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The Psychopath Test Audiobook

The Psychopath Test

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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for: Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year – Specsavers National Book Awards 2012

This is a story about madness. It all starts when journalist Jon Ronson is contacted by a leading neurologist. She and several colleagues have recently received a cryptically puzzling book in the mail, and Jon is challenged to solve the mystery behind it. As he searches for the answer, Jon soon finds himself, unexpectedly, on an utterly compelling and often unbelievable adventure into the world of madness.

Jon meets a Broadmoor inmate who swears he faked a mental disorder to get a lighter sentence but is now stuck there, with nobody believing he’s sane. He meets some of the people who catalogue mental illness, and those who vehemently oppose them. He meets the influential psychologist who developed the industry standard Psychopath Test and who is convinced that many important CEOs and politicians are in fact psychopaths.

Jon learns from him how to ferret out these high-flying psychopaths and, armed with his new psychopath-spotting abilities, heads into the corridors of power...Combining Jon’s trademark humour, charm and investigative incision, The Psychopath Test is a deeply honest book unearthing dangerous truths and asking serious questions about how we define normality in a world where we are increasingly judged by our maddest edges.

©2011 Jon Ronson (P)2011 Macmillan Digital Audio

What the Critics Say

“Ronson’s gift is his ability to illuminate impenetrable worlds. Hare’s checklist is already the subject of criticism, but Ronson details many studies showing how bad psychiatry has been at diagnosing mental illness.”(Nature Magazine)

“In case you get really worried about a member of your party, then we’d suggest packing Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test, a compelling adventure into the world of madness . Funny and revealing this book will change the way you look at your boss, boyfriend or bank manager forever.” (The Guardian Bookshop Guide)

"In case you get really worried about a member of your party, then we’d suggest packing Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test, a compelling adventure into the world of madness . Funny and revealing this book will change the way you look at your boss, boyfriend or bank manager forever." (The Guardian)

"Ronson’s gift is his ability to illuminate impenetrable worlds. Hare’s checklist is already the subject of criticism, but Ronson details many studies showing how bad psychiatry has been at diagnosing mental illness." (Nature Magazine)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (126 )
5 star
 (89)
4 star
 (25)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.6 (114 )
5 star
 (79)
4 star
 (23)
3 star
 (11)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.6 (114 )
5 star
 (81)
4 star
 (24)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    C.J.R Flanagan Bathurst, Australia 03/02/2014
    C.J.R Flanagan Bathurst, Australia 03/02/2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    13
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    Story
    "Could easily have been condensed."

    I found The Psychopath Test to be fairly entertaining and informative. I'd suggest to any potential reader that it would be well worth reading Dr Robert Hare's "Without Conscience" (also available on Audible) before or along with TPT. Ronson regularly references Dr hare's work regarding the study of Psychopathy.

    The Psychopath test is filled with plenty of interesting stories which serve well to get the information across without presenting it in a dry or boring manner. I found it to be particularly informative in regards to the process used to identify the various forms of mental disorders over the last few decades, and the impact this has had on the medical and pharmaceutical industry. I believe most readers will find this aspect to be quite interesting.

    I definitely found that the book inspired curiosity and raised many questions in areas which I had not expected to be considering when I started reading the book. This is a definite positive.

    I did find Ronson's narration to be rather bland and slightly tiresome, and found my attention waning and wandering on a number of occasions throughout the book as a result. A number of times I also often found myself questioning where a story or recounting of events was headed, and what relevance it had to the overall topic. This often gave parts of the book a 'padded out' kind of feeling. I think TPT could have been condensed somewhat and that a few of the stories could have been culled in order to change the pace of the book for the better.

    I enjoyed The Psychopath Test for the information it contained and the questions it raises within the reader on a number of topics. However I would not recommend a potential listener to do so while driving, especially on a long trip.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 16/06/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "absolute fascinating"

    loved every minute of this book. wonderful insight and extensive research. you cant help but wonder where you are on the checklist. well done Jon! also lovely narration......could not stop listening

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean 08/06/2016
    Sean 08/06/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent as usual!"

    This is the second book of Jon Ronson's that I've listened to so far and both have been fantastic! He's a great writer- highly entertaining and very informative :)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renae 09/02/2016
    Renae 09/02/2016 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic!"

    Loved it. Fascinating. Jon Ronson's voice is lovely, so easy to listen to. Time to catch up on his other work now!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bec Booton Melbourne, Australia 10/11/2015
    Bec Booton Melbourne, Australia 10/11/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Amazing!"
    Any additional comments?

    Can’t speak highly enough about this book. This was the first book by Jon Ronson that I listened to and still definitely my favourite. It’s non-fiction, but reads sort of as though it’s fiction. Amazing. 5 stars!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    britt 27/06/2015
    britt 27/06/2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Facinating"

    Wow scarey interesting stuff! I was greatly disturbed and entertained by the contents of this text.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben Jones 15/07/2014
    Ben Jones 15/07/2014 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Very interesting, but quite disturbing"
    What did you like most about The Psychopath Test?

    Learning about the very dodgy history of psychiatry. Man.. Talk about the cure being worse than the disease.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Learning how to identify the crazy people to avoid!


    What does Jon Ronson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    He has a delivery that keeps you entertained even when the experiences mentioned are incredibly harrowing


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Don't take your kids


    Any additional comments?

    Good book, not for the faint of heart.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07/03/2017 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good, but perhaps slightly overstays its welcome?"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This is a decent book, and one of Ronsons most famous works. That said, for my moeny it is one of the less entertaining ones. The central focus of the work leads to less levity, less breadth of scope, and overall less fun than (for instance) Men Who Stare At Goats, his compendiums of random stories, or even the online shaming book (can't recall the title).


