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

3.14  ·  Rating details ·  8,827 Ratings  ·  1,305 Reviews
As M.E. Thomas says of her fellow sociopaths, we are your neighbors, co-workers, and quite possibly the people closest to you: lovers, family, friends. Our risk-seeking behavior and general fearlessness are thrilling, our glibness and charm alluring. Our often quick wit and outside-the-box thinking make us appear intelligent—even brilliant. We climb the corporate ladder fa ...more
Paperback, Second U.K. edition, 303 pages
Published July 3rd 2014 by Pan Books (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!!!!!

Commercial Photography

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” . . .

Commercial Photography

What it was instead was . . . .

Commercial Photography

First of all, the author lived as a “self-diagnosed” sociopath for years before ever seeing an actual doctor about it. It is duri
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Simone Sinna
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Petra X
Mar 29, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 23, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Candace Petersen Martineau
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
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
WTF Are You Reading?
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
Siena Mirabella
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 to be oh so honest
Emma Johansson
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved loved loooved it! Will be making a review for this on YouTube (probably).
It was a bit hard to get into, but after siting down for a while and really paying attention to what I was reading, it got better and better. I read at home, I read in the car, at school, while walking, while waiting, on the plane, at the restaurant... I couldn't stay awayyyy hehe;) I also love the cover.
Jun 07, 2013 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
Jul 03, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, psychology
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
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘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
Jo Lewin
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
☘Misericordia☘  ✺❂❤❣
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
May 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Melissa Lee-Tammeus
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
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
Three stars. (Really only 2 1/2.) Interesting in the beginning but it badly needs a first rate editor. Unfortunately, it is complete hot mess about half way through and I wonder what happened.
✟Roxanne✟(Death by Book 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
Jeff Hedberg
Jul 10, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ashley Protagonist
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
Julia Sapphire
Aug 01, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, mental-illness

I just can't. I can't finish this.
I was gonna make myself pull through but this book infuriates me.
Lemme just say I made it to like page 30 and than started skimming because I couldn't deal with it anymore.

Even reading JUST 30 pages I went on a rant on my bookstagram because it just ticked me off.

Now I love psychology and really want to explore it more, so I was excited for this. I had high hopes and it sounded really promising.

My problems...lets go...

I get many sociopaths tend
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
Kathy Worrell  ツ
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
Jun 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 ⭐
I enjoyed learning that i might be considered a sociopath. It was a fun and interesting read and hope to reread it again in the future.
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UCAS English 10 H...: April Reading Assignment 1 3 Apr 15, 2018 01:30PM  
Why be Anonymous? 10 69 Dec 08, 2015 09:09AM  
Interview with the author 1 54 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 38 May 30, 2013 10:07AM  
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M.E. THOMAS is a diagnosed sociopath and the founder of She is not a killer. Quite the contrary, she is an accomplished attorney and law professor who writes regularly for major law journals, donates 10 percent of her income to charity, and teaches Sunday school.
More about M.E. Thomas

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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.” 196 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.” 65 likes
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