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Lost at Sea by Jon Ronson

Lost at Sea (edition 2012)

by Jon Ronson

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3483231,427 (3.98)24
Title:Lost at Sea
Authors:Jon Ronson
Info:Picador (2012), Edition: Open market ed, Paperback
Collections:Your library

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Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries by Jon Ronson



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Poorly researched, choppy, stream of consciousness. I wonder why this guy even claims to be an author because the book does not hold interest for even a few minutes! ( )
  buffalogr | Jul 14, 2014 |
Not everyone gets to interview a robot, retrace James Bond’s steps in Goldfinger, and investigate a death on a Disney cruise. But we might get the impression that such things are ordinary in the glamorous life of Jon Ronson. The Guardian journalist known for The Men Who Stare at Goats, which later became a movie, has had some strange assignments over the years, leaving him with many stories to tell…some that will probably raise your eyebrows as they did mine.

You see, Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries tackles some heavy and controversial topics – celebrity sex offenders, assisted suicides, religious cults, the SETI program. But oddly enough, Ronson still comes across as insightful and fresh, even when I’m not inclined to agree with his perspective. The author’s engaging mix of investigative and “gonzo” journalism makes for a great bedside read that might end up keeping you up longer than expected. I had to read it twice before finally settling down to review it. I also got a great deal of unexpected laughs out the book. And although there’s a bit of language – as would be expected these days – the author, I’m happy to say, isn’t the type who resorts to crude humor. His interviewees provide him with enough real material for the readers to laugh at.

Although I enjoyed the book (and now take a peek at Ronson’s articles online now and then), I have to wonder: What was he trying to accomplish with Lost at Sea? It’s not his final book, but feels a bit like a memoir, a sort of “best of” collection of articles. When googling Ronson, I half expected to find him retired, but he’s still writing for The Guardian, interviewing some rather unusual characters, and planning his next big journalistic adventure as a passenger aboard a Virgin Galactic’s space ship. If Lost at Sea wasn’t some sort of farewell, it starts looking like an attempt to cash in on one’s popularity. I really hope not. I would hate to see Ronson’s great writing cheapened that way.

Disclaimer: I received a complementary uncorrected proof copy of Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries from the Penguin Group. A favorable review was not required. ( )
  AnnetteOC | May 23, 2014 |
Real life superheros, cults, Stanley Kubrick, psychics, North Pole AK, robots, assisted suicide, and the Insane Clown Posse.

What's not to like about Jon Ronsons's latest book of essays? ( )
  dtn620 | May 22, 2014 |
I read this in anticipation of a discussion on Houdini's Revenge but I'm too far behind for that to happen.

Read this book. It is utterly fascinating. That's all I have times these days to say, but take my word - this book is deeply interesting.( ( )
  oddbooks | Dec 28, 2013 |
A collection of articles by Jon Ronson, in which he interviews the members of Insane Clown Posse, goes through Stanley Kubrick's old boxes, attends a UFO conference with a British pop star, visits a town where it's always Christmas and a group of teenagers were arrested for planning a mass shooting, discusses the surprising number of people who disappear from cruise ships each year, investigates a small religious sect whose members all volunteer to donate kidneys to strangers, and generally pokes his nose into lots and lots of weird and fascinating corners of modern life.

Some of this stuff is amusingly quirky. Some of it is really quite disturbing. In a surprising number of cases, those two things blur together in strange and interesting ways. Whatever the case, Ronson presents it all to us with a sort of quiet, low-key bemusement that somehow makes it all the more compelling. ( )
  bragan | Oct 10, 2013 |
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Ronson investigates the strange things we are willing to believe in, from lifelike robots programmed with the personalities of our loved ones to indigo children to hyper successful spiritual healers. He looks at ordinary lives that take on extraordinary perspectives, for instance a pop singer whose 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 predatory tactics of credit card companies and the murky, fabulously wealthy companies behind those tactics. Amateur nuclear physicists, assisted-suicide practitioners, the town of North Pole, a 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.… (more)

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