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    This is, much like Louis Theroux, ego-journalism. As such, the only character you walk away with any real sense of is Ronson, as he involves himself deeply in the story rather than standing back and trying to be transparent. This isnt a bad thing per se, he has a likeable style and persona.


    What three words best describe Jon Ronson’s performance?

    playful, neurotic, curious.


    Did The Psychopath Test inspire you to do anything?

    It inspired me to avoid ending up in a mental hospital, and certainly not to travel back to the past and be hospitalised (although this was never high on my bucket list, i must admit)


    Any additional comments?

    Ronson is a gifted writer and likeable journalist-nerd-author, and while this book is full of interesting observations on mentla health and humanity, i missed the sense of fun and breadth of subject matter contained in his other books. For my money, his more general collections of essays are the best listens purely for the variety and episodic nature (that lends itself better to listening over multiple sittings without losing track of complex narrative arcs).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aimee 12/01/2017
    Aimee 12/01/2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
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    Story
    "Recommended! "

    Easy to listen and always amusing and interesting. Insightful and with lots of perspectives Jon takes you on a journey through many people's lives involving psychopathy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Peter
    Sydney, Australia
    26/03/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "i failed.. twas a relief"

    i do not envy poor Ronson for having to spend so much time with some of these people.. however i am glad that he endured.. to bring such a wonderful insight into the thoughts socio-elite.. they lurk around every corner.. hide in all the crevices.. or just stand there.. out in the open.. saying "hey,look at me".. but seriously.. fascinating stuff

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Erin
    San Francisco, CA
    15/02/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't stop listening!"

    Ronson has a very unique speaking style and I was absolutely transfixed by it! He has an ability to make serious, frightening and sometimes disturbing topics somehow hilarious. At times I was surprised to find myself so amused and entertained by a book about psychopathic behaviour. As some others have mentioned, this book is not a serious review of the "Madness Industry" but instead a collection of fascinating interviews and bizarre stories that the author discovers along his journey. The way Ronson describes himself as a bit quirky, introverted and anxiety-prone makes him seem like an unlikely interviewer for his many subjects, which I think makes his encounters with these individuals all the more entertaining! A really great listen. I plan to listen to more books written and/or narrated by Ronson!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jesse Sweed
    23/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "captivating"

    It had me engaged throughout the entire book. The mind is a fascinating thing to study and Jon Ronson has a style that's easy to listen to and constantly curious. I've learned a lot listening to this book and I'm going to study more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ruben
    21/06/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    . Typical Ronson humour and insight into the human condition. Ronson`s reading is great too

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Neil Taylor
    6/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating and compelling"

    Jon Ronson is one of the most consistently interesting journalists working. While plenty of people have tried writing about madness, media and the mental health industry, many writers tend to play up the scary side for drama. But Ronson carefully avoids glamorisation, but still manages to deliver a compelling and enthralling story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Miss C E Ince
    UK
    28/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it."

    Interesting mix of crime, psychology and mystery with a fascinating cast of characters. Well worth a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • AL-ABDULLATIF
    Udhailiyah, Saudi ARAMCO, Saudi Arabia
    2/05/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb"

    very intriguing account of psychpaths and the history of psychiatric field. Well written and worth the money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    24/07/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A fascinating and thought provoking listen."
    What did you love best about The Psychopath Test?

    The author writes in a very accessable and entertaining manner. His approach to the subject matter is open minded and non judgmental. The book is packed full of interesting specific story's of people on the fringes of society but also raises questions about the how those on the fringe are treated and categorised by those supposedly in the centre.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • C.J.R Flanagan
    Bathurst, Australia
    23/07/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Could have been condensed somewhat."

    I found The Psychopath Test to be fairly entertaining and informative. I'd suggest to any potential reader that it would be well worth reading Dr Robert Hare's "Without Conscience" (also available on Audible) before or along with TPT. Ronson regularly references Dr hare's work regarding the study of Psychopathy.

    The Psychopath test is filled with plenty of interesting stories which serve well to get the information across without presenting it in a dry or boring manner. I found it to be particularly informative in regards to the process used to identify the various forms of mental disorders over the last few decades, and the impact this has had on the medical and pharmecutical industry. I believe most readers will find this aspect to be quite interesting.

    I definitely found that the book inspired curiosity and raised many questions in areas which I had not expected to be considering when I started reading the book. This is a definite positive.

    I did find Ronson's narration to be rather bland and slightly tiresome, and found my attention waning and wandering on a number of occasions throughout the book as a result. A number of times I also often found myself questioning where a story or recounting of events was headed, and what relevance it had to the overall topic. This often gave parts of the book a 'padded out' kind of feeling. I think TPT could have been condensed somewhat and that a few of the stories could have been culled in order to change the pace of the book for the better.

    I enjoyed The Psychopath Test for the information it contained and the questions it raises within the reader on a number of topics. However I would not recommend a potential listener to do so while driving, especially on a long trip.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • miss
    London, United Kingdom
    6/02/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disturbing yet Intriguing"
    Would you listen to The Psychopath Test again? Why?

    I would definitely listen to the Psychopath Test again but I may leave it for a while as its taken me a few weeks to phase out trying to identify psychopaths in the real world.


    Any additional comments?

    This book makes an especially great audio book as it read by the author himself so it feels like one long tale of obscure and at time ludicrous adventures. To begin with the book feels sinister and at times gruesome but as Ronson starts to delve deep into the world of spotting psychopaths surprisingly he puts you at ease and ends leaving you questioning whether you can really judge who a psychopath is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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