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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down.
We have been programed to think of psychopaths as violent criminals like Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy or movie characters like Norman bates.
Thomas Sheridans Puzzling People explains the real nature of the psychopath, this evolutionary offshoot that walks among us, this small percent of the population have the same symptom, namely a complete lack of conscience. The...
Published 17 months ago by Sean O'Connell

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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Psychopaths rule our world
I think Sheridan's book serves as a helpful synopsis of the research into humanity's intra-species predator. It doesn't beat delving into the original reading material itself (Without Conscience, Snakes in Suits, Sociopath Next Door, Political Ponerology, etc) but it's a good starting point into what is at once a complex topic and yet something that can be readily grasped...
Published on 31 Oct 2011 by Niall


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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puzzling People, 9 Jun 2012
Thomas Sheridan opened my eyes to a world that I felt existed but couldn't see. His extraordinary perseption of the psychopathic control grid is second to none. I totally recommend this extraordinary read.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful book from a bitter author, 23 Sep 2013
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This has to be one of the worst books I have had the misfortune to buy. An author who seems to take advantage of those who have come out of a bad relationship, in order to sell a few books. The text frequently makes statements of fact, and yet has no supporting evidence. The author comes across as very bitter person who uses his own limited personal experience to form a theory concerning many millions of people.

I purchased this book and the authors following book (which I returned to Amazon). If you treat this book like you would a magazine article, you may not be disappointed. However, you will learn more about the author and his relationship to the world, than you will about psychology.

There are many interesting books on this topic, this isn't one of them. This is an opinion spread over far too many pages.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars some good points, 14 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Puzzling People: The Labyrinth of the Psychopath (Kindle Edition)
Some interesting points about psychopaths but many unscientific beliefs dressed up as facts. Unsubstantiated and badly argued when it could have been backed up in some instances. The rest is pure conjecture.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat hysterical, 9 Nov 2011
Mr Sheridan has clearly done his research, and has obviously been personally involved with psychopaths. He gives excellent advice as how to escape from the clutches of one,and this alone makes the book worth reading. However, I found the tone of much of the book rather hysterical and not entirely grounded in fact. He presents hypotheses as facts: that governments and big corporations are planning to reduce us to micro-chipped automatons etc. I have little doubt that many psychopaths are, or have been, in positions of power (eg Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair),and I have little doubt that their interests are entirely self-serving.But I found the actual experiences of unfortunate victims and how they managed to rebuild their lives more illuminating.
The book could do with a good editor.Bad punctuation abounds; whatever you may think of the Catholic Church, it has to be written in upper case or it makes no sense.There was no "Enclosure Act" in the 12th Century, and tautologies like "profoundly deep", and descriptions of pictures as "historical" make one doubt the author's literacy.
I wouldn't give this book 5 stars.It veers too much towards emotionalism to bolster some of the author's arguments. With a subject such as this, I would prefer dry statistics.
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10 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but..., 27 Nov 2011
By 
Hazelwood (West Midlands, England) - See all my reviews
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Having experienced the trauma of once having to work for a psychopathic boss, I fully understand the anger and fear that such people can engender in others. However, I do feel that the author goes too far in that he seems to dehumanise psychopaths in that we must remember that they are still human beings after all, albeit extremely difficult ones to deal with. If somebody is born as a psychopath, is this their fault? Did they chose to be that way? How responsible then are they for their actions?

But for the most part I believe that psychopaths are made, being the unfortunate recipients of traumatic environmental conditioning during their childhood and adolescent years. In this sense their psychopathy can be viewed as extreme forms of self-defence (defence mechanisms) designed to protect their inner fragile psyche at all costs, and not the necessarily the evil machinations of demons or self-made monsters (consider the ego syntonic process). Such people suffer with extreme personality disorders and are kind of stuck in their broken childhoods. I feel that it is wrong to dehumanise such people, for they are just as much a part of humanity as we are.

