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Blog Tour Excerpt of Your Invincible Power: How to tame your ego and fuel your ambition by Pamela Hamilton and W.T. Hamilton

Welcome to my tour stop for “Your Invincible Power: How to tame your ego and fuel your ambition” by Pamela Hamilton and W.T. Hamilton.  You can see the full tour schedule here.

How to Tame Your Ego and Fuel Your Ambition explores the ways ego plays a role in hindering your ambition. We give you ways to tame your ego and build the drive needed to fuel your ambition.
In this book you will see ways to:
Understand how your ego affects your decision process
Be a gift giver and receiver
Take your thoughts off of autopilot
You will discover:
Why some ambitious people fail
The key ingredients for ambition
How to bring what you deserve to you
How to Tame Your Ego and Fuel Your Ambition gives you the tools and techniques you can use to achieve your goals. In this book we reveal one of the biggest secrets of the Law of Attraction.Everyone claims to have the missing secret piece to the law of attraction. Many people say they know what it is but very few can really explain why it works so well for some people and not very well for others.
Discover how you can really bring the life that you deserve to you and turn your dreams into reality.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS

 

Pamela and W.T Hamilton (a mother and son team) created a book series about taking responsibility for your life. How to Tame the Ego and Fuel your Ambition is about understanding the way the ego works within your everyday life. It is the part of us that creates those unwanted doubts.

The ego is that illogical part of our nature that gives us a false sense of self. The part of you which constantly says that you are not worthy. That you are not deserving and therefore you cannot reach your desires in life. It is all of these negative emotions that are buried in your subconscious mind. It is the residue of false ideas that were presented to you about you throughout your life. These thoughts that we reiterate contribute many obstacles to what otherwise would be an obvious pathway to ones life’s work.

The ego shows up in that negative part of us to remind us of past failures. It’s that little voice in your head that gives to you flawed ideas of who you are and who you can be. The ego mind is conditioned by fear. As long as you are fearful of change, of stepping out of the box, it is apt to keep you where you are. It is when we are aware of this hidden entity and understand the many ways it shows up in our lives that it loses its power over us.

How to Tame the Ego and Fuel your Ambition shows you how to defeat this hidden entity. The authors give the reader exercises and techniques in effective ways to dissociate from the ego, therefore disconnecting from unwanted people, situations and events taking place in one’s life.

Pamela and W.T invite you to join them on this journey of self-empowerment and abundance. Please visit us at www.yourinvinciblepower.com  

Pamela Hamilton and W.T. Hamilton are a Mother and Son team. They do not always share the same beliefs or viewpoints. Pamela follows the Law of Attraction from the spiritual perspective and W.T follows it from a practical point of view. They have been working and studying the Law of Attraction for the past few years and have written a series of books to teach how to use it in various aspects of daily life.

EXCERPTS

 

 

 

 

Guest Review by J.L.Clayton: Night People by Larry J. Dunlap

NIGHT PEOPLE, the first book in an intimate literary memoir, follows the first three of six years in the life of a young singer and his Midwestern friends as they strive for success in a coming-of-age music and romance-filled journey in 1960’s-era California and Las Vegas by Author Larry J. Dunlap.
So a friend of mine told me about this book: Night People. She said I would love it, yet I was skeptical because I’m not a nonfiction reader. However; my friend has really good taste in books so I gave this one a try. I’m very happy I did. Night People is a wonderful book, I found myself forgetting that it was a biography. It reads like a fictional book, so it was a very easy read for me. I never lost interest. Author Dunlap is such a beautiful writer. I found myself lost in the book, as if I was watching a really good movie. If you can make me forget that I was reading a biography and take me to that imaginary place, than you did a brilliant job. Bravo! I’m looking forward to reading your next book. 5🌟

J.L.Clayton is the author of A Spark of Magic and A Blaze of Magic, the first two books from The Chosen Saga. She is currently working on A Ghost of Magic.

