Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Amazon Music Unlimited for Family Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 24 May 2012
Jon Ronson has made a career as an investigative journalist exploring the odder side of society. In `The Psychopath Test' he goes to his most extreme yet investigating what makes a psychopath and who differentiates a psychopath from your run of the mill sociopath? At its purest, `Psychopath' is Ronson's best book; he not only explores new avenues of madness, but reflects back on previous work to discover new elements to `Them' and `Men Who Stare at Goats'. Ronson also explores how nations treat (or don't) psychopaths and how mental illness is studied in general. All the areas are very interesting in their own right, but are too disparate at times.

It is Ronson's flitting from one subject to the other that is troublesome about this book. Although something like `Them' was also a series of investigations held together with a common theme, `Psychopath' does not feel quite as tight. The madness industry is a vast one and elements should be investigated in separate volumes, rather than trying to cover them all in one. With a scatter shot approach to themes `The Psychopath Test' is a series of excellent essays, rather than a coherent whole. An entire book could have been written on each of the cases found in the book, but even getting a brief glimpse into the world of psychopaths is a great read.

I read the Kindle version of this novel and it was a good version. The photos lost their colour, but were still clear and a decent size.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 May 2011
Conspiracy theorists have a field day whenever a massive world event occurs - they rarely take anything on face value, preferring to think that shady government spooks are behind all the world's ills (and not just most of them). Back in the 90s and early 00s Jon Ronson went on a voyage of discovery to try and understand exactly who "they" were. This group were feared and hated by extreme groups of all types; left, right, religious and secular. What made this group of shady businessmen so evocative that such a diverse group would be after them?

Ronson is a great writer combining intelligence and humour in equal measures. He is able to describe his visits with the various extremists with a straight face (pen), but easily undermines them by writing a knowing observation now and again. These observations are the key to why `Them' works. Ronson is not so much laughing at the extremists, but merely pointing out for all their vitriol and bluster that they are merely human, and amongst the most flawed at that. I can't imagine many of Ronson's interviewees have read this book and look upon their portrayal in a good light, this a class of person who has mostly lost their sense of humour and take insult easily.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about `Them' is the light nature of the book. Written just before September 11th 2001, the book seems to tackle subjects such as terrorism on an almost trivial level at times. In hindsight, Ronson may have produced a far darker and thought provoking book, but he was not to know that landscape of world politics was about to change. Ronson does mention the likes of Waco and the Oklahoma bombings in the book; he perhaps should have realised that the type of person he was gently jibing could become the next mass murderer. As it is, the lightness of the book is used to pose some interesting questions in an approachable way. A good book that dated slightly almost instantly on release due to unforeseen world events.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 June 2011
The Psychopath Test is the tale of a journey that author/journalist went on after being asked to investigate some unusual books that were delivered to academics around the world. He sets out to find out what makes some people's brains work oddly, but soon focusses on psychopathy, how it can be diagnosed, and what effects it has.

The book is presented as a series of anecdotes as the reader is taken on the journey with Ronson, although sometimes out of chronological order. This gives it a warm and approachable feel, although I suspect some readers might not appreciate this style as it does not carry a particularly scientific feel.

It's quite a scary book in places, claiming up to 1% of the world's population could be made up of psychopaths and focussing on those who end up incarcerated. It does however explore them in a sympathetic manner (well, some of them) and doesn't try to use the shock tactics favoured by television documentaries. Like the author, I'm now finding myself identifying people I know as possible psychopaths, and even characters I read about in novels - hopefully this effect will fade with time!

I found this to be an interesting but quick read, and written in a non-technical manner that doesn't put the reader off. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone prone to paranoia - you could end up spotting psychopaths everywhere - and although it's not the type of subject matter I would usually go for, I'm a little tempted to sample some of Ronson's other work.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 December 2015
No other book I've read can un-nerve me and make me laugh the way Mr Ronson manages to with his books. The human side of THEM was a revealing read! Infuential, informative and underlyingly terrifying (when you really think deeply about it all!)
review image
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 May 2017
Fantastic book. Couldn't put it down.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 March 2017
Very good book, would highly recommend.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 April 2017
Fab book, i've read and re read a few times.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 September 2016
Interesting and entertaining, I couldn't put it down.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 May 2017
great item + seller
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 March 2017
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you've entered a valid question. You can edit your question or post anyway.
Please enter a question.

Need customer service? Click here

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)