Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry Paperback – May 1, 2012
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“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 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
Jon Ronson’s works include New York Times bestseller So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, Lost at Sea, The Amazing Adventures of Phoenix Jones, and international bestsellers: Them: Adventures with Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats. Ronson lives in New York.
Top customer reviews
In addition to defining and describing psychopaths, Ronson questions the sanity of psychiatry in its history and current state -- from the mid-20th century's LSD-assisted psychiatric prison sessions and traveling icepick-wielding lobotomists to today's hare trigger prescription-happy child psychiatrists. And it's entertaining, even quite funny, which is no mean achievement for a book about psychos.
Jon Ronson's knees don't jerk, evidenced by his surprisingly evenhanded treatment of Scientologists, noting the rational roots of their criticisms of psychology but also their irrational and creepy aspects.
Sometimes Ronson almost becomes Laodicean in his determined use of gray instead of black and white, but because his gray is made up of stark black and white dots, each conveying a strong feeling, he thankfully escapes.
Learning about psychopaths is the main course in The Pscyhopath Test, but other creative and unusual courses make it a larger special meal.
(mixed metaphors at no extra cost)
Ronson gives a number of examples of the ambiguity that surrounds psychopathy in modern life, the degree to which an element of madness might actually propel world advances regardless of the human consequences, and examples where criminal psychopathy may or may not conform to the readers expectations.
Ultimately, however, the book as a whole feels empty. There are interesting points made, and interesting questions raised, but there are no conclusions and the implications of Ronson's observations seem fairly obvious. There are some interesting anecdotes presented along the way, but ultimately the book simply ends as though Ronson had nothing more to say and had related every amusing story he encountered in his research.
The book is worth borrowing from a friend or lending library if a reader is interested in how deviant behavior influences the world and everyday life, but it isn't a must-read by any measure.
But it was still as disturbing as hell, forgive my language. I took off a star because I didn't love it after some of the descriptions of what said psychopaths had done to their victims (or other psychopaths that he didn't interview, things they had done, mostly brutal murders). I don't watch Bones or Law and Order either, I'm simply not entertained by that kind of thing, and found myself repulsed and slightly sick at a few parts. But honestly it didn't detract from the book that much in my sensitive opinion. If you are looking for ways to spot a psychopath and are appreciative of engaging authors, go ahead and give 'er a read.
Most recent customer reviews
Introspective without being overbearing.