• Them: Adventures with Extremists

  • By: Jon Ronson
  • Narrated by: Jon Ronson
  • Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 09-17-12
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.3 (1,944 ratings)

Regular price: $15.98

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Publisher's Summary

Them began as a book about different kinds of extremists, but after Jon had got to know some of them - Islamic fundamentalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen - he found that they had one oddly similar belief: that a tiny, shadowy elite rule the world from a secret room. In Them, Jon sets out, with the help of the extremists, to locate that room. The journey is as creepy as it is comic, and along the way Jon is chased by men in dark glasses, unmasked as a Jew in the middle of a Jihad training camp, and witnesses international CEOs and politicians participate in a bizarre pagan ritual in the forests of northern California.
Them is a fascinating and entertaining exploration of extremism, in which Jon learns some alarming things about the looking-glass world of ‘them’ and ‘us’. Are the extremists on to something? Or has Jon become one of Them?
©2012 Jon Ronson (P)2012 Audible Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"A funny, superbly controlled account of [Ronson’s] wanderings through the wonderland of fanaticism and delusion." (Brian Appleyard, New Statesman)
"This book is chilling and hilarious by turns. Ronson’s trademark laid-back attitude is a delight." ( Independent)
"A funny and compulsively readable picaresque adventure through a paranoid shadow world." (Louis Theroux, Guardian)
"Ronson plays up to his charming buffoonery... But he is an acute social commentator. He is compelling." ( Times Literary Supplement)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By aaron on 09-26-12

Dated but VERY Good... and FUNNY!

First off, I'd listen to Ronson read the Dictionary. His dry wit, timing, and inflections are incredible. You feel as though he's reading to you, personally. This is a pre-9/11 book, but much of what it deals with is still relevant today. Ronson has this incredible knack for taking subjects that aren't very funny AT ALL (i.e. a Muslim extremist threatening to put a 'Fatwah' on him), and finding the humor in it.

This is light reading at its finest. You may learn a bit about some of the extremists in the world, but nothing you probably couldn't have figured out on your own. The true joy of this book is the way that Ronson brings you into the story, keeps you constantly laughing, and delivers you on the other side, unscathed.

We need more social satirists like Ronson. He's truly one of a kind!

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42 of 44 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Nothing really matters on 05-24-15

Bilderberg or Build-a-Bear?

This book is a collection of several very interesting snapshots of people society has labeled extremists. They seem to be the sort of people James (The Amazing) Randi called 'believers' since they will follow ideas that appeal to them unquestioningly and regardless of how strange or extreme they sound to others.

Some of these folks are stranger than others, but most suspect the world is controlled by the secretive (and seemingly asinine) Bilderberg Group. They believe the Bilderberg Group is run by 'the Jews' or 12-foot tall reptilian aliens and is determined to set up a nefarious one-world government.

The book brought home to me the other side of the 'Ruby Ridge' incident through Rachel Weaver's version of the events. The book also illustrated the, perhaps unsurprising, fact that the players on all the various sides are guilty of serious departures from the truth and character assassination.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a fairly balanced-seeming glimpse into the strange and sometimes surprising world of extreme beliefs.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Anna on 12-23-12

Well-read, witty and weird

I really enjoyed this audiobook, so much that I got my boyfriend hooked even though he's never listened to an audiobook before. Ronson reads very well, and his reading really makes the whole thing much funnier. This is a light exploration of extremism - some of the stuff is weird, but some very eye-opening, and Ronson never patronises his subjects, however odd they are.

Highly recommended - best audiobook I've listened to this year.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By J. Casey on 02-17-15

Brilliant, bizarre & true

I love Jon Ronson & this is a clever and well researched. The narration is great -Jon is never mocking of his sometimes bizarre subjects

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Lawrence on 01-20-16

The truth is out there! Really out there... No, really, really out there!

Ronson treads a compelling and I think honest path examining the nature of conspiracy.

Conspiracy clearly does exist, frequently in the form of nothing more sinister than a quiet word over dinner and a bit of theatre.

People are not inherently evil (maybe they are in the case of Kissinger but he sees himself as a good guy I suspect) they are intrinsically self interested. They have personal and social agendas all the bigotries, snobbishness and racism that they were bought up with.

They fear irrationally and create rational things for others to fear (Neo nazis and anti refugee advocates come to mind as people with irrational fears who create things for rational people to fear).

The point which Ronson gently brings you to in this work is that the truth is generally mundane. That there are powerful people gaming the system is clear.

It is an engaging and entertaining work but at its heart is a very serious aspect of the human psyche, that fear creates monsters and monsters create fear...

I for one would enjoy a work by him on the Israel / Palestine atrocities and peace process... I think that we would find the same psychology mirrored there that he has described in "Them".

I'd also love to meet him for a beer and a quiet chat about love and death and life at the pub! So Ron look me up if you ever make it to Melbourne...

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Bec Booton on 11-10-15

Interesting people

Any additional comments?

This is my 2nd favourite book of Jon’s. The extremists that let him into their lives are off in another world sometimes and it’s amazing to hear how he wiggles his way into their lives over the course of sometimes year. Highly recommend.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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