The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, by Jon Ronson, is, to put it simply, a nonfiction book that explores psychopathy, the psychiatric/psychological world, and more. With just that one sentence, it would seem that this book is boring. However, it is anything but.
Ronson takes the readers on a journey, starting with a baffling puzzle sent out to top neurologists in the world. From there, he starts his journey through the titular madness industry, which takes him from prisons to the church of Scientology to conspiracy theorists to the (also titular) psychopath test.
I’m very picky about nonfiction books, not because I’m a snobby reader or anything, but because I get easily bored if the information isn’t presented in a way that’s entertaining to me. I initially picked up this book because I’m very into crime and true crime, and the topic of psychopathy is in that vein. I wasn’t expecting much, but Ronson weaves all of these varying bits of information and anecdotes from his own research for this book that really made The Psychopath Test an easy and enjoyable read.
That being said, this isn’t a book I’d recommend if you’re actually trying to learn about psychopathy – it’s definitely more of a book where, as a reader, you’re just along for the ride as Ronson himself delves into this world, though it does still include a lot of history and facts about psychopathy, mental illnesses, and the madness industry. Ronson really did his research.
Regardless, I highly recommend this book, and I want to look into reading his other books as well.