am 23. November 2015
Das Buch lässt sich sehr angenehm lesen. Es sind spannende Storys enthalten, die Jon Ronson erforscht hat als Journalist. Er gibt schöne Einblicke in die Psychopathen die hinter Mauern leben, aber auch in die, die direkt unter uns leben.
am 5. Februar 2012
While Jon Ronson has previously paid tribute to men who stare at goats, he's now giving all those madmen out there a scrutinizing look in his book The Psychopath Test, almost single-handedly solving the puzzle of a mysterious book and the person behind it.
I must admit that before I started reading, and even throughout the first chapter, I thought this book was riding mostly on the humorous wave, yet it turned out to be wonderfully entertaining and self deprecating, while at the same time taking a smart and serious look at what psychopaths are made of. Jon skilfully eases into the subject taking the reader on a journey through the madness industry. Not just observing, he inevitably finds himself doing amateur diagnosis of those around him, and he does not spare himself either.
One has to wonder about that fine line that separates crazy from normal. Why do some people end up in a mental institution despite appearing to be perfectly normal folks? Or what about high achievers who show scarily many traits that fit into the scheme of "psychopaths"? Do the mad know they are mad? Could it be possible, just how Scientologists believe, that there is no such thing as mental illness?
This book won't give easy answers to any of these questions, instead it tries to make sense, sometimes doubting then believing, but most of all making you rethink your own preconceptions and knowledge.
In short: A fascinating topic - a wild, mad read!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Pan MacMillan. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
am 10. März 2016
I have always liked Jon Ronson's stories. And I like this one in particular, so much that I give it away as a present to fellow managers.
Until the middle of the book it is all fun and very well researched on other people's insanity, until you start to realize you got (some of) the insanity in yourself, particularly, when you are an executive manager like myself. Fortunately, he gives you relief somwhat in the middle of the book, just when you start worrying. Not too early though to keep the excitement of reading his excellent story. I knew of Chainsaw Al and met quite a few other candidates for being a psyochpath in Business. It sometimes helps to have no or a false conscience.
Buy the book at least twice, read one and give the other one to a friend who works as a manager or in politics!
am 3. September 2016
Das Thema ist spannend, aber leider ist dieses Buch weder gut recherchiert noch sonderlich lustig.
Wer sich mit dem Thema Psychopathie auseinander setzen möchte, dem sei Robert D. Hare's "Without Conscience" empfohlen. Er ist der Psychologe, auf dessen Arbeit sich der Buchtitel bezieht, der sich aber sehr kritisch zu diesem Buch geäußert hat.
Auch Martha Stout's "The sociopath next door" ist fundierter.
Wer einfach gute Unterhaltung möchte, ist vielleicht mit anderen Büchern des Autors besser bedient.
am 10. September 2012
I was searching for an intelligent, fun, *witty* book to lift my spirits when I stumbled on Ronson's new book. Judging from the reviews on the blurb, I had found just what I'd been looking for:
"I began "The Psychopath Test" late at night, tired, dispirited and ill - then found myself laughing like the proverbial loon for page after page" (Will Self)
"The belly laughs come thing and fast - my God, he is funny... Ronson's new book is provocative and interesting, and you will, I guarantee, zip merrily through it" (Observer)
"Excellent", I thought. Then I started reading. And wished I'd brought another book to my holiday on a remote Greek island. Let me just say this much:
Potential buyers, beware!
Those among you looking for an entertaining read, stay far, far away from The Psychopath Test. Most of all it is deeply disturbing. If you have a brain, a heart, a conscience, and a vivid imagination, don't ask yourselves why so many reviewers both online and offline find this book "hilarious". For me, it was sickening, not entertaining, to read about the unsettling account of psychopaths and the detailed descriptions of their deeds: whether it's the abduction, rape and murder of children, women, and men or large-scale crimes against humanity, you've got all the gory descriptions in here. For me, it was sad, not entertaining, to read about David Shayler's claims that he was the new messiah. It was sad, not entertaining, to read about tens of thousands of kids wrongly being diagnosed as bipolar. It was sad, not entertaining, to read about the girl who committed suicide after humiliating her "ugly" sister for the sake of a make-over reality show. "The most entertaining monsters" (Mail on Sunday)? "An entertaining exploration of madness" (Sunday Times)? A "funny read" (Stylist)? "Screamingly funny" (Tatler)? I don't think so.
Those among you looking for an interesting, intelligent book: stay away, too. A journalist who attends a three-day workshop on "psychopath spotting" and then basically declares himself a pro (yes yes, tongue in cheek and irony and all that - but still, it's the whole foundation of the book) certainly won't give you many insights you haven't had on your own before. Many of the insights he does offer are plain wrong, as any psychiatrist or psychologist worth his or her salt will be able to tell you. And much of the story is just rambling on about "madness" without real empathy with those who suffer from mental illnesses.
It's left me wondering whether Ronson was actually just trying to churn out another book to follow up his previous successes.