You can find reviews of J.L. Clayton’s two fabulous books written by me by clicking on the following links:

A Spark of Magic Book Review

A Blaze of Magic Book Review

Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food

Nigella Lawson Release Date: 8 Oct. 2015 Buy new: £26.00 £12.00

Old School (Diary of a Wimpy Kid book 10)

Jeff Kinney Release Date: 3 Nov. 2015 Buy new: £12.99 £6.49

The Martian

Andy Weir The Martian 131 days in the top 100 The Martian (2822) Buy new: £7.99 £3.85 58 used & new from £2.34

I Let You Go

Clare Mackintosh I Let You Go 139 days in the top 100 I Let You Go (2072) Buy new: £7.99 £3.85 37 used & new from £3.50

The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes From a Small Island

Bill Bryson The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes From a Small Island 9 days in the top 100 Release Date: 8 Oct. 2015 Buy new: £20.00 £10.00

America’s Conduct: Inner City Escort by Larry Davis

Following my review of Rob Lowe’s autobiography, Stories I Only Tell My Friends, I had a tweet from Larry Davis, who suggested I read his book, America’s Conduct: Inner City Escort. When an author takes the time to contact me to suggest I read their book, I will always endeavour to read and review their works as soon as I can.

As a UK citizen, any knowledge I have of American gangs is what I have seen in films and documentaries. This book takes the reader into the heart of American gang culture and explains how the gang members became a part of it in the first place. However, Davis takes this one step further in his book. He outlines the impact that their history has had on the decision-making processes of African-Americans and how he feels that while racial equality is promoted outwardly by the American authorities, this is not actually the case at all and that African-Americans are still facing prejudice by a system that has apparently been amended to abolish slavery and unfair treatment of African-Americans. Indeed, Davis often quotes relevant legislation that was put into place supposedly to make things fair for all American citizens, regardless of colour or creed. As the title of the book suggests, Davis feels that America should be held accountable for their conduct towards African-Americans which has led to many choosing a lifestyle which is ultimately self-destructive.

Whilst this book is largely autobiographical, Davis goes a few generations back to explain his family history and the prejudices that his family had experienced before him to illuminate that the situation hasn’t really improved over the years. This gives the reader a more complete picture of the depth of prejudice displayed by those who felt they were superior to African-Americans. Davis endeavours to explain how he was filled with hatred, largely as a result of his family’s history, and how he completely rejected the system that claimed to treat all men equally whilst demonstrating that this was not the case at all.

Davis writes his life story very well and his frequent quotes from various constitutional amendments further enforces the point that he is trying to make. He makes clear links between his own experiences to those of his family members from years earlier that also reinforces his argument. There seemed to be a tendency to stereotype, but perhaps this was not intentional and that he was presenting his argument with an unspoken assumption that not all white people were prejudiced against African-Americans and not all African American’s who embraced the system for better or worse were in denial and were wrong to do so. I also found it difficult to assimilate the person who was undoubtedly let down by the authorities and the person who speaks of stabbing and beating up people without any evident emotion for the purpose of furthering their standing within their gang. I struggled to see how one situation justified the other, although, at the end of the narrative, Davis acknowledges this to some extent. I also understand that in many cases, it was a case of attacking as the best form of defence.

I can see how Davis was drawn into gang culture. He grew up in the midst of a surrogate family of gang members who provided support to each other no matter what and fought for their beliefs against a corrupt system. To be part of this extended family must have been quite appealing to a boy who lost his beloved father at a young age and who was encouraged to make his own way in the world and not allow himself to be prejudiced against, having witnessed prejudice first-hand. Davis is evidently very intelligent despite his rejection of the education system; his writing style is testament to that. This book is intended to deter other young men from taking the path that he chose to take. He acknowledges the effects that his decisions and actions had on those around him; his family and friends and those who he attacked/maimed as a result of his ambition to represent the East Side Crips at the highest level. Whilst there is no evidence that the system is any less corrupt, Davis wants any potential gang members of the future to understand how it is self-destructive and not worth the potential end result: either being killed or incarcerated.

