Monthly Archives: March 2015

The Psychopath Test – Jon Ronson


There is no evidence that we’ve been placed on this planet to be especially happy or especially normal. An din fact our unhappiness and our strangeness, our anxieties and compulsions, those least fashionable aspects of our personalities, are quite often what lead us to do rather interesting things.

A few months back while I was still deep in the land of Fillory I was having a glass of wine and stumbling about on the internet when I found a website dedicated to finding books that “you” would enjoy reading. Say, if you read The Chronicles of Narnia  you would enjoy The Magicians Trilogy. I somehow clicked my way through and made it to The Psychopath Test. Now, Emily after a few glasses of wine loves buying things off of Amazon, and since we had just started our free membership with Amazon Prime I decided it was time to try out our free two-day shipping.

Two days later the book arrives and I’m staring at the cover and I think “My father read this book…he told me I should read this book.” I call him up and sure enough it was, in fact, the book that we had been talking about months earlier and I now had it in my hands. So, I finished The Magician’s Land  and decided that it was time to read The Test. If you’ve been following me for a while you will know that I don’t read a lot of non-fiction. In fact, I read next to none, but since I’m interested in the human condition and I was told that it read more like a novel than a memoir I was determined to give it a try.

It took me a while, not gonna lie to you. The first half was slow, a lot of bouncing around and talking about a book that was sent to academics and laments a like called Being or Nothingness and while the mystery of “why” is fascinating I found myself asking “why”? Once Ronson moves on from that and really dives in to his quest of “what makes a psychopath” that’s where it really starts to get interesting. He travels to Broadmoor, a psychiatric hospital in England, home to many notorious prisoners. This is where the book started to grab me but not until he starts talking to a notable conspiracy theorist did it fully engross me and I was able to finish the last third in one sitting. As with most books of this size I’m ashamed that it has taken me this long to finish, but since it is not within the realm that I usually dwell I’ll give it a pass. I also blame The Killing.

All in all it was a good read but I think I will head back over to a world I’m familiar with and settle in to a nice fiction book. As a friend who also read the book said “I convinced myself that several people I knew were psychopaths.” I admit, I did too.