Lost at Sea

Author: Jon Ronson
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781594631955
Release Date: 2013-10-01
Genre: Literary Collections

Profiles the eccentricities of contemporary culture and the strange things in which people believe, in an investigation of such topics as indigo children, the Insane Clown Posse's juggalo fans, and assisted suicide practitioners.

Lost at Sea

Author: Jon Ronson
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781447265511
Release Date: 2015-12-31
Genre: Humor

Updated edition. Now includes the complete text of Frank: The True Story that Inspired the Movie. 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 met a man who tried to split the atom in his kitchen and asked a conscious robot if she's got a soul. Fascinated by madness, strange behaviour and the human mind, Jon has spent his life exploring mysterious events and meeting extraordinary people. Collected from various sources (including the Guardian and GQ) Lost at Sea features the very best of his adventures. Frequently hilarious, sometimes disturbing, always entertaining, these fascinating stories of the chaos that lies on the fringe of our daily lives will have you wondering just what we're capable of. Portions of this book have appeared previously, in slightly different form, in Out of the Ordinary, What I Do, the Guardian and GQ (USA).

Lost at Sea

Author: Jon Ronson
Publisher: Picador
ISBN: 9781743299494
Release Date: 2012-11-01
Genre: Humor

A collection of mini-adventure stories from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Psychopath Test 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 met a man who tried to split the atom in his kitchen and asked a conscious robot if she's got a soul. Fascinated by madness, strange behaviour and the human mind, Jon 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 fascinating stories of the chaos that lies on the fringe of our daily lives will have you wondering just what we're capable of. PRAISE FOR LOST AT SEA "Funny and thought-provoking" Financial Times "Compelling and eye-opening . . . hugely compulsive reading" Psychologies "Comic and entertaining, but with a serious effect as we catch glimpses of the odd things ticking away inside some real characters" Scotsman

Lost at Sea

Author: Jon Ronson
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101612428
Release Date: 2012-10-30
Genre: Social Science

The New York Times–bestselling author of The Psychopath Test, Jon Ronson writes about the dark, uncanny sides of humanity with clarity and humor. Lost at Sea reveals how deep our collective craziness lies, even in the most mundane circumstances. Ronson investigates the strange things we’re willing to believe in, from lifelike robots programmed with our loved ones’ personalities to indigo children to hypersuccessful spiritual healers to the Insane Clown Posse’s juggalo fans. He looks at ordinary lives that take on extraordinary perspectives, for instance a pop singer whose life’s greatest passion is the coming alien invasion, and the scientist designated to greet those aliens when they arrive. Ronson throws himself into the stories—in a tour de force piece, he splits himself into multiple Ronsons (Happy, Paul, and Titch, among others) to get to the bottom of credit card companies’ predatory tactics and the murky, fabulously wealthy companies behind those tactics. Amateur nuclear physicists, assisted-suicide practitioners, the town of North Pole, Alaska’s Christmas-induced high school mass-murder plot: Ronson explores all these tales with a sense of higher purpose and universality, and suddenly, mid-read, they are stories not about the fringe of society or about people far removed from our own experience, but about all of us. Incisive and hilarious, poignant and maddening, revealing and disturbing—Ronson writes about our modern world, the foibles of contemporary culture, and the chaos that lies at the edge of our daily lives.

Them Adventures with Extremists

Author: Jon Ronson
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781447275473
Release Date: 2014-12-15
Genre: Humor

With an introduction by Russell Brand What if a tiny, shadow elite rule the world from a secret room? My worryingly paradoxical thought process could be summarized thus: Thank God I don't believe in the secret rulers of the world. Imagine what the secret rulers of the world might do to me if I did. What if a tiny, shadow elite rule the world from a secret room? In Them Jon Ronson sets out to find this room, with the help of the extremists - Islamic fundamentalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen - that believe in it. Along the way, he is chased by men in dark glasses, unmasked as a Jew in the middle of a Jihad training camp, and witnesses international CEOs and politicians participate in a bizarre pagan ritual in the forests of northern California. A Sunday Times bestseller and the book that launched Jon Ronson's inimitable career, Them is an eye-opening, outrageously funny exploration of extremism, which makes both author and reader think twice about the looking-glass world of 'us' and 'them' . . .

