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Ronson's journalistic style and various narrative journeys remind me of the weekly podcast episodes of This American Life, with Ira Glass. I particularly related to the stories of the credit/bank clusterfluck of 2008 - and Ronson was writing way before this crisis started to peak - and the missing cruise ship staff member. Ronson has a signature method of starting small, with an individual or seemingly low impact situation, and then developing the larger picture with expanded implications.
His narrative voice is good, but takes some getting used to. Initially he sounds slightly hoarse, with little projection at a very low volume, but once I became more familiar with his auditory style, it was all good.
Compilations of stories and episodic collections used to be exactly what I would avoid purchasing on audible, but now I find myself enjoying the varied range of perspectives and story lines afforded by edited groupings of shorter pieces. I think this is partly due to looking at why I listen - I'm not always seeking a 9-to-21-hour plot line and buildup to a specific result; nor is "how it all ends" my predominant purpose in listening to books rather than reading the print versions. I just like the explorations of emotional landscape and inner dialogue and it's not that relevant for me to have a specific factual ending. Another aspect of listening for me is that I can read books while doing other things - working, walking, running, driving, so listening to one full-length story is not a huge factor.
This is a superb collection and well-suited to the investigative journalist's voice of Jon Ronson.
34 of 35 people found this review helpful
This has to be one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to. Ronson is insightful, funny, and most importantly picks really interesting topics to write about. I do not want to list all the topics or chapters but there are not too many dull moments (even stories I have heard before are given an interesting twist by Ronson. A great listen for anyone that wants something funny and somewhat topical/non-fiction but not 'silly'
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
I first "met" Jon Ronson when i picked up a copy of "the men who stare at goats" in the airport. It took me a while to work out if i was reading a true account or a clever parody, it was the former - i was hooked. Since then i have read "the psychopath test" and "them" and enjoyed both very much. However, this latest book is by far the best. I listened from start too finish, only pausing to eat and sleep (i bought it on holiday) Every chapter was a little christmas cracker of bangs and surprises. Some left me feeling sad, some left me feeling incredulous, some made me laugh out loud (the james bond chapter was hilarious) others left me feeling furious. the last one left me breathless and smiling from ear to ear. I loved this book and it will undoubtedly go on my "read (listen) again" list. This is the best book i have read since Malcolm Gladwells' "Outliers" and "Blink" Absolutely brilliant. I cant wait for his next one!
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
I can't get enough of Jon Ronson's writings, tv programs and radio show. Fantastic story teller and a great view on the world.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
I loved every twist and turn of this marvellous collection of stories...Ronson really does go to show that fact is stranger than fiction. A most absorbing listen.
The stories are so interesting and strange they make you want to jump online to find out more or see if it's really true. Jon is the perfect narrator. His unique voice and speech patterns make this recording all the more engaging and intriguing. I will be buying the rest of his books now.