In consideration of the narrative itself, whilst it is very well written, I did find myself getting a bit lost when trying to keep track with who was who. There are so many elements to the gang structure and so many (often similar) names to attach to the various groups that I found it quite difficult to follow at times. However, as they all played their part in Davis’s story, this was likely a necessary evil to contend with and does not reduce the effectiveness of the narrative.

Overall, Davis makes his argument well, and I can see how anyone in Davis’s position, who felt that the system that was supposed to help him was actually working against him despite its promotion to the contrary, would attach themselves to a collective who can exert control and provide young men with a purpose, a support network and a way to fight back against a corrupt system. East Side Crips provided Davis with something to believe in and with a sense of ambition for the future. There were (and still are) errors on both sides. Crimes should not go unpunished, but without absolute proof that the person in the dock committed the crime, they should not be incarcerated for it either.  I can’t quite get my head around the violence between the rival gangs when ultimately it seems that their “enemy” was the same, i.e. the American justice system and the white Americans who continued to show prejudice against them. I could not offer any properly informed opinion on the subject matter of Davis’s book other than to say that I will never understand why people are treated any differently purely because of race, colour, creed, sexuality etc. I commend Davis for writing a fascinating, eye-opening narrative which has dual purpose: to show that while we may imagine that we are nearer to racial equality, this is not the case, and also to provide any young African-American with ideas of becoming a gang member a description of what the reality of this choice would be. I would recommend this book as an interesting, honest account of life as an African-American gang member who has suffered the injustices of a corrupt system, and who admits his own accountability for the choices he made and asks America to do the same.

Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe

A few weeks ago, I re-read and reviewed Love Life by Rob Lowe, inspired after I read an extract from the book in an article and reminding me of what a fantastic book it was. I loved reading this book and I really enjoyed reviewing it. So, after a predictably disappointing read  of the new EL James book, Grey, I wanted to read something I knew I would enjoy from start to finish. As it occurred to me that perhaps I should have reviewed Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe before I reviewed Love Life, I thought that I would make things right and guarantee myself a great reading experience.

I was bought this book by my better half for my birthday in June 2012 after leaving very explicit hints about what I wanted as a present ( I added it to his Amazon basket) and I read it in two sessions. I couldn’t put it down. This time, it was three sessions, but only because I couldn’t read it while I was at my day job! Before I read Stories I Only Tell My Friends, my knowledge of Rob Lowe was limited to the films and shows I’d seen and enjoyed. I was absolutely blown away by this book, not least because I got an insight to what a fascinating life he has led so far. Having only been born in 1978, I wasn’t aware of a lot of the events in the book, being more familiar with his career from Wayne’s World onwards, so I had been interested to learn what came before.

Stories I Only Tell My Friends could be described as a real-life bildungsroman of sorts. Lowe describes scenes from his life so far that he regards as turning points and indicators of where his life would lead him. Interestingly, however, he chooses to start his autobiography with a chapter mainly revolving around someone who he considered a hero of his, John Kennedy Junior. Effectively, our first story is Lowe describing his relationship with someone who he admired from afar and was fortunate enough to meet on a couple of occasions and who had a desire to showcase Lowe as the figurehead for the new political drama, The West Wing, against the wishes of everyone else involved. Lowe uses this particular story to great effect – he juxtaposes  John Kennedy Junior’s fame as a direct result of being a dead president’s son, albeit one of, if not the most influential president of the 20th Century, as a pre-cursor to telling tales of how his own parents influenced him over the years. Lowe describes how “[John Kennedy Junior’s] whole world has been shaped by the office, the service to it, and the tragic sacrifice in its name,” and is in awe of his “steadiness in the harsh, relenting spotlight, his quest for personal identity and substance, for going his own way and building a life of his choosing.” As the reader finds out in the coming chapters, this is exactly the process that Lowe goes through himself, when he chases, and achieves his dream of becoming an actor. Show-business isn’t always what it seems and while he learns his craft, he becomes well acquainted with its highlights and pitfalls.

