Thursday, October 31, 2013

DNF: Confessions of a Sociopath

Happy Halloween!! I know it's been a while since I posted. Sorry!! Sometimes school and other obligations take up my attention. I'm always reading though!!

On to the business at hand!! This isn't a review of a horror book, but I was a bit scared by this woman's thought process.

I had high hopes for Confessions of a Sociopath by M.E. Thomas. The title alone caught my attention. I was also intrigued by the cover. Who is the person behind the mask? This is a memoir by a diagnosed sociopath. I'll confess, I don't really know the definition for sociopath. It's a term that I hear tossed about on TV a lot. After attempting to read this book, I think the term sociopath is taken rather lightly in popular culture.

On the surface, M.E. Thomas (not her real name by the way) admits that she is a rather ordinary person. She's not a criminal. She probably looks just like everyone else. She is religious. She is an attorney and a professor of law. She goes about her day just like everybody else. But she's not like most people, she lacks traits and emotions that most of us take for granted. She lacks a conscious. She lacks empathy. She's a huge manipulator. She enjoys risky behavior. She comes across as a social person, but is anti-social at heart. She has had dreams of killing people. She is also rather full of herself. Honestly, that sounds like a lot of people and most of them are probably on Wall Street!! But this woman did go to a psychologist and was diagnosed as a sociopath.

I could not get through the whole book. When I read a memoir, I want to feel some empathy for the writer or at least to be more knowledgeable about the person than I was before. It's hard to feel empathy for a person who doesn't feel it herself. M.E. Thomas is very self-aware and honest in her writing. I think it is very brave of her to subject herself to scrutiny. But as honest as I find her writing, I also find it to be very narcissistic.

"I think I am pretty realistic about my intelligence. I am probably smarter than you, dear reader, but I know that in the rare instance this will not be true. I accept that there are many more kinds of intelligence than just raw brainpower (which of course I have in spades), but I do not necessarily respect them all." Pgs. 14-15

That quote is very early in the book, but I still gave it a chance. I kept on reading for about 90 more pages. There just reached a point when I couldn't take it anymore. I hate to stop reading a book, but the author was making me angry. I know I have to remember, she is not an ordinary person. It's hard to read a book by a person who comes across as unlikeable. The book also includes a lot of medical research and terminology in the book. The book feels very clinical in its approach, even when it comes to her childhood. I just could not get into the book. After a while it felt like a chore to read this book. Maybe in a few months I can try again, but for right now I have to walk away from it.

Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (Random House)

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