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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

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  714 ratings  ·  48 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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Lea
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.
Sarah Tipper
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
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Cath Murphy
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
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.
Barry
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
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Nicole Penny
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.
Ian Kavanagh
Jul 23, 2008 Ian Kavanagh rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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Angelica Raine
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
pinknantucket
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!)
Penny
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.
Richard Duerden
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.
Godzilla
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
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Kim Parish
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
Jenny
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
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Clinton Sweet
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.
Jen
Jan 07, 2015 Jen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Guardian readers, probably!
Shelves: 2015, non-fiction
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.
Maureen
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
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
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
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David Williams
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
Danae
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
Sam
Always a quirky entertaining author
Marie-Anne
Hilarious in parts. Mostly interesting. Perfect read for between books.
Jas
Ronson really does give a witty, compelling first-hand experience that guides the reader into some funny everyday situations that are certainly relatable to all people. If you're looking for a speedy, refreshing read to bring you back to reality from your own little crazy life, I would strongly recommend "Out of the Ordinary...". Ronson has a great writing style, covers some really curious topics and gives you a lot of heartwarming little reminders that maybe the things you do aren't so mad afte ...more
Kel Sta
Sep 08, 2013 Kel Sta rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Kel by: Rod (well, the author anyway)
Jon Ronson is what us Aussies call a smartarse, and under some circumstances, that would be rather irritating, but in a book of essays intended (I think)to be from his POV as opposed to objective, it's possibly almost a plus. Although he's including himself in that 'out of the ordinary' echelon, he does self-deprecating quite well, has enough humour to keep us amused, and shares information in a fluid narrative as opposed to clipped journalese. I'm still waiting for someone to explain one of his ...more
Lisa P
Nothing too memorable. The first half, which focuses on personal stories, made Ronson seem like an ineffective, self-centered wimp. I almost gave up because he was kind of annoying me. The second half, which was more typical journalism, was better. He showed an admirable perspective on the questionable characters he documents, thoughtful and as neutral as possible while still professionally admitting how they had affected him. A harmless enough read, but I won't be running out to read more from ...more
Laura Hughes
Jon Ronson collection. I liked almost all of the content, but I'm unfairly rating this book lower because I had previously read or heard most of it before. Most of these stories have appeared on the radio before, and I would recommend hearing them rather than reading them, if possible (many are in the This American Life archives). Some are also reprinted in other print collections.
Cory Gaskins
Really enjoyed part II of the book where Jon Ronson does what he does best: analyzing weird events in a way that makes the readers ask questions that they never thought about before.

Skip part I where Jon Ronson confuses himself with David Sedaris. It was a painful read.
Tom
A sometimes amusing account of some of Jon Ronson's encounters over the last few decades. The stories about his family life were quite comical but I especially enjoyed the informative chapter on the Charles Ingram (millionaire cheat) case.
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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
More about Jon Ronson...
The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry Them: Adventures with Extremists So You've Been Publicly Shamed The Men Who Stare at Goats Lost At Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries

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