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“The Psychopath Test” by Jon Ronson

Thu 20th August 2015

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness IndustryThe Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In The Psychopath Test, Jon Ronson takes us on yet another adventure trough an area of society that we may only vaguely have heard of and has us forming strong opinions and then opposing ones within hours!

The Psychopath Test follows a very similar format to Them and The Men Who Stare at Goats: the general subject is introduced through a mystery, a character is introduced that will be referred back to at various points throughout the book, the entire area is explored through Therouxian interviews and well-researched profiles, a diversion into something that doesn’t feel like it entirely fits in this book, before concluding that, after all that, maybe we’ve been thinking too hard about finding an absolute answer and the reality is a bit greyer than we’d like to think.

Despite that rather cynical portrayal of Ronson’s style, this book is a very good read, perhaps my favourite of the three. Ronson’s writing has matured significantly and the narrative flows almost entirely unhindered in this outing. I was most surprised at the conclusion this book built to, and it was a shame that the pharmaceutical-and-lobbyist angle wasn’t given more space. Maybe he’s saving that for another book?

If you’re a fan of Ronson’s previous books, definitely pick this up. If you’ve not read any of them, start with this. His persona and interview style is reminiscent of Louis Theroux, so the book is subtly entertaining throughout, and everything else he writes is thoroughly researched and well explained. Go read it!

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