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The Amazing Adventures of Phoenix Jones: And the Less Amazing Adventures of Some Other Real-Life Superheroes
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The Amazing Adventures of Phoenix Jones: And the Less Amazing Adventures of Some Other Real-Life Superheroes

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  503 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Bestselling author Jon Ronson walks the mean streets of America, where he finds real-life modern-day superheroes fighting crime, saving old ladies and runaways, and chasing away drug dealers-all while wearing a mask and a cape. These do-gooding citizens talk the talk and walk the walk of mythical superheroes; the only thing they're missing is actual supernatural powers. "T ...more
Kindle Edition, 68 pages
Published November 2011 by Penguin Group US
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(showing 1-30 of 1,288)
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Mar 02, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: gonzo, read-in-2012
Sort of the anti-Ben Mezrich (who has an unmatched ability for tracking down the most fascinating topics/subjects, only to render them unlikeable and unrelatable through his writing), Jon Ronson takes subjects that I may only half-heartedly find interesting and presents them in compassionate, compelling, hilarious, irresistible ways. This was no exception. I only wish it were longer. I will read anything he writes.
Sam Quixote
Feb 24, 2013 Sam Quixote rated it liked it
A daycare manager for autistic children by day, masked vigilante at night. A scenario many people have read before in comics, except this is real life. Phoenix Jones is the real life super hero’s (RLSH) name and fighting crime is his game. I remember hearing about him in the news a year or so ago so I was interested when the excellent Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare At Goats, Them, The Psychopath Test) set out to interview him and find out why people are now dressing as superheroes and patrolling ...more
Dan Slauson
Dec 02, 2014 Dan Slauson rated it really liked it
I love Jon Ronson, and want to read everything he writes. I started reading this not realizing that it's actually a very short, relatively superficial article. I guess I was expecting something a bit longer and more detailed. After reading on my Kindle for 20 minutes or so, I realized that I was well over halfway finished.

Anyway, on Phoenix Jones, a real-life masked crime fighter in Seattle, goes out every night and breaks up fights and heckles drug dealers and other brave/stupid acts of valor.
Ana Maria Rînceanu
This story is stranger than fiction, but it's real!
Mar 02, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it
Good, lighthearted, Ronson doing his thing at the top of his game. Read my other Ronson reviews, they pretty much all apply here in this short story. Ronson lets Jones tell his story in his own words, playing the part of the foil perfectly. I give it 4 stars only because of the subject material, quite honestly Jones isn't all that interesting compared to the KKK or psychopaths.

Good read, you won't be disappointed.
Dec 23, 2011 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let me be clear right off the bat. This was a short and fun read, not because of the prose, but because of the content. I didn't grow up reading comic books, nor did I ever wish to become a superhero. I did have a slight fascination with Superman from the ages of 6-11, but I never really got into the culture like some of my friends.

With that said, I have to tell you this true story was fascinating. I had no idea that so many people are emulating superheroes and kicking ass in our society. I've s
Dec 18, 2015 Brandon rated it it was ok
I really enjoy the way Jon Ronson writes, but this just fell short for me. I feel like this was just something that he maybe hoped would become a book but nothing interesting really came about and no magazines cared to pick it up. It wasn't a waste of my time at least!
Nov 26, 2012 Heather rated it it was ok
This was, really, more of an extended magazine article than a "book," with an excerpt from another of Jon Ronson's books at the end of it - so, I'm a little peeved that I paid $3 bucks for it. But, that said...I laughed out loud lots.

Did you know there were real-life superheroes? The reason I knew is because a good friend's ex-husband IS one.

No, really. He dresses up like a superhero. Banker by day, crimefighter in tights by night.

And, apparently, he's not the only one - there are dozens acros
Justin BIggs
Dec 28, 2015 Justin BIggs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Short Read

This is a great introduction to Jon Ronson if you have never read him. Engaging and Informative, with Journalistic flare.
Sep 18, 2015 Katheryn rated it it was ok
Felt kinda like he started on a quest for a story and just gave up and wrote what is an essentially long article on the topic. Hour read tops.
Dec 12, 2012 Teeliles rated it liked it

