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Out of the Ordinary: True Tales of Everyday Craziness
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Out of the Ordinary: True Tales of Everyday Craziness

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  899 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
A collection of Jon's Guardian features, reworked and with new material, with a common theme: the ways in which people get themselves into wholly irrational bubbles, within which all manner of lunacy makes perfect sense. In Jon's previous two books, Them and The Men Who Stare at Goats, the nuttiness took place a long way from everyday life - on US military bases, or at Jih ...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published November 6th 2006 by Picador (first published January 3rd 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,497)
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Feb 29, 2016 Caroline rated it it was ok
This book consists of a series of articles that Ronson wrote for The Guardian. I enjoyed the first half a lot, where Ronson writes hilariously about his and his family's eccentricities. (Why the seeming endless adoration of his young son though, whilst only referring to his wife in terms of a chilly disapproval between them?) But he was very funny, and the first part of the book had me lying in bed, hiccuping with laughter.

I found the second half of the book both unattractive and boring. I hate
Jun 15, 2014 Lea rated it liked it
So-so book from Ronson this time -- a little way into it, I realized I'd already read it before and had no memory of doing so. Not the best effort from the author of Them: Adventures with Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats.

Much of the tone here is negative and annoying, which is not generally how I think of Ronson.

I'd say read this one only if you're a die hard fan.
Apr 09, 2015 Barry rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography
I received this as a Christmas present and I really don't understand why. Actually, I don't really understand the reason for the book.

The book is a collection of journalism from The Guardian's Jon Ronson. I only really know of him from being Frank Sidebottom's keyboard player in the 80's. (Incidentally, there is a nice piece on Sidey. I still miss Sidey since his death four years ago).

The book allegedly focusses on tales of 'everyday craziness'. Most of the book is his journalism and diary entri
Sarah Tipper
Apr 03, 2015 Sarah Tipper rated it really liked it
This was a hugely entertaining book. In the first half Ronson lets us in on his petty, funny little thoughts, knowing his behaviour might seem odd. Having established his own oddness, in the second half of the book he visits with the odd and the criminal. Fans of David Sedaris will enjoy this book, as will fans of the TV show Peep Show. The way in which Ronson is trying to make sense of other people’s worlds is aided by his first showing us that he recognises his own peculiarities.
I bought the s
Cath Murphy
May 22, 2012 Cath Murphy rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book by John 'Men Who Stare at Goats' Ronson would have been much improved if the contents had matched the title. More than half of it consisted of Ronson's old columns, recycled, and most (if not all) of these columns consisted of Ronson's giving us the usual fall back of the desperate storyless journo - tales from everyday everyday. Articles about being a Dad, being a husband and occasionally about being a journalist. If there was something interesting or crazy about Ronson's life, I coul ...more
Helen King
May 02, 2015 Helen King rated it liked it
Shelves: essays
Entertaining, some sections laugh out loud funny, but some were too long and dragged. But a nice reminder that - although there are some really wacky people out there, if we look at ourselves (or at least, the people that Jon comes into contact with, including his own family, and in fact, himself), we might find we too are fairly odd, with peculiarities and irrationality too.
Kathrin Passig
May 15, 2016 Kathrin Passig rated it liked it
Recommended to Kathrin by: Gefunden im Bücherregal eines B&B in Tramore
Zeug, das der Autor in Schubladen liegen hatte. Mit lustigen Stellen in der ersten Hälfte.
Deana Morris
May 30, 2016 Deana Morris rated it really liked it
The first half of this book outshines the second but for the Ronson completist (which I am) it won't disappoint.

