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Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight

3.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,449 Ratings  ·  938 Reviews
The first memoir of its kind, Confessions of a Sociopath is an engrossing, highly captivating narrative of the author's life as a diagnosed sociopath.

She is a charismatic charmer, an ambitious self-promoter, and a cunning and calculating liar. She can induce you to invest in her financial schemes, vote for her causes, and even join her in bed. Like a real-life Lisbeth Sala
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 14th 2013 by Crown (first published January 1st 2013)
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I did not purchase this book. A friend owns it and I read it last night. It's a fast read. While moderately interesting (at first) it rapidly becomes repetitive and tiresome. The author is basically bragging about her condition and telling us that she is superior to us.She's beautiful (so she claims), a sexual magnet (again so she claims), intelligent, ruthless, dangerous, blah,blah,blah,blah.

I'm not a mental health professional, but as a police officer of 13 years I've had many many contacts wi
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

. . . And the award for Worst Book I’ve Read So Far This Year goes to Confessions of a Sociopath!!!!!

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Short notice. Just go with it.

According to the blurb this was supposed to be an “engrossing, highly captivating narrative of the author’s life as a diagnosed sociopath” . . .

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What it was instead was . . . .

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First of all, the author lived as a “self-diagnosed” sociopath for years before ever seeing an actual doctor about it. It is duri
Petra X
Jun 01, 2015 Petra X rated it did not like it
Recommended to Petra X by: jody julian
Update 4
I said I wasn't going to do any more updates but I'm now feeling outraged by the way the author is treating us stupid just so she can prove her point. She says that Kings College (London) researchers have found that the brains of imprisoned criminal psychopaths "show distinctly less grey matter in the areas of the brain important for understanding the emotions of others." These studies indicate that sociopathic brains do not respond emotionally to words like death, rape and cancer in th
Simone Sinna
Jun 04, 2013 Simone Sinna rated it really liked it
As a psychotherapist/health professional working with mental illness, this book fascinated me when I read excerpts in the newspaper and when I saw at in the airport bookshop, I grabbed it. A memoir, written under a pseudonym (though she invites you to find out who she is), it is highly unusual because psychopaths/sociopaths/ people with antisocial personality disorders are usually not insightful, do not think that they have a problem, just that they cause other people grief. I put these three di ...more
Aug 03, 2013 Ian rated it it was amazing
This book is getting bashed across the internet and in user ratings here because they find the author irritating, self-absorbed, narcisstic, or otherwise unpleasant. If this is a disappointment to readers, I suggest they read the titles of the books they purchase more carefully before beginning to read.

This book does in fact provide an extremely incisive look into the mind of sociopath in a throughly engaging and well-written narrative. While much of the book is troubling ... particularly realiz
Go Places
May 23, 2013 Go Places rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
(E-copy received from NetGalley.)

I had hoped that this would be an interesting read after having read the excerpt in a magazine. However, the whole book was such a drag that it was a struggle to finish it. Sociopaths are supposed to be charming right? Well, M.E. Thomas didn't charm me at all. The book was mostly composed of repetitive anecdotes about how she attempted to "ruin" other people's lives with her trademark sociopathic manipulations. It got me rolling my eyes because you can just tell
Joan Kite
Aug 13, 2013 Joan Kite rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology, memoir
Anything I write about this book is unfair.

I couldn't finish it.

Perhaps I will attempt this memoir another time (maybe it's me).

The anonymous writer (first problem) who boasts about a lack of feeling for others (second problem) has a hard time connecting to the reader (the big problem). She can't feel for others? Weird because I felt the same toward her.

Even attempts to pad her story with historical information and research could not save this book.

Not worth your time, IMHO.
Jul 04, 2013 Wendy rated it liked it
This wouldn't have been a likely read for me, except that incidentally I do know the author, and I was curious to see how she views herself through this lens (I had not been aware of her identification as a sociopath before). To the extent that I do know her - years in the same Mormon congregation, playing music and football together, ultimately following her down the law career path - I can affirm that more of the content is genuine than other reviewers might have surmised (and I can certainly ...more
Candace Petersen Martineau
Jul 29, 2013 Candace Petersen Martineau rated it did not like it
I typically love memoirs, but this narrator was insufferable. The ego and self-admitted overexaggerations and distance from reality may be an accurate look into the mind of a sociopath, but it is not a pleasant place to spend time. The frequent and repetitive assurances to the reader that she is more attractive, charming, and intelligent than they are got dull quickly. Yes, some studies and literature indicate that some portion of our population are drawn to the peculiarities of the sociopath. B ...more
Angela Risner
Jul 01, 2013 Angela Risner rated it liked it
Wow, I guess I am in the minority here, but I actually liked the book. Here's why:

1. It was on a subject in which I am interested. I like books by J.A. Konrath, Karin Slaughter, etc, so a book written by a sociopath would fall in line.

