Recent reading. The Psycopath test by Jon Ronson


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I’m new to Jon Ronson.  This was a gift so I approached with no preconceptions.

At first I was bowled over by his really great writing style.  Self deprecating, very amusing and, well, bloggish.  But as the book wore on, despite remaining constantly interesting, I began to wonder what the point of it was.

It’s neither a text book nor a novel.

In fact it feels like a series of reasonably closely connected essays on a subject he does not profess to be expert in and yet has written at least four books on the subject.

That subject being, and I apologise for the crassness of his own byline, madness.  (A journey through the madness industry.)

It’s part Louis Theroux, part Michael Moore, part Bill Bryson but the sum is not quite as satisfying as any of them because I got the feeling he was pulling too many punches.

He has a go at psychiatrists, the pharmaceutical industry as a whole and the process of evaluating possible psycopaths (sociopaths) but he typically fails to land any real killer blows.

The result is a bit of a curate’s egg.

Sure it’s really well written, stylistically – and interestingly researched – but my question is; Why?

I’m not trying to put you off because I found it an interesting, and enjoyable, read but it really does fall into a category I can’t find or describe.

I will explore his back catalogue deeper nevertheless.

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