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The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry Paperback – May 1, 2012
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“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
“…A book that manages to be as cheerily kooky as it is well-researched.” -- Los Angeles Times
“Engagingly irreverent…” -- New York Times
“[A] fascinating and humane book…” -- Washington Post Book World
“…Both terrifying and hilarious.” -- O, The Oprah Magazine
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
- Robert Hare, Ph.D
I've been hooked on Jon Ronson's writing since 'The Men Who Stare at Goats' was first published. Ronson cuts right to the heart of important topics by having the guts to ask the difficult questions. His literary style is equal parts journalistic rigour, deep compassion and incisive observational humour that often shines the light of ridicule on darker human behaviours. 'The Psychopath Test' explores psychiatry, psychopathology, medication and incarceration of 'dangerous' individuals. The book reads like a mystery novel, which - driven by Ronson's compelling prose - makes it difficult to put down.
The story begins with a meeting between Ronson and a history student who has received a cryptic book called 'Being or Nothingness' in the mail. The same book has been received by several individuals around the globe, most of whom work in the field of psychiatry. The book contains 42 pages, every second one blank. (This made me wonder...in 'The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy', the ultimate answer to life, the Universe and Everything was 42. Was this relevant? Was the mysterious author of 'Being or Nothingness' implying that his cryptic messages, if decoded, could lead to enlightenment?Read more ›
I audibly gasped when I read that paragraph because it seemed like so much common sense. Our world is as screwed up as it is not because of global warming and corrupt political systems, but because the individuals running it, economically, politically, and socially, are irresponsible, self-absorbed, selfish, egotists who have a grandiose sense of themselves and care little or nothing about the impact of their decisions and actions on others. They have virtually no sense of empathy and are generally pathological liars. They are impulsive and refuse to accept responsibility for their actions. Usually, they demonstrated behavior problems early in their lives and have conned and manipulated their way through it.Read more ›
In the book, Ronson takes us into the fascinating world of psychopaths by speaking to the experts and having amusing conversations with the psychopaths themselves. His conversations with psychopaths provide the book's best moments. Ronson comes across as anxious and easy to manipulate, which really gets the psychopaths to open up with him. He's also quite funny, which makes for some great interviews.
One in a hundred people are psychopaths, and those who aren't locked up in prisons can be hard to identify if you don't know what you're looking for. The book includes the actual test developed by Candadian psychologist Robert Hare that determines whether a person is a psychopath. Thankfully, I passed the test and it's quite fun to take it and see how you score on the traits typically seen in psychopaths: a lack of remorse, pathological lying, superficial charm, sexual promiscuity and extreme, self-serving manipulation.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Plenty to think about here. I found it a bit disturbing to discover that there is little being done to help bring this situation into the light so that more people can get help.Published 22 hours ago by Amazon Customer
Wonderful compilation of both fact and opinion-- I loved reading a layperson's account of exploring the confusing and controversial world of studying psychopathy and other mental... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Alexa Lambros
Absolutely fascinating book. I am very interested in social work and psychotherapy, and this book was both enjoyable and informative.Published 3 days ago by Jo Hughes
I liked the book found it very interesting. The subject was both spooky and entertainingPublished 3 days ago by Robert E Hetz
An insightful look inward as looking out, Jon Ronson never writes about something or someone that I don't immediately want to know more about. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Jeffrey C. Pond
Ronson, though ever-engaging, wanders a bit too much in this book. This lack of focus and a clear path is exacerbated by the title, which is a bit misleading. Read morePublished 14 days ago by S. Yates
Anyone who thinks they know a psychopath should read this. You probably know more than one.Published 23 days ago by Juniper