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

4.2 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews

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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 Books (October 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781594631375
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594631375
  • ASIN: 1594631379
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
7/10
Lost at Sea is a compilation of some of Ronson's pieces of research published in articles or presented in TV segments, now modified, enlarged or updated for this book. Ronson explores different fringe subjects, situations and characters, we get acquainted with ordinary people who are nothing but extraordinary, "weirdonary" I might say.

This compilation is organically structured in six parts, although some of the articles could also be included in several of them.
1/ THE THINGS WE'RE WILLING TO BELIEVE delves into the matter of faith, no matter is religious and accepted, just popular New-Age beliefs or Fringe Science. We get acquainted with the superstitions and pseudo-scientific beliefs that contestants in TV quiz shows have. We discover the new generation of sentient robots, Zeno, Aiko and the incredible Bina48, part of different engineering projects to create ciberconsciousness and emotional almost-human robots. Then we met a GP, Dr Munchies, who is at the core of a support group for supposedly highly evolved psychic telepathic "Indigo children" previously considered just ADHD. One of my favourite articles in the book involves Ronson (a lapse Jew) joining a group of agnostics for the Alpha Course, a 10-week course organised by celebrity pastor Nicky Gumbel in the Holy Trinity Brompton church to transform hardener believers into confirmed Christians.

2/ REBELLIOUS LIVES has two articles on people who were supposed to be something but turned out to be much more or simply something different. This is the case of the broadcaster Ray Gosling who was arrested for falsely stating in front of the cameras that he had killed a former lover out of mercy a few years earlier.
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