Book Review: The Psychopath Test, Jon Ronson
Jon Ronson’s, author of The Men Who Stare at Goats, newest book is The Psychopath Test. It is Ronson’s personal journey into what he calls the madness industry.
Ronson, a respected journalist who has written for The Guardian and published four books, each delving into a mysterious world, uses his self deprecating style to bring the world of the mad, of those who study the insane and even those who appear normal (but are they?) to life.
Ronson’s interest in the world of psychopaths begins when he is contacted by a group of academics who all received editions of a maddening book, Being or Nothingness. The book appears to have been sent to a select group of intellectuals. It features cut out words, riddles and mysterious notes, leaving all who received it baffled. The group calls on Ronson to help solve the mystery of who wrote the book and why they are the recipients.
Ronson solves that mystery relatively easily, but it sparks his curiosity. Who would do such a thing? Why would they do such a thing? Is that person a psychopath? What is a psychopath exactly? Ronson takes readers on a journey as he interviews mass murders, CEOs, those held in homes for the criminally insane and those in the medical industry charged with determining who exactly is insane. Through his journey, Ronson begins to question his own sanity as well.
Although I’m not an avid reader of non-fiction, I could not stop reading The Psychopath Test. The cases it presents, the stories that emerge, Ronson’s fantastic mix of intellectualism and humor all make this book a must read.
Rating: 4 ½ out of 5 Bear Paws