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  • Them: Adventures with Extremists

  • Auteur(s): Jon Ronson
  • Narrateur(s): Jon Ronson
  • Durée: 8 h et 16 min
  • 4,4 out of 5 stars (70 évaluations)

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Description

Them began as a book about different kinds of extremists, but after Jon had got to know some of them - Islamic fundamentalists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klansmen - he found that they had one oddly similar belief: that a tiny, shadowy elite rule the world from a secret room. In Them, Jon sets out, with the help of the extremists, to locate that room. The journey is as creepy as it is comic, and along the way Jon is chased by men in dark glasses, unmasked as a Jew in the middle of a Jihad training camp, and witnesses international CEOs and politicians participate in a bizarre pagan ritual in the forests of northern California.

Them is a fascinating and entertaining exploration of extremism, in which Jon learns some alarming things about the looking-glass world of ‘them’ and ‘us’. Are the extremists on to something? Or has Jon become one of Them?

©2012 Jon Ronson (P)2012 Audible Ltd

Ce que les critiques en disent

"A funny, superbly controlled account of [Ronson’s] wanderings through the wonderland of fanaticism and delusion." (Brian Appleyard, New Statesman)
"This book is chilling and hilarious by turns. Ronson’s trademark laid-back attitude is a delight." ( Independent)
"A funny and compulsively readable picaresque adventure through a paranoid shadow world." (Louis Theroux, Guardian)
"Ronson plays up to his charming buffoonery... But he is an acute social commentator. He is compelling." ( Times Literary Supplement)

Ce que les auditeurs disent de Them: Adventures with Extremists

Moyenne des évaluations de clients
Au global
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Histoire
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Évaluations – Cliquez sur les onglets pour changer la source des évaluations.

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  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Liv
  • 2021-03-19

Not one of my favorites

I always enjoy Jon's narration but this was not one of my favorite writings from his collection.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

One of Ronson's Most Compelling Listens

If you liked 'The Men Who Stare at Goats', or enjoyed 'The Psychopath Test', you must definitely check out Jon Ronson's 'Them'. Ronson is at his gonzo journalistic best in this story, as he goes about, covertly infiltrating and reporting on the paranoid and the extreme. The narrative is extremely fair and non-judgmental, even when Ronson finds himself on 'the other side of the looking glass'. One of my favourite turns of phrase is included herein (and I'm paraphrasing, as I don't have the exact quote in front of me): 'It's a good thing I don't believe in the secret rulers of the world. Just imagine what the secret rulers of the world would do to me if I did.'

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    2 out of 5 stars

I didn't find any of it humorous

This book is a collection of experiences Ronson has with various extremist groups in the late 90's. He does humanize some of them from being the evil in the dark to either people or buffoons. In the end he comes to the conclusion that they all have an underlying belief in a secret world controlling group, maybe lizards.

This is my second Jon Ronson book. Over all I find his narration kind of distracting and his voice grates on me, and that is personal preference. The first book of his I had, Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries, I couldn't finish. I finished this one but it was a slog. I liked Men Who Stare at Goats, the movie. I bought both of these books based on that movie. Both were in my library for too long to return,

Maybe I don't get the humour? He makes some vaguely ironic observations, but nothing in this book made me laugh, or was new information. Maybe since the time frame is the late 90's the material didn't age well. The world is a lot more shouty than it was then, and the extremists more dangerous.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

A real gem

I loved this book. It was a breath of fresh air in comparison to the stuff I’d been listening to. Jon narrates his work perfectly. Super interesting subject matter and told with a good humoured bent but not demeaning by any means. Brilliant.

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  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • aaron
  • 2012-09-26

Dated but VERY Good... and FUNNY!

First off, I'd listen to Ronson read the Dictionary. His dry wit, timing, and inflections are incredible. You feel as though he's reading to you, personally. This is a pre-9/11 book, but much of what it deals with is still relevant today. Ronson has this incredible knack for taking subjects that aren't very funny AT ALL (i.e. a Muslim extremist threatening to put a 'Fatwah' on him), and finding the humor in it.

This is light reading at its finest. You may learn a bit about some of the extremists in the world, but nothing you probably couldn't have figured out on your own. The true joy of this book is the way that Ronson brings you into the story, keeps you constantly laughing, and delivers you on the other side, unscathed.

We need more social satirists like Ronson. He's truly one of a kind!

60 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nothing really matters
  • 2015-05-24

Bilderberg or Build-a-Bear?

