The Psychopath Test by Jon Robson brings the scope of the general madness of society to paperback, as he investigates the nature of the illness, how it is diagnosed and how it manifests itself. Having spent a little bit of time Christmas shopping on Oxford Street earlier, followed by a bout on the tube, I reckon the psychopath test should be administered far and wide, because it’s Bedlam out there.
In the Psychopath Test, Jon Ronson, the author that brought us The Men Who Stare at Goats, gets deep into the mind of insanity. His central question is what if society was driven more by insanity than by rationality, and he leaves no mad looking stone untouched in his pursuit of understanding.
Talking to psychopaths and the people whose job it is to diagnose them, he learns a lot about the illness and in particular how to see it in others, but with that kind of knowledge he starts to see elements of psychopathic behaviour all around (something I could have told him ten years ago, but that makes me a psychopath, so maybe we’re all screwed).
The Psychopath Test will be released on paperback on the 5th January 2012, ushering in Jon Ronson’s brand of visionary analysis. With one of the coolest front covers since Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, it’s bound to inspire an insanely psychopathic fan following all by itself, or something like that.