style.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Louis Ther-who?, 9 Oct 2012
Yet another quality offering of articles from Ronson, collected in hardback format. The other reviews here summarise the style and content of the stories well and I won't bother covering the same ground.

I feel compelled to mention to potential buyers that 'Lost at Sea' is only roughly 50-60% material not found in Ronson's two other collections of stories 'Out of the Ordinary...' and 'What I do...'. I was totally unaware that this was the case and was a bit saddened to be flicking through almost half the book because I had read it recently. Still, I feel on balance that it is a worthwhile purchase for those who already own the two previously mentioned books due to the quality of the additional content.

This is an essential purchase for those curious about or unfamiliar with Ronson's writing, and a good buy for old fans who have been waiting for the latest collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Theroux minus smarm, 6 Oct 2014
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A. Marczak "mazzarak" (Mordor) - See all my reviews
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A trip through the work of Jon Ronson is like submerging yourself in some of the weirdest cultures in human existence. Real superheroes, UFO conspiracies (with Robbie Williams of all people), born again Christian hardcore rappers, from Jon Ronson you'd expect nothing less.

The interesting viewpoint you get from some of these stories is the openness with which Ronson explains how the subject tries to spin his story, sometimes to the detriment of themselves. There are a couple of stories where no one comes out of it well, and you wonder how much his reputation has gone before him, and how much that has coloured the tone of the article.

Of course, if you are a huge fan of printed (or online) media such as GQ or the Guardian, there's a very big chance you'll have read all of these, but if not, you are in for a treat. Ronson approaches the weird and wonderful with all the style of Louis Theroux, but with none of the smarm.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny, 15 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Lost At Sea (Kindle Edition)
Another hilarious collection from Jon Ronson. Now I know why I hate Noel Edmonds. A book full of some of the strangest people on the planet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent read from Ronson, 21 Jan 2013
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I've been a fan of Ronson's written work since coming across Them some years ago, his style of writing always seems to bring the subject alive without indulging in any deep seated judgement. Lost At Sea is more of a collection of stories that have become very relevant to this moment in time, covering celebrity paedophiles, credit card debt, social inequalities and a number of other topics. An enjoyable and informative read that's given me a taste to find out more about a number of topics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent selection of stories, 17 Jan 2013
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Often funny, sometimes sad but all the stories make you think and see parts of the human psyche you might never discover.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Jon Ronson, 8 Nov 2012
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Once again Jon Ronson proves that truth is stranger than fiction. Love the style and the content - doesn't disappoint !
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy if you've read his other books. This just seems to contain material from his other books, 31 Oct 2012
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I'm a big fan of Jon Ronson and I've bought every book he's brought out so far. But I feel a bit cheated with this one, as most of it is material that I've read before, either in his columns or in other books. As the other reviews say, don't buy if you're a fan and have read his other books, as a lot of it repeated here.

So, anyone wanna buy an 'as new' copy of Lost At Sea by Jon Ronson??
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars lack of new material, 12 Oct 2012
I just want to say that i've become a big fan of mr ronsons writing since being away alot last year and coming across his books first on the kindle store and then finding both his collections in a second hand book shop. So when i found out he had brought out this book just as i was due to travel again i was overchuffed. Unfortunatly nowhere on the book, website or publisher's desciption does it say that this is mostly second hand material from his collections or from articles written from the guardian. If your new to jon ronson then yes, this book will be interesting and funny. But as a warning to anyone thats read more than his 3 previous books, then you'll be miserably skipping the majority of this. X
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining read, 7 Nov 2012
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Usual Jon Ronson style and interesting reading, enjoyed this book thoroughly, especially liked the chapter on the disparity of people on different incomes and their lifestyles.
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Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries
Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries by Jon Ronson (Hardcover - 30 Oct 2012)
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