[Book Review] Puzzling People: The Labyrinth of the Psychopath, by Thomas Sheridan (Velluminous)

Puzzling People: The Labyrinth Of The PsychopathPuzzling People: The Labyrinth Of The Psychopath by Thomas Sheridan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I forget how I came across this book. All I remember is scanning one of the many online bookstores that I frequent, seeing it pop up in a list somewhere, and thinking, “I really want to read that”.

So I bought it on a whim, without reading reviews, without even having a concrete idea as to what it was about. The best kind of purchase – totally self-driven.

It was worth however much it was, the twenty-something dollars. Thomas Sheridan has a very conversational style about him. He finds a thread, goes onto something else, comes back to the original thread, and uses the momentum to keep pushing his narrative forwards. If you are not familiar with this type of style, you might find it ‘rambling’, as many other people have noted.

It is not rambling, it’s conversational. Rambling goes on, loses the point, fails to find the original point, and then kind of misses itself all over again. Sheridan does not lose the point he is driving towards.

More importantly, he picks up threads and reiterates them later, in relation to a secondary or underlying issue, which could not have been discussed earlier.

Whether or not I agree with his premise about psychopaths is totally beside the point. I agree with much of his assessment of unscrupulous people. Indeed, just on my reading sections of this book out to others has caused those people to exclaim that my ex was clearly psychopathic. Many of those people have proclaimed this, without even reading through such clear definitions as Sheridan provides.

The most important thing about this book is in its discussion of psychopathic societies, and the notion that humans are not bad, nasty people – and the conditioning that the mass media creates to make the collective think this. These sections of Sheridan’s work are of great import to humanity as a whole, especially in relation to the notion of clear thinking, clear assessment, and returning to a critical point of view.

The critical point of view, and assessing all information independently in order to come to a researched and personal perspective, is something that many people these days miss. It needs to be taught, and this is a good vehicle by which to do so. Sheridan’s perspective on the psychopathologies of regular society may be harnessed by curious people more easily than, say, the point of view of David Icke: even though they are both saying exactly the same thing.

There are issues with this book, from the zeros instead of ‘o’s, the poor editing, and some of the gaps, but even I can overlook these in consideration of the content.

It’s an excellent, if occasionally confronting, read. And you need to let your own opinion go, read the work, consider it. Some of the statements made me laugh, some made me raise an eyebrow, but as a whole it was very much a worthwhile journey.

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