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Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries Hardcover – October 30, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The Psychopath Test

“A rollicking, page-turner of a book . . . no ordinary piece of investigative journalism . . . Ronson’s storytelling skills are strong enough to enliven even the necessary reflections that would be one yawn after another if entrusted to a lesser writer.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Engagingly irreverent.”—The New York Times

“Because of Ronson’s relentless self-deprecation and goofy, British humor, it’s easy to tag along without fully realizing the rigor of his reporting, which is itself frenzied with compulsive questioning and obsessive research.”—The Boston Globe

“[A] fascinating and humane book.”—The Washington Post Book World

“Both terrifying and hilarious.”—O: The Oprah Magazine

About the Author

Jon Ronson’s books include the New York Times bestseller The Psychopath Test, and Them: Adventures with Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats—both international bestsellers. The Men Who Stare at Goats was adapted as a major motion picture, released in 2009 and starring George Clooney. Ronson lives in London and New York City.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781594631375
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594631375
  • ASIN: 1594631379
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.3 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #281,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Most of all, I suppose, I write about mysterious worlds. I write about them in as human a way as I can. These worlds have included powerful secret societies like Bohemian Grove and The Bilderberg Group (I infiltrated them in my book Them), extremist communities - Islamic militants, politically correct Klansmen (also in Them), people who believe the world is ruled by 12-foot shape-shifting lizards (Them), and Military Intelligence chiefs who believe it possibe to pass through walls and kill goats just by staring at them (The Men Who Stare At Goats). In Goats, I also look at how these crazy ideas have mutated themselves and live on in the War on Terror.
These are funny stories about unfunny things.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Bradley Bevers TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Jon Ronson is one of my favorite writers. He has a gift for finding outrageous, true stories and telling them in a compelling way. The stories and essays in Lost At Sea work so well because they are outrageous, true, honest, and Ronson handles them all with respect and care. It is a great read, and one that I highly recommend to all.

The stories are loosely tied together as "strange things we are willing to believe", and almost all of the stories fit into this rubric. Of the one's that don't, I am glad they were included anyways. The only one that feels really out of place is "The Name's Ronson, Jon Ronson", his story about reliving the drive from the Goldfinger movie.

Here are my favorite chapters:

* Insane Clown Posse - This chapter starts off the book, and it is fascinating. I have never listened to an ICP song, and don't plan to, but their now-professed Christianity, or at least spiritualism, is worth reading about. As soon as I read this chapter, I knew I would love the book.

* Robot Interviews - Ronson interviews the most advanced Artificial Intelligence robots that we have today - really interviews them - and collects his findings here.

* Indigo Children - How did I miss this? A huge group of parents/families deciding that their (maybe) ADHD children are actually the next evolution and saviors of the world . . .

* Alpha Course - As a Christian who has always been very involved in church, and now serve as an elder, I was interested to hear Ronson's take here. He gives an honest account of what he thinks and I found it moving and insightful, as well as extremely fair. I have not participated in Alpha Course, but know many who have. Also, speaking in tongues like described . . . unbiblical and I would find it just as weird.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E.M. Bristol VINE VOICE on September 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Jon Ronson's books are perfect for anyone who may be concerned about their sanity. Trust me, once you read a few pieces by this best-selling journalist (author of "Men Who Stare at Goats," which was made into a movie starring George Clooney), you'll feel like the most well-adjusted person around. Armed with deadpan humor and a broad tolerance for even the most horrifying of world views, Ronson interviews such subjects as the members of the band Insane Clown Posse, the world's supposedly most advanced robot, a UFO expert, a man who's been attempting to make contacts with extra-terrestrial life for years, and community members of an Alaskan town in which schoolkids answer letters to Santa in the guise of elves. He also looks at the darker side of humanity with interviews with Robbie Williams, the pop impressario indicted for child molestation; Major Charles Ingram and his wife Diana, who cheated on the British show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire"; and neighbors of Robert Hall, a Brit living in the French countryside who murdered his wife and entombed her in a block of concrete. Psychics, cult leaders and gurus are also represented in this collection. Occasionally, Ronson himself is the main subject, as in "The Name's Ronson, Jon Ronson," (in which he impersonates James Bond for a day), but even when he's not, his irrelevance often gets him in trouble with those he interviews and their followers. In one, an irate psychic lambasts him, calling him a "little worm." Other subjects are more circumspect in their attempts to obscure the real story, such as the employees of the Disney cruise ship, from which an employee went missing and has never been found.

In several pieces, Ronson employs rather original ways of handling the subject.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Devil_Monkey on October 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm on the fence about the star rating, I liked it about 3.5 but not enough to round up to a 4 so consider this rating a very strong 3.

This is my first experience with anything Jon Ronson has written (although I've seen the movie based on his book The Men Who Stare at Goats). I found him to be very adept at getting into a subject, participating (as a journalist) in the story without overwhelming it.

Lost at Sea is a collection of essays, some written so recently they seem almost presciently timely while others were obviously from some years ago and, as a result, seem quite dated and don't have anywhere near the impact they must have had originally. The book is divided into five parts which consist of a mix of essays that fall (in my opinion) into a handful of categories ranging from compelling and thought provoking to human interest stories that aren't all that interesting (what basically amounts to filler).

Among the more compelling stories were ones that touched on one or more of the following subjects -- artificial intelligence, Indigo children, a game show cheater, good Samaritan organ donors, religious orders/cults, the seamier side of assisted suicide, an encounter with famous psychic Sylvia Browne, the possible homophobic discrepancies in prosecuting pedophiles, income disparity in the U.S., and the way in which cruise lines fail to cooperate when those on board disappear.

To be clear, these subjects are not necessarily the main focus of the individual essays, in some cases it's simply a byproduct of a larger issue or story that is being pursued while in others it is the primary story being investigated.
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