I was debating about whether or not to review The Psychopath Inside here because instead of reading it, I listened to it. This is a bit of a new experience for me, to start and FINISH an audio book, but finish it I did. I’ve been toying around with audio books for almost a year, but haven’t found my groove until now.
James Fallon is a neuroscientist at the University of California. While flipping through a pile of brain scans he came across one that he recognized to be very psychopath-like. After further investigation, it turned out to be his. The Psychopath Inside recounts Fallon’s search for meaning in this discovery. It lead him to change his mind regarding his attitude to the nature vs. nurture debate and come to face some pretty horrifying facts regarding his own personality.
So basically, the book is fascinating. The audio version was particularly gripping due to the dispassionate voice of the narrator. Just like a a psychopath, he reveals very little emotion throughout reading when I would be freaking out. It is all very level headed and truly startling.
At times, I must admit, the book drifted into some fairly difficult jargon. Fortunately I was able to let that wash over me with limited comprehension and it did not effect my over all enjoyment of the book.
Who would like this book? I am fascinated by the brain and how little we actually understand about it. Throw that together with a little psychopathy and you’ve got a recipe for a book that will enthrall me. Like The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson (review), The Psychopath Inside shows how little understand about psychopathy. Not all psychopaths are killers or even predators. Some are brilliant leaders, business people and regular Joes. This books looks at how different factors like environment and genetics come together to make us who we are, psychopathic or not.
Holy cats, this sounds fascinating!
Crazy fascinating. He has a TED talk and has appeared on NPR etc.
So, my husband could be a psychopath, and we don’t even know it? 🙂 How did the discovery change the way the author thought? Nature to nurture, or the other way around?
He started to see that there is something to nurture. He has a psychopaths mind but because of his upbringing has never turned to violence. Veers more towards egoism and inflated sense of self.
This does sound like a fascinating book. Do you know the book A First-Rate Madness? It explores the similarity between mental illness and genius. It’s also quite interesting.
That sounds like I should add it to my list. Thanks
That is CRAZY. I would totally freak out if I recognized that I had a psychopathic brain. I’m very curious about this book!
Audio books. I’ve never listened to one. I have a friend that loves them. I think my mind would wander too much.
So glad you’ve finally discovered the magic of audio books! I hope your love for them grows.
I’m actually having problems finding something to follow this up with. Tried another but the voice wasn’t right.
sounds like a fascinating book, I’m glad you reviewed it.
When I first started listening to audiobooks, I debated about reviewing them too because it’s definitely a different experience than reading! At first (and maybe even still) I think I could comment less on an author’s writing style when I listen to an audiobook. There’s just less time to slow down and savor the words. I think I’m getting better at reviewing them though 🙂 And I thought your review was great. I’m glad you decided to review this one!
I think reviewing audio books is just different. Different things matter, like the narrator’s voice. I’ve listened to a couple since this one, but none have grabbed me the same way.
If you want an insight to Jame’s work and book we interviewed him recently on the Upgraded Ape Show. The whole concept of living with (or literally next door to psychopaths) is fascinating.
If you’re interested you can here our interview with James here – http://radio.upgradedape.com/the-neuroscientist-who-discovered-he-is-a-psychopath-charm-manipulation-and-neuropathways-with-james-fallon-ph-d/