2. It entertained me. I thought that the author seemed very straightforward with her assessment of herself and other sociopaths.

Does it surprise me that sociopaths are narcissistic? That they manipulate? That some are murderers while others are functioning member
Frishawn Quinn
Mar 11, 2013 Frishawn Quinn rated it really liked it
This book is written for those readers who, like myself are fascinated with the inner workings of the human psyche. Part clinical analysis, part honest self discoveries laid bare; M. E. Thomas's story is as thought provoking as it is frightening.
She shows how easy it is to be a thing which is at it's core abnormal, and what can be, given the right circumstances...dangerous.
She goes further still,using incidences from her own life to illustrate how our "results driven, success at all costs societ
Misericordia ❣
Dec 14, 2015 Misericordia ❣ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 27, 2013 Helen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology, memoir
Many sociopaths are supposedly good at 'faking' their way through life.

However, it seems they're not all capable of faking decent writing.
I thought this would provide an illuminating peek inside the head of someone who thinks differently and experiences the world in a way alien and unfamiliar to me. But this account was so contradictory, the author so profoundly unlikeable (her 'charm' powers don't transfer to paper)and so repetitively dull I had to give up half-way through.
If this is an area of
Amanda Patterson
May 30, 2013 Amanda Patterson rated it really liked it
‘This book is a work of memoir. It is true according to my best recollections; however, in addition to the inevitable flaws of memory, this story is told through the lens of how I see the world, including my megalomania, single-minded focus and a lack of understanding about the inner worlds of others.’

The book is readable, as charming and seductive as the sociopath who is writing it. M.E. Thomas made me question so many things as she showed me her world. I even questioned whether she was being t
I wanted to see how they felt (or didn't feel) about the world around them, and the struggles they faced learning to fake their way thru, and that not all sociopaths were violent criminals, or even bad people. But, apparently, she has no struggles, and is violent prone, and isn't a very nice all.

All she talked about was what a charming, brilliant (way smarter than anyone else in the whole world), attractive, funny, predator she is. And how sociopaths toy with us mere mortals for spo
Jun 05, 2013 Vegantrav rated it it was ok
M.E. Thomas (a pseudonym) is a self-confessed sociopath, and she has written this memoir with the goal of educating the public about what it's really like to be a sociopath. Thomas tells us that she writes under a pseudonym because she fears that were she outed as a sociopath, it could hurt her professional career (she is a professor of law) and adversely affect some of her personal relationships.

I was somewhat disappointed in this book: it's poorly written, and it fails to provide a detailed po
I didn't expect this to be so dull and monotonous. As a criminology and psychology student, almost nothing in this book was new for me, and I can't imagine it's big news for anyone with some education and interest in the field of human behaviour. As any other reader, because of the pseudonym of the author and the apparent "secrecy" held throughout the book concerning their identity, I can't be sure if this is truth, but packaged as fiction, or if this is fiction, but packaged as truth. Nonethele ...more
Jul 02, 2013 Librariasaurus rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I want my money back.
I found this book to be utterly ludicrous. I have never read anything so repetitive and self-glorifying. The only message I get from it is that she's a sociopath and we should accept her. She opens the book by saying she's a non-violent sociopath, yet even before the chapters begin, IN THE INTRODUCTION she goes into detail about killing a baby possum. And then about wanting to kill a metro worker who told her not to use a broken escalator. And then about strangling her love
Melissa Lee-tammeus
Aug 23, 2013 Melissa Lee-tammeus rated it it was ok
Shelves: borrowed
Okay, how do I begin? First, without truly knowing who this person is, as she remains anonymous, I really have no way of knowing if this is even true. I am incredibly skeptical, to say the least. The scientist in me wanted to know all the references to these studies she kept writing about because she refers to so many with very little frame of reference. Every once in awhile, she will drop a doctor's name, or a prestigious school name to make it all more authentic, I think. Maybe she is a sociop ...more
Jeff Hedberg
Jul 10, 2013 Jeff Hedberg rated it did not like it
I'm not sure how this became a book. I consider myself a terrible writer, however, I enjoy reading interesting books. I'd never think I could actually write a book, so I try not to be too critical - but this book really surprised me.

The subject of it interested me - a Mormon woman who considers herself a Sociopath, and self describes herself as someone we would all find attractive, and charming. It seems like a paradox, and might be interesting to learn more about.

I didn't quite make it half wa
May 27, 2013 Jessa rated it really liked it
Shelves: cultural-studies
Being a psychology and english major has some serious advantages, especially when it comes to reading. So what better book is there to read than a book about a Sociopath that is actually decently written?