I was a bit disappointed in this book. For one thing, it's VERY short (which I should have figured out before buying it!); the excerpts from other books by the author make up almost half of the novel! I gave it three stars anyway, because my second reason probably won't affect other readers: I saw the author on The Daily Show, when he told a hysterical anecdote about the adventures of Phoenix Jones. Turns out that the anecdote describes almost all of the book! Which was a pretty big spoiler for
Jul 07, 2014 Russell rated it liked it
Funny and interesting look at a pretty crazy little subculture
Matthew Ardill
Jul 09, 2012 Matthew Ardill rated it it was amazing
A great little inside look at Pheonix Jones' life and the broader "Real Life Superhero" movement. It makes me think what it would take for me to go to the lengths Jones goes. I know Rain Wilson is looking to make a reality show about Jones and while I think he's utterly mad it's interesting to see what made him mad and how he's using that and how much (in some ways) I can see his point. What I also find interesting is the bitter little rivalries that seem to be going on in the "RLS" movement. A ...more
Feb 08, 2015 Tia rated it it was ok
Barely a book, half of it was a "free excerpt" of a book I'd already read- The psychopath test.
The psychopath test is great, this isn't. Read that instead.
Nov 14, 2012 Ryan rated it really liked it
This is the true story of Phoenix Jones, a real life superhero who fights crime on the streets of Seattle. Jon Ronson is a reporter who followed Phoenix around for a story published in GQ, and the writing is definitely straight to the point. Phoenix is a very likable character, and loves fighting crime, and Ronson weaves an entertaining narrative. His affection for Phoenix is apparent, and Ronson gives him the respect he deserves in his writing, and makes this story a must for any superhero fan ...more
Felipe Maia
Aug 08, 2013 Felipe Maia rated it liked it
The Amazing Adventures of Phoenix Jones: And the Less Amazing Adventures of Some Other Real-Life Superheroes is an entertaining piece of work. I really enjoyed reading it, since is an interesting subject and Jon Ronson writes greatly as always. A good read that I recommend to anyone who likes super heroes and want to know how would they are in the real world. The only problem is the shortness of the book. Jon could explore much more of the theme, specially after what he shows us in the end of Ph ...more
Jan 22, 2016 bossy rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Wish it had more observations. too short.
Ji Tuazon
Feb 01, 2014 Ji Tuazon rated it liked it
Dan Mccarthy
Feb 14, 2013 Dan Mccarthy rated it really liked it
Quick read that gives a fascinating look into what happens when ComicCon attendees take their fantasy into real life. Ronson is sensitive, respectful and open-eyed as he follows some regular guys in their quest to mete justice where justice is deserved without getting themselves too banged up. Quixotic? Stupid? Fearless? Admirable? You get to be the judge.
Michael Shore
Feb 01, 2013 Michael Shore rated it liked it
Fun, short read about a real life superhero fighting the bad guys out in Seattle. Interesting young man who could probably put his talents into something more long term and practical, but for now, chooses to help out his community.

This was my first read of anything by Jon Ronson, but i will be checking out some of his other work. Thanks Eric. :-)
Jan 05, 2013 Cláudia rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour
Im a huge Ronson fan and loved this story, however, calling this an ebook is quite a stretch. Its roughly the same size as each of the stories he tells in "lost at sea" so maybe it should have been published as part of a similar book. It just felt like it could be a bit more developed.
That being said... its HILARIOUS as usual!
Apr 03, 2013 Marlena rated it really liked it
As always, Jon Ronson brings humanity to a fringe movement. Phoenix Jones is truly an amazing person with some great and brave outlooks on life. He is inspiring, not just to all of those who have idolized superheros as kids, but also to those of us who want justice, but don't always take action. It's an article worth reading.
Jan 14, 2012 Emma2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
While it offers a somewhat in depth view into the delusional minds and chaotic lives of real life superheros, the narrative is very disconnected, jumping from subject to subject, the dialogue seems unnatural, and Ronson seems to romanticize very dangerous actions by glorified vigilantes.
May 28, 2013 Stuart rated it really liked it
The main piece on Phoenix Jones is short (a 20 minute read) but very sweet. Ronson appears to be deeply enamoured with Jones - much more so than the other Real Life Super Heroes in the book.

(The second half of the ebook is an excerpt from Ronson's book The Psychopath Test.)
Cassandra Moses
May 04, 2012 Cassandra Moses rated it liked it
yes. now I want to meet Phoenix even more! this was so short that I wanted more... and the shortness of it and the fact that there was one spelling error and one comma error is why I only gave it 3 stars. I am excited to read one of Jon's other books.
Dec 05, 2012 Jez rated it really liked it
Really thought this book would be a bit longer. I read the original article excerpt in the Guardian and it seems they could've just printed the whole piece! Ah well, still textbook Ronson stuff and certainly entertaining.
Sarah Louise Leach
Jan 03, 2013 Sarah Louise Leach rated it liked it
more of an article than even a small book. Funny, but i wanted more for the price!Kindle kindly gave me a free excerpt from "The Psychopath Test" by the same author, but i had already read that.
Kristina Pasko
Jun 17, 2013 Kristina Pasko rated it liked it
I'm not sure where this falls in the chronology of Ronson's writing, but it seemed like an early effort to me, a bit unpolished. The topic was moderately interesting.
Kevin Ireland
Jul 08, 2012 Kevin Ireland rated it really liked it

Well written and interesting but shockingly short. Would love to see ronson do a longer version that involves more people from the rlsh movement.
Dec 29, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it
Very short, but interesting as always
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Jon Ronson is a writer and documentary film maker. His books, Them: Adventures With Extremists and The Men Who Stare At Goats were international bestsellers. The Men Who Stare At Goats was adapted into a major motion picture starring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges.

He's written the popular "Human Zoo" and "Out of the Ordinary" columns for The Guardian, where he still c
More about Jon Ronson...

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“How you feed your family is not how we feed our family. For real. We’re not out here just for the fun and just for the show-and-tell. This is real life.” I am finding myself ostentatiously nodding at everything the crack dealers are saying, I suppose in the hope that if the shooting starts they’ll remember my nods and make the effort to shoot around me.” 1 likes
“You keep staying on our block we gonna have to show you what the burner do.” “Thank you, it’s great meeting you,” says Phoenix. “What’s a burner?” I whisper. “A gun,” Phoenix whispers back. The man loops and rejoins the others. The streets are deserted. It’s just the dealers and us. But then, miraculously, a taxi passes. I flag it. The superheroes all have bulletproof vests. I have nothing. I have a cardigan.” 1 likes
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