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  • Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries

  • Written by: Jon Ronson
  • Narrated by: Jon Ronson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Jon Ronson is fascinated by madness, extraordinary behaviour and the human mind. He has spent his life investigating crazy events, following fascinating people and unearthing unusual stories. Collected here from various sources (including The Guardian and GQ America) are the best of his adventures. Always intrigued by our ability to believe the unbelievable, Jon meets the man preparing to welcome the aliens to Earth, the woman trying to build a fully conscious robotic replica of the love of her life and the Deal or No Deal contestants with a foolproof system to beat the Banker.

Jon realizes that it's possible for our madness to be a force for good when he meets America's real-life superheroes or a force for evil when he meets the Reverend 'Death' George Exoo, who has dubiously assisted in more than a hundred mercy killings. He goes to a UFO convention in the Nevada desert with Robbie Williams, asks Insane Clown Posse (who are possibly America's nastiest rappers) whether it's true they've actually been evangelical Christians all along and rummages through the extensive archives of Stanley Kubrick. 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.

This is an updated edition with new afterword, written and narrated by Jon Ronson.

©2012 Jon Ronson (P)2012 Audible Ltd

What listeners say about Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries

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A collectiion of articles

This is a collection of articles. I had never heard of Jon Ronson and I got this book because I had liked the movie 'Men who Stare at Goats". I got to Part 4 before I quit. I just didn't care about what he was writing about, the people, the subject matter and the style felt like a pablum version of Hunter S. Thompson. It isn't bad, it just isn't for me. Also I found his voice grated on me after a while so it became a chore to listen to. I am glad I got it for free.

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  • Tom
  • 2020-10-29

Jon Ronson is a treasure

There is a silence.

Jon Ronsin is able to make this phrase very funny.

He writes with a great deal of self awareness. He is dry, acerbic, silly, and kind. I like listening to him. He is beautifully human.

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Great book narrated by the author

I really enjoyed this collection of writing by Ronson, and the fact that he narrates it himself makes it that much more enjoyable. A variety of interesting topics that really draw you in!

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  • Pamela Harvey
  • 2012-10-20

Like a Collection of TAL Episodes

Ronson's journalistic style and various narrative journeys remind me of the weekly podcast episodes of This American Life, with Ira Glass. I particularly related to the stories of the credit/bank clusterfluck of 2008 - and Ronson was writing way before this crisis started to peak - and the missing cruise ship staff member. Ronson has a signature method of starting small, with an individual or seemingly low impact situation, and then developing the larger picture with expanded implications.

His narrative voice is good, but takes some getting used to. Initially he sounds slightly hoarse, with little projection at a very low volume, but once I became more familiar with his auditory style, it was all good.

Compilations of stories and episodic collections used to be exactly what I would avoid purchasing on audible, but now I find myself enjoying the varied range of perspectives and story lines afforded by edited groupings of shorter pieces. I think this is partly due to looking at why I listen - I'm not always seeking a 9-to-21-hour plot line and buildup to a specific result; nor is "how it all ends" my predominant purpose in listening to books rather than reading the print versions. I just like the explorations of emotional landscape and inner dialogue and it's not that relevant for me to have a specific factual ending. Another aspect of listening for me is that I can read books while doing other things - working, walking, running, driving, so listening to one full-length story is not a huge factor.

This is a superb collection and well-suited to the investigative journalist's voice of Jon Ronson.

51 people found this helpful

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  • Diane
  • 2012-10-17

Bizarre Bazaar

Jon Ronson is a master of the absurd which both surrounds AND is within us. Whether it is indigo children, alien abductees, Christian pentecostalism, SETI, Insane Clown Possee or Stanley Kubrick, Ronson probes into all that is weird and wonderful.

Perhaps one of the best things about Ronson (and his delightfully appropriate narrative style) is that he eschews the superior tone characteristic of most skeptics in favor of a wryly self-deprecating humor which acknowledges his own (and by implication, our) attraction to these phenomena. Not all of it is light-hearted; there is a darker side to some of his subjects, such as the would-be school shooters in North Pole, Alaska. Throughout, Ronson has an extraordinary ability to sympathetically engage with his subjects while retaining his sense of gentle skepticism. His aim is not to ridicule but to understand and to be amazed and sometimes to be saddened--and he invites us to do the same.

