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

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  522 ratings  ·  35 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,425)
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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.
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
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.
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.
Thomas Ullman
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...more
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...more
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.
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...more
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
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
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.
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.
mrcv
A very minor but enjoyable read. Half the book is about his life and while fun is not really essential. The articles in the second half on the coughing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire cheats and on Kubrick's home are fantastic though.
Iliana
I didn't technically read this entire book because most of the stories are in Ronson's "Lost at Sea", which I read earlier this year. The four stories I did read were worthy of five stars anyway because Jon Ronson is hilarious.
Luke Johnson
Entertaining book, easy to read and pretty darn funny in parts. Ronson is rarely less than charming. Kinda fluffy (and self-indulgent for that matter) but by no means a bad read, in the end.
Cliff Watt
Really disappointed, just a collection of articles from his guardian column. No real conclusion about anything, other than his publishers ability to ride the wave the goat book!
Leigh Roberts
read this a very time ago. from memory enjoyed it but hadn't got into Ronson's stylke of writing. didn't enjoy as much as psychopath test
Robert Thomas
I’m giving this book a five stars even though I had read the last three stories reprinted in Lost At Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries.
Aiden
I might've enjoyed this more if the second half hadn't been made up of articles I'd already read in Lost at Sea.
Paige Nick
He's a particularly funny man. these are columns/short stories. looking forward to digging into a novel of his next.
Jon Schwarz


Couldn't get into it. I normally love this author but I found myself being annoyed by him.
RunRachelRun
Steve accidentally bought two copies of this book... Will be passing the extra copy along...
Steve Mitchell
A nice easy read about a variety of subjects that is often funny and thought provoking.
Wendy
intersting and quirky insight to this British author
easy to read in chunks
Kevin
Thought I read it but the spine isn't cracked. Great surprise!
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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 The Men Who Stare at Goats Lost At Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries The Amazing Adventures of Phoenix Jones: And the Less Amazing Adventures of Some Other Real-Life Superheroes

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