10 August 2013

The Psychopath Test

Author: Jon Ronson
Year published: 2011
Pages: 304
Time It Took To Read: A few hours
I've been meaning to get this book for YEARS, and finally saw it on offer in Asda not long ago. I read it last weekend, largely at a wedding while waiting for my boyfriend to come to bed. A long wait. A good wedding!
Anyway, Jon Ronson is a journalist and this book is about various mental health conundrums. Ostensibly, the book is about the Hare Psychopathy checklist, and it's occasionally indiscriminate application. However, in his research, Ronson pings around all sorts of curiosities in the mental health sphere. From talking to the anti-psychiatry face of Scientology to the odd extremes of conspiracy theorists online, every chapter is a joy. Not a very cohesive joy, but a joy nonetheless.
I am fascinated by mental illness, and relatively anti-psychiatry myself (though not to Scientologist levels). I've recently finished a Coursera course on mental health and social contexts (see my other blog for more info), and now I'm wondering if I should think about doing a mental health module for my degree.
It demonstrates many of the problems with modern psychiatry in layman's terms.Will Self apparently found it hilarious. I can't say I was rolling off the bed laughing, but it was empathetic and gentle humour. Whatever your interest in psychiatry and psychology, this is good read. And if you just like rollicking journalism, this is a VERY good read.

Book count: 37/50

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