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Monday, January 28, 2013

Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries

I loved The Psychopath Test, so I hurriedly jumped into the library queue for Jon Ronson's Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries. It made my week.

Ronson's book of investigative essays read as though you are sitting across the kitchen table from him listening to him tell you tales of his work. He looks at how credit card companies choose you to hit up rather than your neighbor, what happens if you go missing on a cruise ship, and why the Insane Clown Posse are only pretending to be hard-core killers and abusers but are actually evangelical Christians. He goes to the North Pole in Alaska to investigate a school shooting plot, to the East Coast to interview assisted suicide advocates, and to five different homes in the USA that represent a range of incomes from desolate to billionaire.

This outstanding piece of work is a book you should experience. Ronson has an incredible way of sharing the stories of people you might never have even considered exist. Sometimes they are people on the fringes, but other times they are people whose stories have layers that peel back like an onion to reveal a surprising humanity.

What I love most about Ronson is how much judgement he reserves for his subjects. Whether it's alien invasion or an obsession with projecting all-Christmas-all-the-time, you never know exactly what Ronson is thinking about these people he is interviewing. Oh sure, as the reader you are very aware that he is fascinated by them and wants to know more, but whether or not he thinks this people are batty is never known.

I learned so much from this book and I am so happy I added it to my queue this month. I strongly suggest you pick it up if you have even the slightest bit of curiosity in life.

This too can be yours for a read. Kindle on left, hard copy on right.

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