Jon Ronson comes to the realization that online, we are a vicious lot: “I suppose when shamings are delivered like remotely administered drone strikes nobody needs to think about how ferocious our collective power might be. The snowflake never needs to feel responsible for the avalanche.”
Yes, I gave The Sociopath Next Door a chance despite its fairly cringeworthy cover and title. Being a huge lover of mystery fiction, I do find myself drawn to explanations of the icy cold killers and the master manipulators among us. I discovered this book via Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, a fabulous audiobook that I highly recommend. Audible.com noticed my interest in the so-called Madness Industry and recommended I give The Sociopath Next Door a shot.
Martha Stout does a great job of not only explaining what makes a sociopath different, but discussing what bonds most of us as humans together. She talks about empathy as a human sense that sociopaths seem to lack. I found most interesting her digressions into the psychology of empathy – how most humans make horrible soldiers and fail to fire their guns at the enemy unless directly ordered to, etc.
The pitch of Dr. Stout’s book is that sociopaths are rampant among us – there are more of them out there, she says, than there are schizophrenics or certain types of cancer sufferers. We are mainly just unaware of this specific disorder as it isn’t discussed or is more debatable in the mainstream. I’m not too concerned about meeting sociopaths in my day to day life or how to wrangle with them on the daily, but I did find Dr. Stout’s examinations of and extrapolations from the human psyche to be interesting and well worth a read.
From Audible.com (Original list on Audible)
Change your perspective… A Top 5 by Kali
“My collection was inspired by audiobooks that allowed me to look at life through different lenses, and books which have opened my mind to the beauty and the bizarre in this crazy world we live in.” – Kali
1. This Book Will Save Your Life
By A. M. Homes, Narrated by Scott Brick
By Robert Charles Wilson, Narrated by Scott Brick
Series: Spin, Book 1
By Lavie Tidhar, Narrated by Jeff Harding
4. Them: Adventures with Extremists
By Jon Ronson, Narrated by Jon Ronson
5. Trust Your Eyes
By Linwood Barclay, Narrated by Ken Marks, Rick Holmes