by C.L. Phillips
We've had the conversation about my Kindle addiction, right? Well, in my latest fit of "I've got to have this book, NOW", my fingers did the walking and purchased The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson after watching his interview on Jon Stewart's Daily Show. Damn that Jon Stewart.
The book is beyond compelling. Why? Ronson uses vignettes to tell the story. He drew me in with a mystery of all things. A mystery in a non fiction book. It made me smile. And throught the mystery he illustrated one of the main points in his book.
I'm not going to tell you what the mystery is, because I don't want to ruin the surprise for you. Suffice to say I read the entire book in one sitting. And it's non-fiction! I never do that.
His book is compelling for another reason. It gave me so much more to think about in terms of my villans and the other people my hero will be working against. His story about Tony, the man who chose to feign mental illness rather than go to jail took me on a complete character arc. I found myself rooting for Tony until the last moment when the hammer dropped.
The main point of the book is that with a simple test, you too can identify a psychopath. And if you've worked in the corporate world, odds are you've seen more than one up close. Jon's example is Al Dunlap from Sunbeam Corporation. Mine shall remain unnamed, but let's just say he was easy to identify with the test.
Are there other non-fiction books you've used in this way? Tell me more. My fingers are itching to give Jeff Bezos more of my money.
p.s. Jon Ronson captured my heart and soul last night, and interrupted my normal sleep so I'm up at 5:12 a.m. in the dark in Central Texas wondering how many psychopaths live within walking distance. It's worse than zombies.