However, that said and done, I think that we must also see things for how they are, in truth but with compassion. The author gives a lot of clues on how to spot these people and how we may best handle them. In my experience the problem with having to deal with such is one of containment. Sometimes we cannot escape from their influences, at least not immediately so, therefore we must learn how to contain our emotional reactions to their toxic influences and uncover their schemes and mind games with intelligence and wisdom. This is how I learnt how to deal with my situation, and it proved useful to a degree in that it disarmed some of that person's usual tactics, and made them wary of dealing with me (they prefer to target easier victims). Psychopaths do not like to be uncovered, they don't like their schemes to be brought out into the open, so in my opinion this is the best method of dealing with them, along with very carefully managing your own cognitive and emotional reactions to them. I suggest that anyone interested in the practicalities of doing this should read about Stephen Karpman's 'drama triangle' and Transactional Analysis game playing.

All said and done, this is a good read with some sound advice. But please, let us temper our attitude with some compassion and understanding. After all, as the author quite rightly points out, psychopaths have been brought into our lives for a reason - something about us has attracted their influence in our lives. Let us then use such experiences to become bigger and better people, more rounded with love, compassion, and understanding. Easy to say, very hard to do.

Peace be with you.
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7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading, 31 Oct 2012
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I have read both of Thomas Sheridans' books and I was initially quite impressed. However certain things he said felt like huge generalisation, and he does not back up his claims with proper facts. Something felt intrinsically wrong and I wonder if he has some psychopathic traits himself. I definitely regret buying these books.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Scary!!, 17 Jun 2014
This review is from: Puzzling People: The Labyrinth of the Psychopath (Kindle Edition)
This book has made me suspicious of everyone including myself. I found it tedious after a while as it repeats the same thing again and again.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Repetitive, 21 Jun 2013
By 
Andrew (Ayrshire, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Puzzling People: The Labyrinth of the Psychopath (Kindle Edition)
Sadly I found it difficult to finish reading this book due to the overblown writing style, disorganised material and repetitiveness.

The book is not without its merits but there are better works out there covering the same subject.
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11 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I regret buying this book, 20 Aug 2012
By 
Phung Minh Hoang (Singapore) - See all my reviews
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I'm very interested in the field of psychopathology and have a fair collection of books in this area. I have bought Puzzling People based on recommendation from someone else and to say I'm disappointed is an understatement. The author has taken materials from other books, blogs and forums, mixed them with his own "original" ideas and presented in his own ways. The borrowed materials are sound and I can recognize most of them. But the way they are presented is very confusing.

The worst thing about the book, however, is the author's own ideas because they are very misleading and do more harm than good. The most significant misleading bit is his assertion that psychopathy does not have a genetic origin. IMO, the genetic origin of psychopathy is THE most important thing to know and deeply understand about it. He also states that once you know about psychopaths, spotting them is very easy. Sez who? Even very knowledgeable researchers such as Robert Hare say that it is extremely difficult to recognize the well-adapted psychopaths. Beleaving that you can easily spot psychopaths can only do one thing: Make you an easy victim for them.

Bottom line is: I regret buying this book.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too emotive to be taken seriously, 25 Mar 2013
By 
Mr. M. Connor - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Puzzling People: The Labyrinth of the Psychopath (Kindle Edition)
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson I wanted more on this particular mental malfunction. The good reviews convinced me to buy Puzzling People, but i was quickly disappointed.

Where as Ronson explores the topic with a Louis Theroux style naive inquisitiveness, Sheridan writes like a fantasy novelist. Every sentence is pocked with hyperbolic emotional descriptions. Ronson spells out facts and allows the reader to draw their own conclusions:

"given the statistics, most people reading this book will know at least one person who scores highly on the Bob Hare test and so would be classified as psychopathic" (Worrying!)

Sheridan uses the full force of a thesaurus to explain how you should feel:

"Thousands of heartless monsters, ready at any moment to take your money and love and leave you a quivering husk of a human being, circle you in your daily life. These insipid snakes are on the train in the morning, your workplace and probably your bed...!"

I would have given this book a 1 star but it felt wrong considering I didn't finish it (after a few chapters I couldn't stand the style anymore so I stopped).

If you are looking for an analytical and factual but approachable book on psychopathy this is not it. If you enjoy those stories in 'OK' and 'Now' (or other magazines with one word titles) which tell in excruciating detail how a bad man took all of his partner's money and her sister and left her then you may like this.

The Jeremy Kyle of Psycho books in short.
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