Lowe enlightens the reader on his childhood that, whilst wasn’t necessarily unhappy, was tumultuous at times. He pinpoints key occasions in his early childhood that he feels had a significant effect on his future; a chance question to his mother in a hardware store, an often-absent father following his parents divorce, a move to Los Angeles and a mother who was fighting her own battles with her health and wellbeing that as a young boy, were beyond his understanding.  However, not all the stories he tells are negative. Far from it, in fact. Whilst Lowe relays these stories and his feelings at the time, he always finds the positive aspects of the effect that they had on him and while these events may have profoundly affected his outlook at the time, he shows an infinite determination to make his own way in life and create his own success throughout.

We are given a brief family history prior to Lowe’s birth and he writes of his mother and father with great affection. His tough lawyer father and his English teacher mother have obviously given Lowe his strength of character, his fight to obtain his career goals and his natural skill for writing. Lowe writes with incredible wit, clarity and a true storytelling style. I can imagine him sat in his office reliving each moment of the stories he has opted to write about, good and bad, and writing a train-of-thought account of these events and the effect they have had on his life. Obviously, I have no idea if this is how he wrote this book, but it is an image that his writing style invokes.

Lowe is self-deprecating a lot of the time but not in a way that is intended to make the reader feel sorry for him. He relays these stories to show that he is human, that he has made good decisions and shocking decisions and how his desire to “people-please” almost caused him to self-destruct. After all, Lowe was only a teenager when he acted in his break-out movie, The Outsiders, and he admits he had no-one to guide him in the world he had opted to be a part of and in a desire to get the next big part, he worked hard and played harder. He recalls words of wisdom by people such as Cary Grant, Liza Minnelli, Lucille Ball and John Belushi, to name but a few, and describes these meetings with a sense of incredulity, much like any other fan meeting a famous person that they have looked up to. I think that this is what makes Lowe’s stories so endearing. He often writes as if he is just as surprised as the reader that he is the main protagonist in these stories. No airs and graces, just the events as the happened, how they made him feel and what he thinks with the wonderful gift of hindsight.

There are great stories of romantic liaisons and friendly banter among Lowe and his “competition”. The “frenemy” relationship he relates with Michael J Fox is a particularly funny chapter. However, I loved the stories that involved the Sheen/Estevez family. As Lowe made friends with Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen as a young teen, who were to be up and coming actors in their own right, inevitably he developed a relationship with their father, Martin Sheen, who he was to eventually co-star with in The West Wing. Lowe calls him his surrogate father, and being a massive Martin Sheen fan, I love the idea of the two of them chewing the fat and Sheen imparting his experience in the industry to a wide-eyed young Rob Lowe as he embarks on his dream career. Also, Lowe gives the reader an insight into some of the big actors who were rising up the movie ladder with him. A young, but uber-focussed Tom Cruise, an eager-not-to-ride-on-his-father’s-coat-tails Emilio Estevez and an enthusiastic, generous Patrick Swayze are all regulars in Rob Lowe’s early career stories and the stories are often funny and always interesting.

However, the hero of this book is actually a heroine, Rob’s wife Sheryl. She saw in Rob what he couldn’t see in himself and, without any drama on her part, she made him see clearly where he wanted to be as he searched for the answer in a continuous alcoholic, sex-fuelled haze. She was his friend, first and foremost, and promised that this would always be the case whatever happened between them romantically. She didn’t make demands of him, just provided the support as best she could. She backed off when he overstepped the mark, making him realise what he stood to lose and she stepped up to the plate when he needed her the most when he took the brave step of going into rehab. It is easy to see why their marriage has stood the test of time when so many stars are married then divorced in quick succession. Sheryl Berkoff saw Rob Lowe at his worst and bore the challenge of being his shining light with integrity and grace, helping him to put his life back on track with her love, support and determination as he recognised that the excesses of his life had to be eradicated so he could fulfil his true potential as a husband, father and in his developing career. Their marriage and the birth of their two sons have undeniably made Lowe the man he is today and he seems more than happy to give her the credit.