Guffawed out loud on several occasions.
Nicole Penny
Jul 03, 2013 Nicole Penny rated it it was amazing
To me, J.Ron can do no wrong.
According to previous reviews, his style of writing is not for everyone. I think for me, his self-deprecating humour and his often awkward behaviour make him highly-relatable.
This book is a daily account of his life; I found myself constantly laughing out loud and verbally agreeing ("yes!!" following by strange looks from those in close proximity).
A great, light read.
Apr 24, 2016 Andrew rated it liked it
Shelves: biog-autobiog
A decent enough collection of short pieces about the insanity of everyday life with much pop culture stuff inside too.
Subjects include Ronsons brief period as keyboardist with Frank Sidebottom..a fairly inside look at the who wants to be a millionaire coughing court case...the downfall of pop mogul Jonathan King plus a look into the Jesus Christian church/cult(delete as applicable) and the drive they had to give away kidneys for donor purposes(rather than pies).
The writing is light and as such t
Ian Kavanagh
Jul 23, 2008 Ian Kavanagh rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ian by: The Author: I was at an event!
It's easy to dismiss Jon Ronson as another sardonic, slightly sneering commentator on the more peculiar members of society. In fact though there is something uniquely human about him and his commentary. He is also extremely funny. This book is highly readable. Not meaningful perhaps but highly enjoyable.
Richard Barnes
May 25, 2015 Richard Barnes rated it liked it
Uneven - Ronson's articles are all entertaining but this is clearly just a cash grab made by chucking a load of stuff together that couldn't be shoved into a more coherent book.

The good stuff is still very good - the pieces on Jonathan King and the Who wants to be a Millionaire trial have insight, compassion and strength. The piece on the Jesus Christians deserved to be expanded and turned into a whole book.

This collection falls down with the inclusion of a bunch of diary entries that are amusin
Angelica Raine
Feb 24, 2015 Angelica Raine rated it liked it
I know I am going to struggle writing a review for this as it was unlike any book I have ever read. I bought this book as it was on offer in HMV and The Psychopath Test (also by Jon Ronson) is one of the most interesting and gripping books that I have ever read. This book on the other hand, is very difficult to summarise. It is quite easy to read and I did finish it within a few days. It seemed a bit disjointed, and although each chapter in itself was extremely interesting and insightful into th ...more
Dec 19, 2014 pinknantucket rated it liked it
More excellence from Jon Ronson. This book is made up of shorter pieces written for the Guardian, so it's a bit harder to lose yourself in than his longer works like The Men Who Stare At Goats and Them, but perfect for the train etc.

Some days I think I'd like everything to be written by Jon Ronson. Certainly all articles about Current News Events.

My copy: I think I picked it up cheap at the Book Grocer (everything $10!)
Aug 15, 2015 Beetqueen rated it liked it
I'm usually a huge fan of Ronson, but found this one to be just so so. It wasn't bad, but it was so disjointed that I had a hard time following along. I don't have a problem with books that are just collections of essays, as long as the essays are compelling and connected in some way. The shear randomness of the essays made them hard to connect with. I definitely liked the second half of the book better. Then again, I'd already read most of these essays in another book of his, which felt a bit l ...more
Aug 10, 2014 Penny rated it really liked it
I've read a few Jon Ronson books and while I am not sure what I think about him, I do find his books interesting and captivating. This book is a little odd in that it feels like a book of two halves the first half is little snippets and observations the second focuses on a hand full of more detailed pieces. I most enjoyed the last chapter on Kubrick.
Jul 08, 2014 Richard rated it it was amazing
I loved this. I was aware of Jon Ronson's journalism and it was great to read these collected works where he gently shows the everyday lunacy around us and how people can convince themselves of their sanity or decency despite all evidence to the contrary.

A bit of a warning to be sceptical about others but perhaps mainly sceptical about ourselves.
Oct 12, 2015 Emma rated it really liked it
Essentially a re - read, having read much of this Ronson material before.

The Fall of a Pop Impresario is devastating. I've rarely been as affected by something I've read as I was by Simon ' s letter that closes the piece. Utterly chilling, a total gut punch, unforgettable.
The book is sectioned into different parts: the first is about Jon Ronson's take on life and his family's experiences.

There are some interesting insights into the modern dilemmas and problems parents face, but I found it hard to relate to a lot of the "problems" he has to deal with: private schools? Sorry my sympathies are waning immediately!

