Lost at Sea by Jon Ronson
The Jon Ronson Mysteries

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He writes simply, but with a clarity and rhythm that does not detract from the complexity of the ideas that he is working with.
-Annenberg Digital News

Synopsis

The New York Times–bestselling author of The Psychopath Test, Jon Ronson writes about the dark, uncanny sides of humanity with clarity and humor. Lost at Sea reveals how deep our collective craziness lies, even in the most mundane circumstances.

Ronson investigates the strange things we’re willing to believe in, from lifelike robots programmed with our loved ones’ personalities to indigo children to hypersuccessful spiritual healers to the Insane Clown Posse’s juggalo fans. He looks at ordinary lives that take on extraordinary perspectives, for instance a pop singer whose life’s greatest passion is the coming alien invasion, and the scientist designated to greet those aliens when they arrive. Ronson throws himself into the stories—in a tour de force piece, he splits himself into multiple Ronsons (Happy, Paul, and Titch, among others) to get to the bottom of credit card companies’ predatory tactics and the murky, fabulously wealthy companies behind those tactics. Amateur nuclear physicists, assisted-suicide practitioners, the town of North Pole, Alaska’s Christmas-induced high school mass-murder plot: Ronson explores all these tales with a sense of higher purpose and universality, and suddenly, mid-read, they are stories not about the fringe of society or about people far removed from our own experience, but about all of us.

Incisive and hilarious, poignant and maddening, revealing and disturbing—Ronson writes about our modern world, the foibles of contemporary culture, and the chaos that lies at the edge of our daily lives.
 

About Jon Ronson

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Jon Ronson’s works include The Amazing Adventures of Phoenix Jones, and Them: Adventures with Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats—both international bestsellers. The Men Who Stare at Goats was as a major motion picture, released in 2009 and starring George Clooney. Ronson lives in London.
 
Published October 30, 2012 by Riverhead Books. 417 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, Science & Math. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Nov 18 2012
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Lost at Sea
All: 6 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Oct 01 2012

Casual readers will find plenty to like about this excellent collection, but journalism and philosophy students should find it especially stimulating.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Jan 07 2013

The quality of Ronson's journalism, breadth of subjects, and bite-sized nature of the pieces makes this a great addition to one's nonfiction library.

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Entertainment Weekly

Above average
Reviewed by Keith Staskiewicz on Nov 02 2012

...he's less interested in the implausibilities of his subjects' beliefs than in why they hold their worldviews.

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Annenberg Digital News

Excellent
Reviewed by Miles Winston on Nov 25 2012

He writes simply, but with a clarity and rhythm that does not detract from the complexity of the ideas that he is working with.

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Readings

Good
Reviewed by Readings.

Frequently hilarious, sometimes disturbing, always entertaining, these compelling encounters with people on the edge of madness will have you wondering just what we're capable of.

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The Appleton Public Library

Good
Reviewed by Brian on Nov 15 2012

This is a very satisfying collection of Ronson's articles that will appeal to fans of his books, and those of Sarah Vowell (to whom this book is dedicated), Jack Hitt, and listeners of This American Life.

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Reader Rating for Lost at Sea
78%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 241 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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