“Jon Ronson has been on patrol with America’s real-life superheroes and to a UFO convention in the Nevada desert with Robbie Williams. He’s interviewed a robot and asked her if she has a soul. He’s travelled to the Alaskan theme town of North Pole (where every day is Christmas Day) to investigate a high school mass-murder plot. He’s met a man who tried to split the atom in his kitchen and another who’s preparing to welcome the aliens to earth. Jon Ronson is fascinated by madness, strange behaviour and the human mind, and he has spent his life exploring mysterious events and meeting extraordinary people. Collected here from various sources (including the Guardian and GQ) are the best of his adventures. Frequently hilarious, sometimes disturbing, always entertaining, these compelling stories of the chaos that lies on the fringe of our daily lives will have you wondering just what we’re capable of.” Amazon.co.uk
This was my first non-fiction audiobook and I really enjoyed it. It took a bit of getting into, but as this book was set as lots of short stories about the people on the fringes of society out was easy to follow and get into in, once I had gotten over the initial ‘this isn’t a story’ stigma!
I’ve read only one Jon Ronson books before – The Psychopath Test
– so knew I liked his style of writing, but was intrigued as he narrates his own book. This was great and a little annoying. He has a fantastic voice and I really understood where he was placing emphasis when he read his writing, but I felt the characters didn’t come out as well as they could of. In other audiobooks what I have liked about the narrater is that they use lots of different voices to differentiate the characters. But Jon Ronson didn’t do this and occasionally I thought the wrong person was speaking.
This book was very interesting. The stories told are the ones I read in the news, but there is never the detail that would shows the real people. Jon Ronson goes into the detail and discovers the real people. They are not all nice and loveable, some are creepy and weird, but they are all intriguing.
The one annoying thing about this book is that there was no link between any of the stories, only that they all about people based on the edges of our society. I would have liked an introduction and closing chapter, but there is not and that is okay. I like conclusions and closing remarks, but that is my hang up.
I’m glad I branched out into a non-fiction audiobook. It broke up my series of fantasy books and got me thinking on my commute. I enjoyed that and this book is definitely worth a read 🙂