Thursday, 25 August 2011

A Story About Madness

Last time I saw Jon Ronson was at the Latitude Festival. I was on a forest trail when I spotted him coming towards me, scurrying after his son who was dressed as Elvis! Last night I saw him in the Main Theatre tent at the Edinburgh International Book Festival where, this time, his son was the caller on his constantly ringing phone and, once again, he was entertaining to watch!

The award winning documentary maker and author of two best sellers Them: Adventures With Extremists and The Men Who Stare At Goats (made into a Hollywood blockbuster which was nothing like the book but did star Mr. Clooney and Jeff Bridges!) was at the festival to talk about his new book The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through The Madness Industry.

In his review of the book, Will Self states
...for the record: at his best, Ronson is one of the finest comic writers working today. I began The Psychopath Test late at night, tired, dispirited and ill – then found myself laughing like the proverbial loon for page after page, for approximately the first 40, at least. 
Myself, only on page 100, I would have to agree. However, with another 186 pages to go, I only hope the book manages to answer some of the complex and interesting questions about the definitions of 'normal', the number of CEOs and political leaders who are indeed psychopaths and should we all have to take the psychopath's test?! that last night's talk raised and left me needing to know more.


  1. sounds brilliant, after all 'normal' is different to us all.

  2. This sounds like a book I'd love to read. Plus, I want to laugh uncontrollably! Thanks for the tip, Lois--I will check it out.

  3. What a crazy situation ... the writer and the (Elvis) son on the forest trail!

    Now how did I manage to miss a movie with both George Clooney and Jeff Bridges in it???

    I believe anybody who says CEOs and political leaders are psychopath's, don't you?

    Have a good weekend Lois, enjoy the festivities.

  4. Yes, Marion, it would seem that these 'people of power', according to the psychopath test, share the same character traits of a psychopath - lack of empathy, pathological lying, irresponsibility, criminal versatility...etc..

    Jon Ronson did try to get an interview with the imprisoned Enron people to test them to see if they were psychopaths but his requests were refused.



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