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abookaweek 2012: week fifteen

2012 April 15

The Psychopath Test, by Jon Ronson

Category: Non-fiction

Story: I know Jon Ronson as the journalist who always gets to write about interesting stuff; psychopaths are infinitely more entertaining than the Peruvian economy. In this book he interviews patients, doctors, Scientologists and CEOs to give us a look into the world of psychiatry, and how it deals with psychopaths.

Opinion: My friend Ruth who has awesome taste in books recommended this to me when I was looking for a book I couldn’t put down, and she was spot on; I read it in a day. I love Ronson’s writing (even if his exaggerated worries about his own mental health get a bit tiresome at times), it is enlightening and funny. The subject itself is of course immensely interesting, although I do have to mention that I have a particular fondness for stories about mental health anyway, so this hit my sweet spot.

He interviews a whole range of people so that you get a good sense of what makes a psychopath a psychopath, and what can be done to treat them, or at least stop them from harming people. My favorite part was the story of a psychiatrist who gave psychopaths in his institution large quantities of LSD and asked them to cure each other. Good stuff!

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