Depends What You Mean by Extremist

  • by John Safran
  • Narrated by John Safran
  • 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

No one turns up where they're not wanted quite like John Safran. In this hilarious and disorienting adventure, he gets among our diverse community of white nationalists, ISIS supporters, anarchists and more, digging away at the contradictions that many would prefer be left unexamined.
Who is this black puppet master among the white nationalists? And this Muslim fundamentalist who geeks out on Monty Python? Is there a secret radicalisation network operating in John’s own Jewish suburb? And ultimately - is hanging with all these radicals washing off on John himself?
Populated by an extraordinary cast of 'ordinary' Australians, Depends What You Mean by Extremist is a startling, confronting portrait of contemporary Australia. We all think we know what's going on in our own country, but this larger-than-life, timely and alarmingly insightful true story will make you think again.... Drinking shots with nationalists and gobbling falafel with radicals, John Safran was there the year the extreme became the mainstream.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An intriguing problematisation of extremists

Johns writing is easy to follow as he takes you on an exploration of the different voices of the far right, far left and Islamist extremists. It is easy to oversimplify our political adversaries, but with this book John reminds us that they are still humans with complicated histories and beliefs.

The characters of Safran's story provide a way of understanding what has unfolded in politics in the past few years. By imbedding himself into the narrative, Safran offers a funny and intelligent point of view.

While Safran is the main character of the story, he also has the least to say. It's not often that he raises his point of view directly, and instead asks some good questions.

I would have liked to if seen some form of conclusion where John takes a stand or tries to explain why history has unfolded this way. But frustratingly the book doesn't really show that Safran learned much along the way.

I can recommend Depends What You Mean By Extremist to anyone who enjoys character driven, long form journalism. Especially fans of Jon Ronson.
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Refreshingly Irreverent

Safran takes difficult and politically charged topics and tells a funny yarn in a very Australian way. Approaching even-handed, although his leanings are not entirely concealed, he pokes fun at both ends of the political horseshoe and the big religions to make many insightful observations. The real concerns of the large set in the middle of the horseshoe are necessarily omitted. In any case these are better dealt with by others, albeit without a trace of humour. The Strange a Death of Europe is one example. Some may not love Safran's voice but there is an authenticity coming from this author's narration of his own work.
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- Alan J. Couch

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-01-2017
  • Publisher: Audible Studios