Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Five top books on madness

Jon Ronson’s books include the New York Times bestseller The Psychopath Test, and Them: Adventures with Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats—both international bestsellers. His latest book is Lost at Sea.

One of his favorite books on madness, as told to The Daily Beast:
by Kurt Vonnegut

When I first read this as a teenager, I thought Billy Pilgrim really had been kidnapped and taken to the planet Tralfamadore and mated with a porn star called Montana Wildhack and put in a zoo. Then when I reread it I realized that Billy was in fact just the victim of what Vonnegut called the ‘bad chemicals” that sloshed around in his brain. A lovely, empathetic novel about middle-aged mental frailty.
Read about the other books Ronson tagged.

Slaughterhouse-Five also made John Mullan's list of ten of the best aliens in science fiction, Charlie Jane Anders and Michael Ann Dobbs's list of twelve great stories to help you to cope with mortality, Sebastian Beaumont's top 10 list of books about psychological journeys, and Tiffany Murray's top ten list of black comedies.

--Marshal Zeringue