This book is a collection of several very interesting snapshots of people society has labeled extremists. They seem to be the sort of people James (The Amazing) Randi called 'believers' since they will follow ideas that appeal to them unquestioningly and regardless of how strange or extreme they sound to others.

Some of these folks are stranger than others, but most suspect the world is controlled by the secretive (and seemingly asinine) Bilderberg Group. They believe the Bilderberg Group is run by 'the Jews' or 12-foot tall reptilian aliens and is determined to set up a nefarious one-world government.

The book brought home to me the other side of the 'Ruby Ridge' incident through Rachel Weaver's version of the events. The book also illustrated the, perhaps unsurprising, fact that the players on all the various sides are guilty of serious departures from the truth and character assassination.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a fairly balanced-seeming glimpse into the strange and sometimes surprising world of extreme beliefs.

26 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Diane
  • 2013-06-04

Conspiracies R Us

Although it has been more than a decade since this book was written, it remains as mind-boggling as when it was first published. Here, Ronson delves into Islamic fundamentalists, David Icke with his theories about reptilians in control of the planet, the Bilderberg Group and the shenanigans at Bohemian Grove.
We are often left wondering who the real extremists are: Is it David Icke who maintains that world leaders are really reptilians in disguise or members of the JDL who insist that "reptilian" is code for "Jewish" ("No, he really means 'reptilian'" Ickes' followers claim)? Is it the Weaver family holed up on Ruby Ridge or the quasi-military force that took them down (a very sad episode)? Part of what makes Ronson's writing (and excellent narration) so compelling is the way he juxtaposes the ordinariness of every-day lives of these people with the often bizarre extremist views they hold.
A both informative and very enjoyable listen.

18 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mishka Haznor
  • 2012-09-30

Serious Topics Shown in multiple lights

Would you listen to Them: Adventures with Extremists again? Why?

Yes. Jon Ronson is a really entertaining writer and narrator. Some of the scenes were really well described and I felt as though I was in the scene. He unfolded the information in an interesting way and shed an interesting candid light on all of the characters he followed and interviewed.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Ruby Ridge Details was the most interesting and shocking. Omar Bakri and his hypocrytical life was the least interesting, but I guess part of that is because Ronson was shut off from being able to interview him.

Have you listened to any of Jon Ronson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I didn't like it quite as much as the psychopath test, but it was definitely highly entertaining and a book I will always remember.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed a couple of times. Also, some of the scenes described were really unbelievable, so I guess maybe "shocked" would be a good description of my reaction.

17 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jon
  • 2012-11-19

Riveting

What did you love best about Them: Adventures with Extremists?

This is a book that could not have been written post 9/11. The access Ronson had to these extremists is amazing. In today's world he would likely have been picked up by Homeland Security or the TSA at some point. Well worth the read.

Have you listened to any of Jon Ronson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Reading his own work Jon Ronson brings his quirky personality to life through his performance. I feel strongly that non-fiction authors should read their own work wherever possible and Ronson delivers in spades.

10 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dr. Michael Toney
  • 2012-10-02

Them and Terrorism

What did you love best about Them: Adventures with Extremists?

As with all Jon Ronson books, this one was truly pleasurable in audio format—he should offer his services as a professional reader in addition to his writing career. I commend him on his bravery in interacting with “them” and maintaining an unbiased and sometimes amusing (how can you wage Jihad if you can touch a fish), perspective. For me this book was important because it provides a different perspective on my research on terrorist organizational behavior and leadership (ISBN-13: 978-0615687391). While it’s difficult to view the world from the perspective of the extremist, it’s imperative to understanding why they do and behave the way they do. I recommend this book to those interested in the behaviors of individuals and groups, particularly as an alternate reference when researching terrorism.

10 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • karen
  • 2013-08-25

Way fun but shocking

Would you consider the audio edition of Them: Adventures with Extremists to be better than the print version?

Yes. Absolutely love Jon Ronson reading his works. You just cannot beat hearing his inflections on these incredible interviews. Shocking. Fun. Witty. Fresh!

What other book might you compare Them: Adventures with Extremists to and why?

Men Who Stare at Goats. Why? It's just unbelievable that these are based in reality. Hang on and prepare to be shocked but also to laugh at just how ridiculous these tales can be

Which character – as performed by Jon Ronson – was your favorite?

Jon Ronson. For sure

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Disbelief mixed with great chuckles

Any additional comments?

