Ok so I’ll make this short and sweet using the model I introduced since it’s my first time dealing with non-fiction.
What is the book trying to say?
M.E. Thomas is a self-confessed and diagnosed sociopath who has written a memoir under an alias on her experiences and how she sees the world. In this memoir, Thomas discusses a number of points:
- Sociopaths see the world differently
- Sociopaths enjoy playing with people with malicious but sometime non-violent attempts
- Sociopaths struggle to relate emotionally with others
- Sociopaths are not necessarily violent and when raised in a loving a supportive environment can become contributing citizens to society
- Society should try to accommodate sociopaths as they are simply different, not bad
What is my opinion on the viewpoint of the book?
I’d be pretty naïve to take the word of a sociopath seriously, it’s so hard to break apart what’s reality and what’s just her megalomaniacal viewpoint. I understand why she’s saying half the stuff that she says and I also get the not wanting to have people repulsed by you but some of her viewpoints on people are pretty abhorrent. There’s also a number of inconsistent recounts of her childhood, and her analysis of interactions has been distorted by her overinflated opinion of herself but in essence this book is a fascinating study of what makes a sociopath a sociopath.
How has the book tried to discuss this?
Thomas has used a mixture of statistics, research, and her personal experience. When discussing her life, she really goes into detail of how she sees the situation, to the point where it’s almost ridiculous, but it feeds into the stereotype that sociopaths really do think highly of themselves.
Thomas isn’t sorry for her actions (forcing her beloved brother to pay her for various favours, destroying people’s careers etc) but rather impersonal and amused by it, though she accepts why society would find them repulsive.
What is my opinion on this?
It’s quite effective, but mainly because I like seeing what makes other people tick, so it appeals to my general curiosity of people. Towards the end though, it became an astonishingly empty and superficial read which, tiring, is very reflective of sociopaths as a whole.
Do I recommend this to others?
I absolutely would. It’s very thought-provoking in the sense that we can see how a sociopath thinks and sees the world, but if you want an honest assessment of sociopathy, I’d recommend something else.