The Psychopath Test

The Psychopath Test

Book rating: 05 Hardback

By (author) Jon Ronson

List price $26.69

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Paperback $9.46
  • Publisher: PICADOR
  • Format: Hardback | 304 pages
  • Dimensions: 144mm x 216mm x 32mm | 422g
  • Publication date: 3 June 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0330492268
  • ISBN 13: 9780330492263
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations
  • Sales rank: 32,782

Product description

This is a story about madness. It all starts when journalist Jon Ronson is contacted by a leading neurologist. She and several colleagues have recently received a cryptically puzzling book in the mail, and Jon is challenged to solve the mystery behind it. As he searches for the answer, Jon soon finds himself, unexpectedly, on an utterly compelling and often unbelievable adventure into the world of madness. Jon meets a Broadmoor inmate who swears he faked a mental disorder to get a lighter sentence but is now stuck there, with nobody believing he's sane. He meets some of the people who catalogue mental illness, and those who vehemently oppose them. He meets the influential psychologist who developed the industry standard Psychopath Test and who is convinced that many important CEOs and politicians are in fact psychopaths. Jon learns from him how to ferret out these high-flying psychopaths and, armed with his new psychopath-spotting abilities, heads into the corridors of power...Combining Jon's trademark humour, charm and investigative incision, "The Psychopath Test" is a deeply honest book unearthing dangerous truths and asking serious questions about how we define normality in a world where we are increasingly judged by our maddest edges.

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Author information

Jon Ronson is an award-winning writer and documentary maker. He is the author of two bestsellers: Them: Adventures with Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats, and two collections, Out of the Ordinary: True Tales of Everyday Craziness and What I Do: More True Tales. He lives in London.

Customer reviews

By Katy 10 Jul 2011 5

Ronson takes his readers on a journey where he discovers the world of psychopathy. He interviews the non believing academics, notes the fence sitters, to those academics who embrace the concept of the psychopathic personality disorder and Robert Hares Psychopath Test Scale. Ronson also comes face-to-face with a real life psychopath which is very interesting. Ronson does veer off the topic in some pages towards the end of the book, however quickly comes back to the issue. I would have liked Ronson to address the causes of psychopathy in more depth, however this book is only a reflection on the authors journey, and I cannot fault it any further. I would recommend this book to the lay person, or the academic who is interested in expanding their knowledge on personality disorders, and/or those that would like to be armed with the tools they need to identify one. As Ronson's book conveys, Psychopaths are not limited to violent serial killers, but are also bosses, brothers, sisters, parents, the people living next door, the guy at the bar looking at you from across the room. They are highly functioning, just not emotionally, and blend in well with society... to an extent. This is a very good book and a VERY EASY READ. I highly recommend it.

Review quote

"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"