Read it. Witty and just great

9 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Diane
  • 2013-07-21

Not my favorite Jon Ronson book

I'm a huge fan of Jon Ronson but I didn't find this book as interesting as some of his others. His writing, as always, is clever and the book was well-researched but I didn't find the subject matter that compelling. Extremists - conspiracy theorists, wing-nuts, paranoid crazy people - are fascinating in small doses, but after a while they get boring.

8 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ryan
  • 2014-09-19

A little light but interesting

I enjoyed Jon Ronson’s 2011 foray into the world of psychopaths and special interest groups out to protect or demonize them, and this seemed like a good book of his to read next. Though published in 2001, just before 9/11 and the Bush and Obama presidencies drove conspiracy theory and anti-government groups to new levels of hysteria, it’s an enlightening window into how fringe groups form around certain rallying ideas and code words.

As advertised, Ronson discovers that Islamic extremists in Britain, anti-government paranoids in the US, racist groups, anti-Catholic groups, and a man who claims that the world is ruled by secret alien lizard people all have something in common: fear that a shadowy cabal of bankers, businessmen, media elites, and politicians is scheming to impose some sort of Orwellian New World Order. In their own minds, these extremists are fighting a resistance against those who would turn them into, to use a well-worn internetism, weak and helpless “sheeple”.

As in the Psychopath Test, Ronson carefully humors his subjects and lets them express themselves in their own words, which sometimes veer towards the Monty Python-esque. Hard not to find the bumbling Islamic activist, Omar Bakri Muhammad, somewhat ridiculous, as he makes over-the-top pronouncements, then furiously backpedals towards a more genial facade whenever challenged. Same with KKK leader, Thomas Robb, who is trying to rebrand his organization with a more friendly image after being inspired by some leadership books from the self-help section. Ronson’s own self-deprecating wit is also amusing, if a little distracting at times.

Other people Ronson spends time with, though, seem like they might have a point, such as the survivors of the infamous Ruby Ridge Incident, in which the feds seemingly came down on a misunderstood survivalist family in Idaho with excessive force. His investigations into the claims of anti-Zionist groups raises a question: are Jewish film moguls really just acting out their own insecurities about being Jews in Hollywood... and giving some people the wrong idea? And when Ronson joins Alex Jones (of Infowars fame) and several others in investigating the Bilderberg Group, a publicity-shunning private conference of political, business, and academic elites, it’s somewhat unclear where paranoia ends and dull reality begins. Is a bacchanalian gathering in the woods of Northern California about rich old men celebrating dark, perverse rites of power, or just harmless, fraternity-like fun? Is it scarier to think that these people might indeed have a lot of influence over the world’s affairs... or that they don’t?

Ultimately, this might be a little too light-hearted of a book on extremism -- Ronson, not surprisingly, doesn’t spend much time in the company of the most hateful or militant types of groups, such as neo-Nazis, so his character studies tend more towards crackpots and self-promoters. And this *is* a pre-9/11 book. Still the character studies are interesting.

Audiobooks narrated by their own authors are a mixed bag, but Ronson’s pleading voice adds a lot to the funnier parts, like when he talks about trying to “tone down” his Jewishness.

6 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dubi
  • 2016-04-13

The Lunatic Fringe

Around 20 years ago, gonzo journalist Jon Ronson embedded himself with a series of figures on the lunatic fringes of politics and society, including a young radio host specializing in extreme conspiracy theories by the name of Alex Jones. Ronson went in with Jones to expose Bohemian Grove, a forest retreat for the world's rich and powerful, where supposedly pagan rituals took place as the participants planned their means of world domination.

Cut to today, where Jones has become mainstreamed, helped elect a president, and came full circle by getting himself banned from social media platforms for his continued espousal of lunatic and fringe ideas, most notoriously saying that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged by actors. Fortunately, other figures Ronson wrote about in 2001 got nowhere near that far, like the self-proclaimed son of god claiming that the world was run by giant shape-shifting alien lizards.

What makes these stories work so well is the way Ronson inserts himself into the world of people who should be wary of him. He has a way of portraying himself as naive, and he has a way of seeming sympathetic enough to be trusted, even though some of the people he embeds with should hate him for being Jewish, like the would-be pre-September 11 jihadist, a klan leader, and the aforementioned lizard guy, the belief being that when he says lizards he really means, you guessed it.

Add to that Ronson's own narration of his work, which perfectly conveys the tone that wins the trust of his subjects. He is always engaging, often hilarious. His books really are a treat, even if some of it is, beneath the humorous tone, quite scary.

5 les gens ont trouvé cela utile