M.E. Thomas is a female sociopath and this book really looks at different aspects of her life and how she navigates life as a sociopath. We quickly learn there is a cultural difference between psychopaths and sociopaths. Sociopaths actually can follow the rules and are rarely violent. They are c
Kathy Worrell  ツ
Jun 02, 2015 Kathy Worrell ツ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book scares me. The unknown author M.E. Thomas scares me. Sociopaths now really scare me.

Sociopaths are described as:

Pathological liars
Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
Perceiving nothing is wrong with them
Seeking out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired
Exercising despotic control over every aspect of the victim's life
Having an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore n
Ashley Protagonist
Dec 03, 2013 Ashley Protagonist rated it really liked it
Whether Thomas is likeable or not, whether she is a reliable narrator or not, this was a good walkthrough of the inside of a person whose behavior is regulated by self-interest without a veneer of sentimental plausible deniability to protect her from her own motivations.

I enjoyed her speculation as to the best way to nurture children with her predispositions, including her desire for more people like her to have had positive EMPATH role models. Perhaps things would be easier for everyone if mor
May 25, 2013 ☺Trish rated it it was ok
Self-diagnosis of a serious personality disorder is probably not such a good idea, unless the person is dissatisfied with how their life is going and is sincerely interested in seeking professional help in an attempt to improve their relationships with family, friends, and co-workers (then again, most true sociopaths could probably care less about their relationships with others or how their behavior affects others). Otherwise, it seems rather pointless, just an exercise in rationalizing or excu ...more
Jo Lewin
May 01, 2013 Jo Lewin rated it it was ok
I hated every second of this book but couldn't put it down. Badly written, rambling and uncohesive. But like a train wreck I couldn't look away from this woman's disgusting personality.
✟ℜoxanne✟(Death by ßook Avalanche)
*This review contains possible spoilers as I will be using quotes*

I thought I would mention that I am rating my enjoyment of this book which is 2 stars; if I was to rate the personality of the author I would be giving it minus stars.
This book made me feel very uncomfortable in places and so I could not give this a higher rating because I did not enjoy it, I found it interesting but not enjoyable.

I was only a few pages in when I came across intentional animal cruelty where this horrible woman att
May 24, 2013 Ashley rated it did not like it
I ended up skimming through the book skipping entire sections, because it was so badly written. Please don't spend money on this. I got it from the library so I am not insane with regret. She does morally questionable things, has morally questionable thoughts (as everyone does). She brags on herself for it. Which most people don't. She comes off as mostly making crap up or really exaggerating facts to give her supposed condition the all inclusive label "sociopath". Her life isn't all that intere ...more
Andrea McDowell
Where do I even begin.

Well, how about with this:

"This sort of behavior may seem uncouth, but is it really immoral? Prichard's disgust with sociopaths for being immoral seems largely unwarranted unless you ascribe to his particular brand of morality. Was I really in the wrong by temporarily taking my neighbor's bike? Only if you think that violation of the personal property of others is immoral. Even the law recognizes that this is not always the case: If you're stranded in a snowstorm, it would
Aug 06, 2013 Jonny99 rated it it was ok
Or "How to Craft a Lifestyle from Daddy Issues" The basic dilemma facing readers of "M. E.'s" - get it? M E?, I see what you did there - involves reading "confessions" of someone who proudly purports to be a genius at self-aggrandizing deceptions. So, how much, should the reader of this very extended Walt Whitman "I Sing of Me" monologue take as reality? The author claims to be a very wealthy and successful female (but specifically says she doesn't identify as female)law professor. She - let's t ...more
May 23, 2013 Rebecca rated it liked it
Shelves: autobiography
While Thomas had a fairly tragic childhood (self-absorbed, neglectful parents with bouts of verbal and physical abuse), this is actually fairly low drama for what it is. Thomas is a fairly functional sociopath--she has a good career, she has friends, she does seem to care about her siblings and their children, she hasn't murdered anyone or really committed any crimes at all. She points out that she's not stupid--she figured out relatively early on that, even if she doesn't feel guilty, generally ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Underground Knowl...: How to spot a sociopath 47 100 Apr 25, 2016 09:52AM  
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Interview with the author 1 31 Apr 08, 2015 08:11AM  
Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Pick - Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight by M.E. Thomas 1 34 May 30, 2013 10:07AM  
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“When you grow up as a girl, it is like there are faint chalk lines traced approximately three inches around your entire body at all times, drawn by society and often religion and family and particularly other women, who somehow feel invested in how you behave, as if your actions reflect directly on all womanhood.” 139 likes
“I'm an 'intelligent' sociopath. I don't have problems with drugs, I don't commit crimes, I don't take pleasure in hurting people, and I don't typically have relationship problems. I do have a complete lack of empathy. But I consider that an advantage, most of the time. Do I know the difference between right and wrong, and do I want to be good? Sure. ... A peaceful and orderly world is a more comfortable world for me to live in. So do I avoid breaking the law because it's 'right'? No, I avoid breaking the law because it makes sense.” 46 likes
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