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3.3 out of 5 stars125
3.3 out of 5 stars
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on 29 June 2014
I've read much about psychopaths / sociopaths, and I have to say I found this read to be both boring and nauseating. The prose is poor, the overall structure is crude and the writer repeats herself over and over, and over! (Pun intended.) It appears to me she wants to present some kind of celebration of psychopathy, when what she has presented instead is a very good treatise about why this seriously disordered personality type is despised by the rest of society. M E Thomas strikes me as an unkind, selfish, empty and lonely specimen who uses her grandiosity and egocentrism to compensate for this, as do many of her ilk. You can get the main threads of the book from the internet and the website sociopath, so I really wouldn't waste your money!
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on 1 September 2015
I really struggled with the point of this book. It starts well with an interesting description of what a sociopath is and isn't. The author is frank and does not seek out sympathy or forgiveness, or complain about her lot. This is good and endearing, and helped me to recognise the sociopaths among the people that I know. Then it drifts into a long set of anecdotes that lose their way. It just goes on, but doesn't tell a story.
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VINE VOICEon 21 June 2016
I am always very curious about conditions of the mind, particularly behavioural disorders such as psychopathy (or sociopathy as the author prefers to call the condition) so wanted to read this book.
The author doesn't ask to be judged (not surprisingly), simply sets out her view of the world and how she survives it.
I stuck with the book but found little to inform me after the few couple of chapters had given lots of information about the condition and its diagnosis.
In a memoir, the reader has to be able to engage with an author regardless of whether or not you like them. Here, I didn't like her in any way but was also unable to find any empathy at all. There is an argument that shows a degree of sociopathy in me but would also show that the author is not as manipulative and charismatic as she thinks.
The subject of the book is interesting but I think that the book would have been much better if it had been written by someone else, when the observations would have been more independent.
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on 7 October 2014
Really good book, she does ramble a bit in places, but was an interesting insight into the mind of a sociopath
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on 2 November 2015
Read this, realised my ex was a sociopath, split with her, changed my life, I'm a new person now. Seriously!
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on 29 April 2015
I had mixed feelings about this book. While the premise was very intriguing, I felt that the book fell short in delivering what the description promises - insight into the mind of a sociopath. I learned nothing that I didn't already know from one episode of criminal minds.

There are so many contradictions in this book, that I would be surprised if the author is really the master manipulator she claims to be - she can't keep her story straight. She says early on in the book that she was not horribly abused as a child, but then later goes on to describe situations in which her father emotionally abused and psychologically manipulated her and her siblings. He also physically abused her by lashing her with a belt on her back so hard that it left welts. Just another battle for power, according to her.
Another discrepancy that I noted, was that she says that not all sociopaths/psychopaths are criminals, and she belongs to this category. Later in the book, she tells us that while she would like to describe to us the way she has 'ruined' people, she can't due to possible legal backlash it could create.

For the most part though, I did find the book vaguely interesting. I was not offended by her point of view, (as some readers obviously were according to the reviews I've read) although her grandiosity and extreme arrogance did get a little tiresome. Do we really need to know how amazing you think your rack is, and how everyone everywhere is so obviously attracted to you?

An inflated sense of self worth, tales of immoral and heinous treatment of others, and poor justifications for such behaviour should be expected when reading this woman's book. She is, after all (supposedly), a sociopath.

I did find it amusing when she talked about how 'empaths' are governed and controlled by their emotions, while she is free to do anything. She, however, is controlled by the insatiable desire to gain power over others, so while she may think that she's free, she isn't. She will never be content with what she has. She will always want more power, more control, more admirers, more people to manipulate.

I neither loved nor hated this book. It was ok, and I wouldn't read it again.
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on 21 January 2015
For someone who is apparently so intelligent and charming, M.E. Thomas has managed to write a deeply dull and uninteresting book. She repeatedly claims that if you (the reader) were to meet her, you would be charmed, that she would seduce you. I find that incredibly unlikely.

The internal world she reveals (in painstakingly minute and unimportant detail) is much the same as that of any self-obsessed modern person. The things that she finds so remarkable about herself, seem to me to be fairly ordinary facets of the average person's personality. She rarely gives any examples of why or how her incredible traits are used, instead just repeatedly assuring us that she is intelligent, seductive, charming etc. On the rare occasions she backs these statements up, it is usually with very common situations that I expect most people encounter every day.

This book is also riddled with inconsistencies. Of course, Thomas mentions not only that she has obscured names and details, but also that she is a compulsive liar. She's not a terribly good one. If you can't get your facts straight when you have all the time in the world to write them down, then I doubt you'd be very good at keeping things straight when thinking on your feet.

She seems determined to make us think well of sociopaths / psychopaths. She repeatedly offers up single pieces of research that back up her ideas that sociopaths are in many ways better than empaths. It comes across as needy (something I wouldn't expect from a sociopath).

My overall impression of the author ended up being one of pity. She cuts a rather pathetic figure. Someone constantly trying to justify herself. I imagine her as a kind of David Brent type figure. Someone whose own self image is totally at odds with how they appear in reality.
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on 3 April 2015
Its a well written book and deeply interesting but after having studied Psychopathy some inconsistancy in the book annoyed me. She is not a sociopath she is a psychopath both terms are not interchangable. She makes issue with Dr Hare a psychopath specialist who's checklist is used to diagnose her, she questions the validity of it due to it being used primarily on criminals however she herself admits to criminal behavior she just hasn't been caught. But like most psychopaths her grandiosity and use of manipulation are really interesting she asks for empathy towards psychopaths although she admits she does not use it herself. Her grandiosity is interesting especially when it comes to her intelligence and how people see her. Overall its worth a read but some of her research is flawed especially when it comes to the title.
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on 6 January 2015
Good insight into the mind of a psychopath but glosses over the consequences of "ruining people" as if it isn't that bad a thing to do. Better to read between the lines than take it at face value.
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on 25 January 2016
I tried I really did. I got to page 107 but what a load of crap to put it lightly. The book is just her going on and on about boring parts of her life and using metaphors after metaphors. The book is so long winded and jumps around everywhere! Also a lot of contradictory statements. "Sociopaths cannot love" then goes on to say how she has close friends and family that she loves and they love her. If this was actually written by an actual Socoiopath it might have been good but this just feels like a poor attempt to cash out. If not, then she's just an awful writer and her story isn't intriguing at all.
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