The candidness with which Lowe has written these stories is truly commendable and I would love to be sat in a room with him listening to him tell more tales with the passion he puts into this book. I can picture a Rob Lowe of the future in Cary Grant style, advising young actors and actresses of the pitfalls of show-business whilst encouraging them to work hard and look after themselves. Perhaps this book, and Love Life, are his way of passing on his knowledge to those wanting to follow in his footsteps in the same way that he received little nuggets of advice along the way. To my mind, these potential stars couldn’t have a better role model. Rob Lowe has lived the dream, suffered the nightmare and has been awoken by a woman he loves and who loves him to become the man, husband and father he always hoped to be. It will be a crying shame if Love Life is the last book that Rob Lowe intends to write. He engages the reader so well with his stream-of-consciousness, honest, intellectual writing style and I would absolutely be first in line to read and review it. I suspect that there are plenty more stories where these came from and I, for one, would be fascinated to read them.

 

Love Life by Rob Lowe

Okay, so in the interests of full disclosure, I should start by saying that I’ve been a Rob Lowe fan for some time now. I wasn’t so keen during the 80’s to mid 90’s – he was a bit too perfect looking and I found his characters just that little bit smarmy – but from The West Wing onwards he became the epitome of the Hollywood heart-throb in my eyes. Of course, this is a terribly shallow way to view someone who is, above all, just another human being. However, as fans, this is all we have to go off; the characters that these actors play and the snippets of their personalities that we get during interviews and press releases. I completely appreciate that I couldn’t possibly know what Rob Lowe is actually like and nor should I, unless I were among his inner circle of friends. Actors and actresses are entitled to private lives as much as they are able and that is exactly how it should be. That being said, fans will always wonder what these celebrities are like “in real life” and these autobiographies, apparently (but not always) written by the stars themselves, provide us with a glimpse into the personal lives of those we adore from afar. I loved Stories I Only Tell My Friends, where Lowe described his childhood in light of his parents divorce and his subsequent relocation from Ohio to Malibu, his ascendance into fame and fortune following his role in The Outsiders and how he almost threw his career away as a result of his alcoholism. When I heard that he was writing another book called Love Life, I pre-ordered it as soon as I was able and looked forward to gaining further insight into this extremely handsome man.

Released on 25th April 2014, I read the book in one sitting. I loved it. I fully expected to. Had Segnalibro.co.uk existed then, I would have written a review and posted it. However, as I didn’t, I tweeted my enjoyment of the book and left it at that, feeling like I knew Rob Lowe just a little better than I did before. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, when Rob Lowe announced that he had been sober now for 25 years, quite an achievement by anyone’s standards. Then www.slate.com published a particularly poignant excerpt from Love Life, where Lowe is preparing to take his son to college. As I read this excerpt, I was reminded of the myriad emotions I felt when I read this book and decided to read it again in its entirety so I could review it.

Before I read this book the first time round, prior to seeing any reviews, I expected to read about Rob Lowe’s love life; I thought that perhaps it was an exposé on those wild years of his life. However, what I found in actuality was a reflective look on his life so far, a low-down on the acting profession, his experience as a husband and father and a number of sometimes funny, sometimes poignant stories that he feels will give the reader some understanding of who Rob Lowe is. His outlook is positive yet realistic and he uses his wealth of experience to unpack the celebrity lifestyle.

