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

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  772 ratings  ·  51 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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 ·  772 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Mar 02, 2012 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.
Dan Slauson
Dec 02, 2014 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.
Sam Quixote
Jul 13, 2012 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
This story is stranger than fiction, but it's real!
Sep 18, 2015 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.
Nancy Dunham
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beware -- if you read Ronson's Lost at Sea, you've read this book. I couldn' tell in the Kindle Sample so I took a chance. It's the same story previously published and an excerpt from the Psychopath Test. If you are interested in this story buy Lost At Sea instead.

I always enjoy Jon Ronson's writing. He's fantastic. I gave this a four because I was disappointed there was nothing new.

Gabriella Mastrelli
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was much too short!
Michael Perez
Aug 12, 2020 rated it liked it
More of an extended news article rather than a full look at "real life superheroes", it still captures some interesting moments. Wish this was a full book.
Sep 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I saw this title on the Kobo shop I was very exited, a Jon Ronson Book, about super heroes???? Hell to the yeah! It was only when I came arround to it that I figured that it was only 68 pages, that being said, it was a good night-time read.

So what about the review, I was kind of disappointed, Jon’s writing was a bit sub par comparing to some of his other books, but the content was really interesting, in a “stranger than fiction” kind of deals.

This book follows some of the night patrols of d
Dec 23, 2011 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
Nov 26, 2012 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
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Really well written, this author has a genius flair for nonfiction. I marked it as two stars for two reasons. First it doesn’t go very deeply into either the individuals described as case studies. Secondly (and my real reason) is that it’s kind of mean. I feel like the inherent tone is to laugh at the people being profiled.
I read interesting nonfiction in order to expand my world view, not to chuckle at the differences in the people being discussed. Whatever else you feel about the odd way thes
Nov 14, 2012 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 fo
Matthew Ardill
Jul 09, 2012 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
Nov 12, 2012 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
Apr 24, 2013 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
Feb 23, 2014 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.
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour
I´m a huge Ronson fan and loved this story, however, calling this an ebook is quite a stretch. It´s 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... it´s HILARIOUS as usual!
Michael Shore
Jan 31, 2013 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. :-)
Dan Mccarthy
Feb 14, 2013 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.
Apr 03, 2013 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 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.
Cassandra Moses
May 04, 2012 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.
Jun 23, 2012 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.
May 28, 2013 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.)
Dec 17, 2015 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!
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Short piece where Ronson goes out on the streets of Seattle with real life superhero Phoenix Jones. This is absolutely worth reading, but is not, of course, as in depth as longer works that Ronson's done.
Dec 02, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Fun quick read about RLSH (real life super heroes) in America. The excerpt from Psychopath at the end made me want to read more books by Jon Ronson.
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Aww yeah, Phoenix Jones. I wish Ronson would write an extended profile of these guys.
Kevin Ireland
Jul 08, 2012 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.
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Jon Ronson is a writer and documentary filmmaker. His work includes the international bestsellers Them: Adventures With Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats, which was adapted into a major motion picture starring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges.

A contributor to The Guardian, Ronson is the author of the columns "Human Zoo" and "Out of the Ordinary". He writes and

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“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.” 2 likes
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