Just a quick note on the excellent book by Jon Ronson; The Psychopath Test: A Journey through the Madness Industry. Stormy brought me a copy last week knowing how annoying I can be without something to read and equally how annoying am I choosing something to read. I really didn’t want to read it, I mistakenly thought it was some kind of fad self help book, I’m not sure why, probably because I didn’t read any of the blurb because I immediately put off by the design colours of orange and brown. I know right I’m fickle. Turning the inside cover I realised it was written by the bloke who wrote the men who stare at goats, so I was in good hands. The book is basically some interwoven essays on the realities on the definitions of madness and how the very traits that of successful people are only separated by circumstance to those of very “evil” people. It’s brilliantly funny which makes the whole thing a joy to read. Ronson style is of a nervous man consumed by self doubt as he starts investigating an alarming amount of psychopath’s he bumbles into. In the same way Les Dawson use to play terrible comic piano by actually having to be musical genius to make it work Ronson’s delivers his laconic comic writing hiding what is in fact an extremely talented journalist. He is incredibly even handed with his observations of scientology, psychopaths and frankly much worse psychiatrists. They are some amazing people interviewed over the course of this book, some people previously in the public eye and some murderers I’d forgotten about and some real insights into the treatment of mentally disturbed people by both the media and the industry of madness. Personally if I had all my facts presented in such a humorous way I would have probably stayed in higher education forever, this book reminds me of the brilliant historical book called Viva la Revolution by Mark Steel, humour has always been a brilliant way to get a point across. The book slightly slows towards then end but then ties up rather neatly, but if you’re looking for a quick read, some beautiful journalism and something to take away and think about then I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
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