Jon Ronson has also written a book about extremists called Them, which I’ve heard of but never read, and he wrote the book Men with Goats, which was adapted into a movie that I know I saw but possess no recollection of. I heard about this book — The Psychopath Test — on the Daily Show a few years ago. I placed it on my TBR list and pretty much forgot all about it until I saw it at the library this weekend.
“Suddenly, madness was everywhere, and I was determined to learn about the impact it had on the way society evolves. I’ve always believed society to be a fundamentally rational thing, but what if it isn’t? What if it is built on insanity?”
Ronson starts his book off with a puzzle — a collection of pages with cryptic messages has been mailed to a variety of professionals across the world, and he wants to solve the mystery. He does, rather quickly, and while the mystery turns out to not be so mysterious, he comes away intrigued with the idea that one slightly crazy person could cause such a flurry of activity in so many lives. So he starts investigating psychopaths — how psychologists diagnose them, treat them, etc. He does a lot of research and talks to a lot of people, but I feel like he passes over the most interesting aspect: what makes them this way?
Overall, the subject of the book is pretty interesting, but I feel like Ronson 1) spent too much time talking about himself, and 2) skipped around a lot. None of the chapters seemed very organized.