Frank

Author: Jon Ronson
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780698155572
Release Date: 2014-01-16
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

From the bestselling author of The Psychopath Test comes a characteristically humorous story of a musician on the margins. In Frank: The True Story that Inspired the Movie, Jon Ronson reflects on his days playing keyboard for the Frank Sidebottom Oh Blimey Big Band. Frank Sidebottom, best known for performing with a big fake head with a cartoon face painted on it, was a cult favorite in the United Kingdom and is the subject of the new movie Frank, co-written by Ronson and starring Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Domhnall Gleeson.

The Men Who Stare at Goats

Author: Jon Ronson
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1451665970
Release Date: 2011-06-28
Genre: Technology & Engineering

Bizarre military history: In 1979, a crack commando unit was established by the most gifted minds within the U.S. Army. Defying all known laws of physics and accepted military practice, they believed that a soldier could adopt the cloak of invisibility, pass cleanly through walls, and—perhaps most chillingly—kill goats just by staring at them. They were the First Earth Battalion, entrusted with defending America from all known adversaries. And they really weren’t joking. What’s more, they’re back—and they’re fighting the War on Terror. An uproarious exploration of American military paranoia: With investigations ranging from the mysterious “Goat Lab,” to Uri Geller’s covert psychic work with the CIA, to the increasingly bizarre role played by a succession of U.S. presidents, this might just be the funniest, most unsettling book you will ever read—if only because it is all true and is still happening today.

The Psychopath Test

Author: Jon Ronson
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781447202509
Release Date: 2011-06-03
Genre: Humor

What if society wasn't fundamentally rational, but was motivated by insanity? This thought sets Jon Ronson on an utterly compelling adventure into the world of madness. Along the way, Jon meets psychopaths, those whose lives have been touched by madness and those whose job it is to diagnose it, including the influential psychologist who developed the Psychopath Test, from whom Jon learns the art of psychopath-spotting. A skill which seemingly reveals that madness could indeed be at the heart of everything . . . Combining Jon Ronson's trademark humour, charm and investigative incision, The Psychopath Test is both entertaining and honest, unearthing dangerous truths and asking serious questions about how we define normality in a world where we are increasingly judged by our maddest edges.

Out of the Ordinary

Author: Jon Ronson
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9780330524032
Release Date: 2011-02-23
Genre: Humor

Jon Ronson’s subjects have included people who believe that goats can be killed by the power of a really hard stare, and people who believe that the world is ruled by twelve-foot lizard-men. In Out of the Ordinary, a collection of his journalism from the Guardian, he turns his attention to irrational beliefs much closer to home, investigating the ways in which we sometimes manage to convince ourselves that all manner of lunacy makes perfect sense – mainstream, domestic, ordinary insanity. Whether he finds himself promising his son that he will be at his side for ever, dressed in a Santa costume, or trying to understand why hundreds of apparently normal people would suddenly start speaking in tongues in a Scout hut in Kidderminster, he demonstrates repeatedly how we all succumb to deeply irrational beliefs that grow to inform our everyday existence. Out of the Ordinary is Jon Ronson at his inimitable best: hilarious, thought-provoking and with an unerring eye for human frailty – not least his own. Praise for The Men Who Stare at Goats: ‘Not only a narcotic road trip through the wackier reaches of Bush’s war effort, but also an unmissable account of some of the insanity that has lately been done in our names’ Observer Praise for Them: Adventures with Extremists: ‘A funny and compulsively readable picaresque adventure through a paranoid shadow world’ Louis Theroux, Guardian

So You ve Been Publicly Shamed

Author: Jon Ronson
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780698172524
Release Date: 2015-03-31
Genre: Social Science

Now a New York Times bestseller and from the author of The Psychopath Test, a captivating and brilliant exploration of one of our world's most underappreciated forces: shame. 'It's about the terror, isn't it?' 'The terror of what?' I said. 'The terror of being found out.' For the past three years, Jon Ronson has travelled the world meeting recipients of high-profile public shamings. The shamed are people like us - people who, say, made a joke on social media that came out badly, or made a mistake at work. Once their transgression is revealed, collective outrage circles with the force of a hurricane and the next thing they know they're being torn apart by an angry mob, jeered at, demonized, sometimes even fired from their job. A great renaissance of public shaming is sweeping our land. Justice has been democratized. The silent majority are getting a voice. But what are we doing with our voice? We are mercilessly finding people's faults. We are defining the boundaries of normality by ruining the lives of those outside it. We are using shame as a form of social control. Simultaneously powerful and hilarious in the way only Jon Ronson can be, So You've Been Publicly Shamed is a deeply honest book about modern life, full of eye-opening truths about the escalating war on human flaws - and the very scary part we all play in it. From the Hardcover edition.

