Lynn Weber's Reviews > The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
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's review
May 19, 11

bookshelves: nonfiction
Read in May, 2011

If you're interested in this topic, I'd recommend starting with Martha Stout's The Sociopath Next Door rather than this book. The problem with this one is that it's more "Follow me as I delve into this crazy world and have surreal experiences" than it is a study of sociopathy. And that ultimately makes it less gripping. I remember clearly the first section of of Stout's book, as it took the reader on a tour of one man's mind as he faced a simple but telling moment of moral decision-making. It was so suspenseful and kind of harrowing. This is much less profound.

Nonetheless, it's a genial read and certainly a good book.
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Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by Rebekka (new)

Rebekka Istrail And I'll have to put in a plug for Robert Hare's book Without Conscience--

Petra X I couldn't get through Sociopath Next Door. At that time I had a psychopathic neighbour and the police recommended the book. I wish I'd had this one for the check list alone. (I'm reading it now and I'm just past that bit).

Julie I am SOOOO wishing I had remembered that you had read this book and rated it only two stars before downloading it to my Kindle recently. I'm finding it scattered, poorly written, and ultimately to "memoirist"--the author spends as much time talking about this own anxieties/neuroses as talking about the psychiatry industry, psychopaths, etc.

message 4: by Caroline (new) - added it

Caroline I completely agree. Stout's book is a must-read. Hare's book Without Conscience also is.

Daisy But does it not deserve more than 2/5 stars?

Matthew A genial read. I simply love that description. Not necessarily of this book--it's just a marvelous description.

Teresa Thank you for the recommendation - I will definitely seek that out! Totally agree with your review.

Beverly Akerman Actually, I just read both books and loved them, for different reasons. I preferred the second half of The Sociopath Next Door, an explanation of why we are better off with a functioning conscience, which is essentially the ability to experience empathy and love (and emphasizes that the majority of psychopaths aren't super successful). Ronson's book reminded me of Kurt Vonnegut...and it linked a number of subjects I find fascinating, including big pharma and the explosion of psychiatric diagnosis. Not to mention nude & LSD fuelled therapy of psychopaths in Canadian prisons in the 60s...

message 9: by Esteph (new)

Esteph Garcia Thanks what a comment I really appreciate it

message 10: by Dana (new) - added it

Dana John Hare , Without a Conscience is must read!
Jonathon Kellerman wrote a nonfiction book about children with this disorder.

Leeann Horner Thank you for recommending "The sociopath next door". After reading both books, I completely agree with your review.

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