Ronson does not have an agenda. Don't be surprised if your own particular ox is gored; but in Ronson's hands the experience is humbling rather than enraging. To paraphrase Pogo, he reminds us that "we have met the crazies…and they are us."

43 people found this helpful

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  • Robert
  • 2013-04-18

One of my favorite audiobooks

This has to be one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to. Ronson is insightful, funny, and most importantly picks really interesting topics to write about. I do not want to list all the topics or chapters but there are not too many dull moments (even stories I have heard before are given an interesting twist by Ronson. A great listen for anyone that wants something funny and somewhat topical/non-fiction but not 'silly'

23 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • 2013-01-06

Quirky Journalism ... Loved It

Jon Ronson is a British journalist who has made a career of finding weird and crazy stories/people and writing about them in a heartfelt but snarky way. I found him very enjoyable, and I liked his somewhat subtle and sly sense of humor. The stories are just amazingly odd and intriguing (Robbie Williams and his obsession with UFOs, the hidden Christian message of Insane Clown Posse, the archives of Stanley Kubrick, the quest of the Jesus Christians to donate their kidneys, real-life superheroes). I never knew what Ronson would be writing about next, and it was fun to see what oddities he unearthed for each story. I particularly enjoyed how he inserted himself into the stories (whether he is flagging down a taxi to avoid a gun fight in Seattle or interviewing a robot). He brings a healthy sense of curiosity, skepticism and personality to his writing, which I enjoyed a great deal. If you like hearing about people who live on the fringes of “normal,” this would be a great read or listen. I definitely plan on reading more of Ronson’s stuff.

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  • Kelly
  • 2012-11-05

Clever as always

I adore Jon Ronson and his fantastic, quirky voice.

I would recommend listening to this book as you might a podcast and not straight through as it is more enjoyable in smaller doses.

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  • Charles
  • 2013-01-22

Essential Listening

If you could sum up Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries in three words, what would they be?

Amusing, astounding, enlightening

What did you like best about this story?

I am interested in the same things that Jon Ronson is obsessed with.

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

John Ronson is an excellent reader of his own work, and since the central character in this book is himself, I'd have to say John Ronson is my favorite character in the book. Although I also loved hearing about Stanley Kubrik!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but I did it in two.

Any additional comments?

I'd highly recommend this audiobook to anyone. It's a great listen. Ronson is an excellent journalist and this collection of insightful short pieces gets right to the heart of what is going on in the world today.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Slam Bones
  • 2012-11-06

Excellent Listen!

If you could sum up Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries in three words, what would they be?

This was an excellent listen! The author/narrator sounds a lot like Bill Bryson, very similar personality also. I highly recommend!!!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Fun Lovin Lady
  • 2012-10-17

Worth Credit 4 Dry Witt Alone, Why Not Learn Too?

I have read all of Jon Ronson's books. And I'm pleased to say, I have enjoyed them all.

Each book subject matter is different, which is refreshing, all the while he manages to convey a steady stream of self-deflecting observations. There is no way not to like this guy. Plus, you learn so much.
Would I recommend using your credit to purchased this Audio Book? That would be A Huge HECK Yes! Notice I didn't swear. And your welcome. SMILE

7 people found this helpful

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  • W Perry Hall
  • 2014-07-21

great writer, awful narrator

I wish someone would answer the question arising every time I hear the author destroying all his/her excellent written work by narrating it: Is the author a narcissist or that strained financially to do something so self-destructive? Ronson, so talented as a writer, is terrible as a narrator with that SUPERSOFT sleep-inducing voice.

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  • Darren
  • 2012-12-20

Enjoyable and insightful...and delightfully morose

Any additional comments?

Ronson's book is a wrap-up of many of his essays and articles. For those who have read them before and want to hear them again, this is a nice way to do it. Ronson takes an intensely objective view at controversial figures and topics, and does so in a way that is self aware and often ingenious. His narration is perfectly suited to his writing style, and you come away with a sense of being wiser about the bits of the world that are usually somewhat veilled from us.

4 people found this helpful