Book Review: ‘Them’ by Jon Ronson

Them: Adventures with ExtremistsThem: Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t like conspiracy theories. I think the notion that even a powerful group of individuals can control world events is absurd, given how inherently unpredictable people are.

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Book Review: ‘The Psychopath Test’ by Jon Ronson

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness IndustryThe Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another book where you read this and about five pages in think, ‘Wow, Ronson is a solid journalist!’ And he does actually delve more into his own process here, which gives a better picture of what makes him great at his job. He has this very self-effacing style that makes it sound like he’s stumbling onto big stories and running into fascinating conversations with elusive people by accident, but a little bit of that façade falls away here.

Also, Ronson makes me giggle. It’s just something about the borderline absurdity of how he tells things. He sets himself up a complete paranoiac, and then completely diffuses the situation. Which is a lot of fun. Also, as with ‘Lost at Sea,’ the sense that he does have strong opinions about his subjects even while keeping the interviews and the actual words on paper fairly neutral.

So what is this one about, anyway? Continue reading