The book has a similar feel to Stories I Only Tell My Friends, in that it doesn’t quite run in chronological order and it reads like Lowe has literally written down his train of thought, but with extraordinary eloquence. Whereas in the first book, Lowe gave us details of his upbringing and his first acting experiences, in this book Lowe is keen to draw on his years of acting experience to give us tips of the trade, so to speak, and also his thoughts on those who mean the most to him; his wife Sheryl and his boys, Matthew and Johnowen. He tells us of his acting successes and flops, what a day in the life of an actor actually entails rather than the imagined “easy life” the general public probably imagine and he describes his own approach to the “entertainment business”. He also describes how he has juggled his professional life with his personal life, in particular, his hands-on approach to bringing up his two boys.

I wonder if Lowe is having a bit of a mid-life crisis, as he re-evaluates his life and career, his personal relationships, his political views. Yet, he is quite philosophical about success and enjoys the process of completing a project as much as the outcome. That is not to say that he isn’t competitive; he really does give his all to everything he attempts and his determination to succeed is quite something to behold; his approach to his alcohol addiction proves this unequivocally. He is no longer the “people pleaser” that he once considered himself to be earlier in his career, now choosing his projects out of his own passion for them, not because others wish for him to take a particular path. He mentions that Rashida Jones (his Parks and Recreation co-star) describes him as a “benevolent narcissist” and it seems quite an appropriate description given his admissions throughout his two books.

I have a number of personal favourite stories in this book. Firstly, I found myself giggling uncontrollably as Lowe describes an overnight school trip with his son in the manatee viewing enclosure at Seaworld. I loved the idea of Lowe waking up to this potentially nutty “soccer-mom” staring at him maniacally as she suggested that perhaps they had some kind of romantic history that he could not remember. Not that the situation itself would be funny, but the way Lowe tells it left me highly amused. All in a days work for a superstar dad! I also found the excerpted chapter from Slate.com’s article a beautifully poignant chapter. Lowe rationally describes his irrational emotional state at the thought of his eldest son leaving for college. He eases his son’s fears whilst trying to put on a brave face for his wife, whilst hiding in a corner or behind newspapers and sunglasses whilst he cries like a baby. However, the most poignant story in this book for me was the story of “Buck”, Lowe’s fellow rehab patient. I wept like a baby myself when I read this chapter the first time. I managed to compose myself a little better this time but nonetheless, it almost feels like you are intruding into the most intimate, hidden details of a person’s life. I sincerely hope that whoever this person is has found some kind of inner peace.

In terms of Lowe’s highs and lows as an actor, he seems to be at ease with the fact that not everything has worked out but at least he gave things a go and took risks that perhaps other actors/producers may not have taken. He describes all the elements involved in making a movie/tv show and gives us information on all the ways that a production can go wrong. He talks from experience and it feels like he wants to advise those in the business or thinking about going into the business that whilst it is wonderful when it all goes right, there are a lot of things that will probably go wrong in the often arduous process. However, there is no doubt that Lowe loves his job. He takes his career very seriously and he gives many examples of the good and the bad, the advantages the business gives you and the disadvantages. He also describes the people who have helped him (and hindered him) along the way.

There are a couple of stories in here that I must admit, I do wonder if there has been some embellishment going on to make it sound much more of an experience that perhaps it was, if it happened at all. However, as I am unlikely to ever know one way or another, and as Lowe tells his tales so convincingly, I am inclined to leave that to someone else to investigate.

Lowe has spent a large part of his life mixing with the glitterati, right back to when he used to play with Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen in their family pool, while Martin Sheen looked on. However, he doesn’t name-drop for the sake of it. Every chapter in both of the books he has written appear to be honest accounts of situations with people who happen to be very well-known. He speaks of his awe in meeting Warren Beatty and his incredulity at his first visit to the Playboy Mansion. He describes himself in a way that if we were to be faced with these situations, our reactions would be exactly like his. He is very self-deprecating a lot of the time in these two books and he plays down any sense of him being the massive star that he is. There is no sense at all that he is bragging about who he knows or where he has been, more that he is an extremely lucky guy who has worked hard to get to where he is.

