Other elements: brain chemistry, sociopaths, the myth of “normal”, how people live their lives, parenting, psychology
Overall rating: 8/10
M.E. Thomas is a sociopath, but she’s never killed anyone. She’s also a law professor and a Sunday school teacher. Confessions of a Sociopath is both Thomas’ story of self-discovery and the introduction to a fascinating, mostly silent community. She investigates the development of the concept of sociopathy, from the first time a similar condition was described to brain scan studies of famously murderous families. She even touches on how she would recommend parenting a child sociopath, which is fascinating.
Thomas not entirely benign – her favorite hobby is “ruining people” which she explains in depth with fascinating candor and detail. Thomas’ bold, blunt voice and well-researched ideas are captivating; more than once I caught myself thinking wow, I wish I was a sociopath too. (Final verdict: no, I don’t.) Her written voice makes it easy to understand how seductive and powerful a presence she must be in person, when she’s concentrating all of her attention on you. A little frightening, really.
As soon as I saw this book mentioned on another blogger’s Twitter feed, I thought yes. I went straight to all of my sources and requested a copy. And it’s exactly as good as I’d hoped it would be.
My favorite part was when Thomas told the story of the time she came closest to vengeful murder. What was the one thing that nearly pushed her over the edge? The DC metro system.
My thanks to edelweiss and Crown for providing me with a copy of this book for review.