What I Do

Author: Jon Ronson
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9780330481038
Release Date: 2008-09-04
Genre: Humor

In part one, read about the time Jon inadvertently made a lewd gesture to a passing fourteen-year-old girl late at night in the lobby of a country-house hotel. And about his burgeoning obsession with a new neighbour who refused to ask him what he did for a living, despite Jon's constant dropping of intriguing hints. And about the embarrassment of being caught recycling small talk at a party. In part two, read some of Jon's longer stories, which explore manifestations of insanity in the wider world: the tiny town of North Pole, Alaska, where it's Christmas 365 days of the year; behind the scenes at Deal or No Deal, which Jon likens to a cult with Noel Edmonds as its high priest; a meeting with TV hypnotist Paul McKenna, who has joined forces with a self-help guru who once stood trial for murder - but can they cure Jon of his one big phobia? As hilarious as it is perturbing, Jon Ronson's What I Do is a treat for everyone who has ever suspected themselves to be at the mercy of forces they can barely comprehend.

The Amazing Adventures of Phoenix Jones

Author: Jon Ronson
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101568316
Release Date: 2011-11-22
Genre: Social Science

Bestselling author Jon Ronson walks the mean streets of America where he finds real life, modern day superheroes. Fighting crime, saving old ladies, and chasing away drug dealers – all while wearing a mask and a cape. Phoenix Jones patrols Seattle, masked, muscles rippling, while corner boys scatter and teenage runaways are helped, whether they want it or not. He might still see his pediatrician when superhero-ing gets a little too intense, but he’ll be back out there with his ass-kicking comrades as soon as he’s bandaged up. These do-gooding citizens talk the talk, and walk the walk of mythical superheroes – the only thing they're missing is actual supernatural powers. The Amazing Adventures of Phoenix Jones is an inside, intimate look at the world of amateur superheroes and a front row seat to their adventures.

The Hunt for KSM

Author: Terry McDermott
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 9780316202732
Release Date: 2012-03-26
Genre: Political Science

The definitive account of the decade-long pursuit and capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the terrorist mastermind of 9/11 Only minutes after United 175 plowed into the World Trade Center's South Tower, people in positions of power correctly suspected who was behind the assault: Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. But it would be 18 months after September 11 before investigators would capture the actual mastermind of the attacks, the man behind bin Laden himself. That monster is the man who got his hands dirty while Osama fled; the man who was responsible for setting up Al Qaeda's global networks, who personally identified and trained its terrorists, and who personally flew bomb parts on commercial airlines to test their invisibility. That man withstood waterboarding and years of other intense interrogations, not only denying Osama's whereabouts but making a literal game of the proceedings, after leading his pursuers across the globe and back. That man is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and he is still, to this day, the most significant Al Qaeda terrorist in captivity. In THE HUNT FOR KSM, Terry McDermott and Josh Meyer go deep inside the US government's dogged but flawed pursuit of this elusive and dangerous man. One pair of agents chased him through countless false leads and narrow escapes for five years before 9/11. And now, drawing on a decade of investigative reporting and unprecedented access to hundreds of key sources, many of whom have never spoken publicly-as well as jihadis and members of KSM's family and support network-this is a heart-pounding trip inside the dangerous, classified world of counterterrorism and espionage.

The Call of the Weird

Author: Louis Theroux
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9780330473484
Release Date: 2008-09-04
Genre: Humor

For ten years Louis Theroux has been making programmes about off-beat characters on the fringes of US society. Now he revisits America and the people who have most fascinated him to try to discover what motivates them, why they believe the things they believe, and to find out what has happened to them since he last saw them. Along the way Louis thinks about what drives him to spend so much time among weird people, and considers whether he's learned anything about himself in the course of ten years working with them. Has he manipulated the people he's interviewed, or have they manipulated him? From his Las Vegas base, Louis revisits the assorted dreamers and outlaws who have been his TV feeding ground. Attempting to understand a little about himself and the workings of his own mind, Louis considers questions such as: What is the difference between pathology and 'normal' weirdness? Is there something particularly weird about Americans? What does it mean to be weird, or 'to be yourself'? And do we choose our beliefs or do our beliefs choose us?