256 pages / 542 KB
This is a book I think everyone should read. The topic is heavy, the book is not. According to Stout, approximately 4 per cent of our population is sociopath. What does that mean? It doesn't mean they are all serial killers, for starters. They often blend in, and go unnoticed by the majority of people. They are usually intelligent, manipulative, and charming. Because they lack a conscience, they make perfect con-artists.
Because these people lack a conscience, they are incapable of love, joy, remorse, or guilt. Because they have no fear, they take chances at work, in play, in their personal lives, and are often adrenaline junkies.
How do you recognize one? And when you do, how do you live with one? You don't.
Stout's writing is beautiful, almost lyrical, and most assuredly easily accessible by anyone. The stories she tells of individual people would almost make short stories on their own. But she doesn't just tell us about case histories, she also gives us "Thirteen Rules for Dealing With Sociopaths in Everyday Life." Those rules, alone, make the book worth the investment of both money and time.
This is an extremely interesting book, full of useful information we all can learn from, whether you know, or think you know, a sociopath, or if you're a writer and want to write about one. As one reviewer said, this book needs to be read by every High School student in America before graduating. This kind of knowledge will save many a broken life. It won't necessarily stop the hurt because by the time we're involved with one, it's usually too late. But it can stop the breaking if we recognize it soon enough and end the relationship, whether personal or professional.
Do not think about buying this book, JUST DO IT. Buy your own copy, read it, and if you're one of those people like me, keep a pen handy because you'll want to underline, highlight, and add your own marginalia to it. Highly recommend this for everyone who reads, for everyone who lives in today's world.