The other part of the book deals with his journalistic investigations and opportunities that are frankly beyond the norm.

The heart warming, if slightly dis
Kim Parish
Oct 22, 2014 Kim Parish rated it it was ok
A very easy read ideal for a time needing little concentration . The best part is the early second half when he discusses some of his cases. I nearly missed the best bit as he irritated me so much early I'm the book
Sep 26, 2010 Jenny rated it it was ok
My first 12 Books, 12 Months book DONE! Jon Ronson is one of my favorite authors, so when this book, printed only in the UK got sent to me I was so excited.

It was a bunch of short stories and, especially at the beginning, it was ALL stories about his kid & wife. As someone who usually hangs out & writes about terrorists, this was kind of a step down. There was a REALLY long story about some British pop singer who became a pedophile. I am sure if I had ever heard of this man, I might have
Camille Beredjick
Mar 11, 2016 Camille Beredjick rated it liked it
In order to get the full Ronson effect, you have to read this in his classic, snarky British voice, a la This American Life appearances. For me, the stories from his day-to-day life were more enjoyable than the reported pieces because he clearly had more freedom to be witty and artistic in how he interpreted different events. The reported pieces were interesting, but harder to get into if you weren't already familiar with the news events being addressed. All in all, it's a light, fun read.
Clinton Sweet
Oct 20, 2014 Clinton Sweet rated it liked it
Didn't love it. Perhaps his previous works are incredible but this book seemed to lack the content to make it interesting. Basically just a compilation of short stories that really were about nothing in particular.
Jan 07, 2015 Jen rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Guardian readers, probably!
Shelves: non-fiction, 2015
Not Mr Ronson's best ever offering, but worth a read nonetheless. The first part of the book is full on funny, but some of the second part (eg. Jonathan King) is really quite disturbing.
Jul 21, 2014 Maureen rated it liked it
Very enjoyable collection of Ronson's family-bases Observer columns from about ten years ago, as well as some of his long-form journalism for the paper.
Mr. D
Apr 20, 2015 Mr. D rated it it was ok
It has its moments but I feel his poorest offering yet. Some stories are interesting whereas others you are wondering why he included them.
Derek Bridge
Sep 21, 2013 Derek Bridge rated it it was ok
Why just two stars, even though I'm a Ronson fan? Well, first I was annoyed to discover after purchase how many of the pieces in this book are also in Ronson's later volume "Lost at sea", which I had bought and read previously. Should I really have to be more diligent in my purchasing decisions? Or do I have a right to expect a little more value for money, a little more integrity?

But also chapter 5 of this volume is a mostly trite diary - quite unsatisfying.

On the other hand, to offer something
Mar 28, 2016 Rabi rated it did not like it
Shelves: lower-shelf
it's not even funny!!!!
I read the first 100 pages. But can't continue any more...
David Williams
Mar 18, 2013 David Williams rated it really liked it
I am in a Jon Ronson phase of reading at the moment. I love the way he seeks out and pursues the quirky and the offbeat, observing and commenting on real-life characters through the prism of his own psyche. The result is both witty and revealing. This collection of his 'Guardian' columns has some fascinating gems, including a long piece on the misdoings and subsequent trial of pop impresario Jonathan King and the obsessive collecting habits of film director Stanley Kubrick. Every Jon Ronson arti ...more
Dec 25, 2012 Danae rated it really liked it
Jon Ronson es uno de mis cronistas favoritos y este libro es una muy buena entrada para comenzar a leerlo. Out of the Ordinary es una serie de relatos que van desde historias cotidianas a las clásicas investigaciones de Ronson. Este libro contiene historias sobre gente que regala sus órganos, sectas, colegios elitistas del Londres céntrico y un texto que siguió de cerca al músico Jonathan King mientras ex fans lo acusaban por estupro. King, en medio de su locura esbozaba un muy buen punto: ¿A Mi ...more
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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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