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About Jon Ronson
These are funny stories about unfunny things.
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The Psychopath Test is a fascinating journey through the minds of madness. Jon Ronson's exploration of a potential hoax being played on the world's top neurologists takes him, unexpectedly, into the heart of the madness industry. An influential psychologist who is convinced that many important CEOs and politicians are, in fact, psychopaths teaches Ronson how to spot these high-flying individuals by looking out for little telltale verbal and nonverbal clues. And so Ronson, armed with his new psychopath-spotting abilities, enters the corridors of power. He spends time with a death-squad leader institutionalized for mortgage fraud in Coxsackie, New York; a legendary CEO whose psychopathy has been speculated about in the press; and a patient in an asylum for the criminally insane who insists he's sane and certainly not a psychopath.
Ronson not only solves the mystery of the hoax but also discovers, disturbingly, that sometimes the personalities at the helm of the madness industry are, with their drives and obsessions, as mad in their own way as those they study. And that relatively ordinary people are, more and more, defined by their maddest edges.
Now a New York Times bestseller and from the author of The Psychopath Test, a captivating and brilliant exploration of one of our world's most underappreciated forces: shame.
'It's about the terror, isn't it?'
'The terror of what?' I said.
'The terror of being found out.'
For the past three years, Jon Ronson has travelled the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us - people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly, or made a mistake at work. Once their transgression is revealed, collective outrage circles with the force of a hurricane and the next thing they know they're being torn apart by an angry mob, jeered at, demonized, sometimes even fired from their job.
A great renaissance of public shaming is sweeping our land. Justice has been democratized. The silent majority are getting a voice. But what are we doing with our voice? We are mercilessly finding people's faults. We are defining the boundaries of normality by ruining the lives of those outside it. We are using shame as a form of social control.
Simultaneously powerful and hilarious in the way only Jon Ronson can be, So You've Been Publicly Shamed is a deeply honest book about modern life, full of eye-opening truths about the escalating war on human flaws - and the very scary part we all play in it.
An uproarious exploration of American military paranoia: With investigations ranging from the mysterious “Goat Lab,” to Uri Geller’s covert psychic work with the CIA, to the increasingly bizarre role played by a succession of U.S. presidents, this might just be the funniest, most unsettling book you will ever read—if only because it is all true and is still happening today.
As a journalist and a Jew, Ronson was often considered one of "Them" but he had no idea if their meetings actually took place. Was he just not invited? Them takes us across three continents and into the secret room. Along the way he meets Omar Bakri Mohammed, considered one of the most dangerous men in Great Britain, PR-savvy Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Thom Robb, and the survivors of Ruby Ridge. He is chased by men in dark glasses and unmasked as a Jew in the middle of a Jihad training camp. In the forests of northern California he even witnesses CEOs and leading politicians -- like Dick Cheney and George Bush -- undertake a bizarre owl ritual.
Ronson's investigations, by turns creepy and comical, reveal some alarming things about the looking-glass world of "us" and "them." Them is a deep and fascinating look at the lives and minds of extremists. Are the extremists onto something? Or is Jon Ronson becoming one of them?
Ronson investigates the strange things we’re willing to believe in, from lifelike robots programmed with our loved ones’ personalities to indigo children to hypersuccessful spiritual healers to the Insane Clown Posse’s juggalo fans. He looks at ordinary lives that take on extraordinary perspectives, for instance a pop singer whose life’s greatest passion is the coming alien invasion, and the scientist designated to greet those aliens when they arrive. Ronson throws himself into the stories—in a tour de force piece, he splits himself into multiple Ronsons (Happy, Paul, and Titch, among others) to get to the bottom of credit card companies’ predatory tactics and the murky, fabulously wealthy companies behind those tactics. Amateur nuclear physicists, assisted-suicide practitioners, the town of North Pole, Alaska’s Christmas-induced high school mass-murder plot: Ronson explores all these tales with a sense of higher purpose and universality, and suddenly, mid-read, they are stories not about the fringe of society or about people far removed from our own experience, but about all of us.
Incisive and hilarious, poignant and maddening, revealing and disturbing—Ronson writes about our modern world, the foibles of contemporary culture, and the chaos that lies at the edge of our daily lives.
The Amazing Adventures of Phoenix Jones is an inside, intimate look at the world of amateur superheroes and a front row seat to their adventures.
One For The Trouble – Book Slam Volume One is the first publication from the UK’s premier literary event. Editor Patrick Neate approached eighteen Book Slam alumni, from household names like Irvine Welsh and William Boyd to newcomers like Kate Tempest and Sophie Woolley, to take a song title for inspiration for a new short story or poem. Simon Armitage’s poem, for example, reflects hauntingly on the suicide of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis, while award-winning young adult author, Patrick Ness, stretches his skills with a darkly comic take on ‘Let Me Entertain You’. The resulting collection is unique, diverse and thoroughly entertaining. One For The Trouble provides a perfect snapshot of the very best contemporary British writing.
The book, with its cloth bound, foil embossed cover, is a thing of considerable beauty that has been immaculately conceived by the brilliant Robi Walters. Only 1500 copies have been printed and each are individually numbered, and signed by every short story writer.
1. Grave Architecture(Pavement, 1995) by Richard Milward
2. New Gold Dream (Simple Minds, 1982) by Hari Kunzru
3. New Dawn Fades (Joy Division, 1979) by Simon Armitage
4. Comeback Girl (Republic Of Loose, 2005) by Irvine Welsh
5. I'm Going Slightly Mad (Queen, 1991) by Bernardine Evaristo
6. The Bed's Too Big Without You (Sheila Hylton, 1981) by Kate Tempest
7. When I'm Sixty-Four (The Beatles, 1967) by Joe Dunthorne
8. Tears Of A Clown (Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, 1967) by William Boyd
9. The Message (Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five, 1982) by Paul Murray
10. Ascension (John Coltrane, 1966) by Roger Robinson
11. Violet Stars Happy Hunting! (Janelle Monáe, 2007) by Helen Oyeyemi
12. I Read My Sentence … (Radka Toneff, 1986) by Don Paterson
13. Let Me Entertain You (Robbie Williams, 1998) by Patrick Ness
14. Bank Holiday (Blur, 1994) by Luke Wright
15. I Am The Walrus (The Beatles, 1967) by Sophie Woolley
16. That Summer Feeling (Jonathan Richman, 1984) by Jon Ronson
17. Underground (Ben Folds Five, 1995) by Tim Key
18. Endless Art (A House, 1992) by Jon McGregor
About Book Slam:
‘Book Slam has single-handedly dragged the London literary scene into the 21st century.’ Hari Kunzru
‘Book Slam is an amazing and unique phenomenon — an incredible boon for readers and writers — we’re all very lucky to have it in our world.’ William Boyd