If I could make any kind of criticism of these two books, it would be that there are not many stories of the really successful projects that he has been a part of. I’d have liked to have heard more about his time on Brothers and Sisters, Parks and Recreation and of course, the iconic The West Wing. We do get some insight into his time of the The West Wing, more so in the first book, but as a massive fan, I would have loved to have heard some more little known facts.

In writing this review, I am well aware that I am waxing lyrical about a guy who until not so long ago graced the screen saver of my iPhone, so you may think that this is a particularly indulgent review where I was unlikely really to have anything bad to say anyway. I concede on the indulgent part, but if I had anything bad to say, I would undoubtedly say it. However, this book is a really lovely, well written book. Lowe writes in a particularly sophisticated style and articulates his stories beautifully. I would read Stories I Tell My Friends first otherwise you may miss a bit of context to some of the stories in Love Life, but it really is an insight into the life of someone who has seen the good side and the bad of being a Hollywood superstar. This book has a slight feel of a self-help book, telling his readership to “love life”, enjoy what comes your way and if you want something, you can achieve it if you work hard enough. Lowe knows his flaws and is confident enough to admit them and work at them. He is a loving husband and doting father who, whilst sad that his son’s are moving on to a more independent chapter of his life, is looking forward to the next chapter of his, spending time with the wife that he loves and reveres (his description of his relationship with his wife towards the end of the book is particularly moving).  I  hope that there is another book on the horizon because I have really enjoyed these two books immensely. Thanks for indulging me by reading this review!

 

 

 

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

The Psychopath Test isn’t a book that I would have necessarily picked up to read. However, it was recommended by a friend and colleague and I thought I’d give it a go. What a fascinating book it is!

Jon Ronson investigates the test that has become the measuring stick for diagnosing psychopathy and is applied by criminal justice systems across the world. Throughout the book, Ronson considers the diagnosis and treatment of psychopaths over the years and interviews people who are perceived to be psychopaths and some who he considers perhaps should be labelled as psychopaths after he uses his newly acquired, amateur psychologist skills to apply the “psychopath test” to them. He considers the stigma of the label of “psychopath” and the implications for those who are incarcerated as a result of this test and he meets the psychologists who have deemed these people as incurable psychopaths.

The people that Ronson meets could, to varying degrees, be labelled psychopaths, and that’s just the psychologists! Following his attendance at a course ran by Bob Hare, who created the test and has spent his life’s work refining it, Ronson administers the test to analyse everyone he meets in his investigations, as well as pointing out his own potential psychopathic tendencies. It’s catching, too! As Ronson points out things that people do that could be construed as psychopathic pointers, I found myself totting up the features in the test that could apply to me. “Item 14 – Impulsivity” could certainly apply to me, particularly where shopping for shoes and handbags is concerned! “Item 15 – Irresponsibility” – I’m pretty sure that when I’ve gone on a night out in the middle of winter without a jacket could be classed as irresponsible! “Item 5 – Cunning/Manipulative” – when it’s time to get the children in bed I often use cunning and manipulative tactics! (I wonder if it could be considered narcissistic that I’ve even give all this any thought?) Okay, none of these things could really indicate that I’m a psychopath and I’m happy to say that the other items don’t really apply, but when the list is considered, I’d be very surprised if anyone could not find a single trait that they could at least loosely apply to themselves.

I enjoyed this book wholeheartedly and it most definitely provides food for thought. I also think Ronson may be on to something when he considers that people in power, politicians and CEO’s of large conglomerates, could be borderline psychopath as they separate themselves from the human aspect of their positions so they can make big decisions that affect lots of people. This is the first book that I’ve read by Jon Ronson and his writing style is easy to read and very funny. I would absolutely read the other books that he has written and have been advised that Them: Adventures with Extremists is well worth a read too. (Watch this space!) Ronson’s journalistic tone, tinged with self-deprecation, is very endearing and makes this book very enjoyable to read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, but be prepared to analyse everyone for psychopathic tendencies afterwards!