Archive for amusing

THE PSYCHOPATH TEST By Jon Ronson – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2013 by stanleyriiks

Never judge a book by its cover, so goes the saying. Well, as far as I’m concerned that’s arse. The first book I picked up and bought as an adult (at the tender age of fourteen, but I consider that as adult as I’ve ever got) was a Conan book with a lovely cover. It wasn’t a Frazetta but it was that style, and it was awesome. The fact the cover didn’t have hardly anything to do with the contents of the book didn’t put me off at all. I continue to purchase books because they have great covers. I can barely put back on the shelf a book with artwork by Jon Sullivan.

What I would suggest though, is don’t pick a book because of a title. That’s how Jon Ronson got me. The Psychopath Test sounds like a quality book. There’s likely to be madness in it, and may be some murder. And there is, just not the sort I thought there would be.

Perhaps I need to explain a little further. I don’t read blurbs, those paragraphs on the back of the book that tell you what’s going to happen. Why would I? It’s like a film trailer, it shows you the best bits, it tells you what’s going to happen. If I’ve seen the best bits why watch the rest? If I know what’s going to happen what’s the point in reading the story? So I had no idea that this book was even non-fiction.

I also don’t read quotes, not before I start reading anyway. This book has quotes all over it. I can’t help but think they were reading a different book to me.

I didn’t realise this was written by the same bloke who wrote The Men Who Stare At Goats, that’s a film I’ve been meaning to watch because it has a great title. Ronson, it seems, is pretty good with titles.

So, what’s this book about? It’s about an investigative journalist (Ronson) searching out the meaning of mental health, or rather, psychopathy. He meets people in mental hospitals, he tells the stories of child bipolar disorder, he meets the man who created the psychopath test, a scientologist who believe psychiatrists are con-men, ex-dictators, and ex-CEOs. From the quotes all over this book you might expect it to be funny. I didn’t expect it to be funny until I read the quotes, and up until then (almost at the end), I had found some vaguely amusing parts, but nothing that made me do more than almost crack a smile. This isn’t Ben Elton or Stephen Fry.

So, what is this book?

It’s a look at the crazy world of the madness industry. It’s quite interest, mildly amusing in parts, quite frustrating in others. Repetitive, not particularly insightful, but quite short. Never judge a book by its title, a lesson learned.

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BE READY WHEN THE SH*T GOES DOWN: A SURVIVAL GUIDE TO THE APOCALYPSE By Forrest Griffin and Erich Krauss – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2013 by stanleyriiks

Forrest Griffin is my hero. He is the former UFC light heavyweight champion, and one of the top-rated mixed martial artists in the world. I know because I’ve seen him fight (on the tv), in fact I’ve followed his career from close to the beginning when he rose to fame on the first ever series of The Ultimate Fighter. I watched the epic battle between Forrest and Stephan Boner for the first Ultimate Fighter prize, I watched him work his way to the top of the UFC’s light heavyweight division and I saw him beat Rampage Jackson, with some devastating leg kicks, to win the title. I also watched him lose the title, and be badly beaten by Anderson “The Spider” Silva.

I also read Forrest’s first book, Got Fight? Probably one of the funniest books I’ve read, and the best book I’ve read about fighting. OK, it is the only book I’ve read about fighting, although I have a few in my collection that I really must get round to.

So here Forrest again puts his trademark sense of humour down on paper to treat us to instructions for surviving the apocalypse. Like others before him, Forrest describes the planning and preparing, goes through likely scenarios for the end of the world, and gives step by step instruction on how to survive it.

In his own unique way.

Filled with humour, useful tips, and some deeply disturbing material, this is a book that readers of the first book will enjoy as it’s more of the same. Readers with no previous experience of Forrest might take a while to get used to him. Offering more insight into the great man who will become a god after the end of the world, this is unique, and laugh out loud funny. A treat that might just help save you from certain death.

Follow Forrest’s instructions, and then follow Forrest. He will lead us to our survival.