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

4.2 out of 5 stars 155 customer reviews

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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 (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #369,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Bradley Bevers VINE 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? )
How have I missed reading Jon Ronson for so long? I read the newspapers where his articles usually appear, I have seen his books in the stores and libraries, I heard about the George Clooney movie based on one of his books. And yet this is the first book I have read by Ronson. There is no excuse.

Knowing only what the blurb said, about Ronson investigating the strange things we are willing to believe in, I started reading. When I finished the book, uncharacteristically having read every page (except for the last few pages about the trial of a pedophile), I immediately started looking for more of Ronson's books, and was pleased to find there are enough to keep me going for a while.

I expected, from the description, this to be a collection of articles about the kooky people who believe they've been abducted by aliens or are receiving transmissions from the CIA through the fillings in their teeth. There are a lot of people in those groups and poking fun at them seems cruel, not funny. Jon Ronson doesn't poke fun, he keeps an open mind, while still being a skeptical journalist. It's a skill not many have, and to top it off, he writes beautifully.

Many of the essays in Lost at Sea are indeed about those who believe in psychics, aliens from outer space, and mind control, but my favorites were about credit card debt, the wealth gap in America, and Stanley Kubrick's storage boxes.

I think Ronson must be especially disarming for so many people to open up to him. Maybe he gives off a vibe that he's a bit on the strange side himself. Whatever he has, it is working and I'm off to find more of his books and articles.
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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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