Review: Confessions of a Sociopath by M.E. Thomas

 

Title: Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight

Author: M.E. Thomas

Published: PanMacmillan June 2013

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from June 06 to 07, 2013 — I own a copy{Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

I was intrigued by the idea of this memoir as abnormal psychology is an odd interest of mine.

M.E. Thomas is a pseudonym for a woman who claims to be a successful law professor, a devout follower of the Mormon faith and a diagnosed sociopath. This memoir is an attempt to dispel the popular myth that sociopaths are all irredeemable, violent, conscienceless criminals. Though Thomas admits to a distorted way of relating to people she manages, with varying degrees of success, to curb her natural impulses and instead has become a productive member of society.

If there is a continuum that measures the degree of sociopathy, Thomas could be said to display the milder symptoms of the disorder. Self interest is her driving force, and the lack of regard for the damage that causes others doesn’t really concern her. Thomas tries to explain the way in which she processes and experiences feelings, stating in essence, that her response to emotion, either her own or someone else’s, is blunted. Reason and logic have more meaning for her than qualitative concepts like guilt, shame or love. And though she has, over time, learnt to imitate socially appropriate responses and behaviour, it is not instinctual for her.

The precursor to this memoir is a blog the author started in an attempt to both connect with other people like her and inform those who have a sociopath in their life. A quick browse of www.sociopathworld.com shows it is a bit of a hot mess, trolled by wannabee psycho’s and weirdo’s, but Thomas’s posts are interesting and consistent with what is included in the memoir.

It is sensible to doubt the validity of Thomas’s perspective entirely, as a self confessed sociopath she has an innate motivation to present herself in the best light possible. However, I found this memoir fascinating and, at face value, an insightful glimpse into the inner world of someone very different from me.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. fanficfan44
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 09:00:58

    I have been wanting to read this book. I have been seeing it on lots of blogs. I also read an article in Psychology Today (I’m pretty sure that was the mag)

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    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Jun 11, 2013 @ 14:07:21

      I hadn’t heard of it before I recieved it but when I browsed other reviews it seems the author has been on Dr Phil and in several magazines

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  2. Patty
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 09:15:25

    It looks so good but I strongly dislike memoirs!

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  3. Book Blather
    Jun 11, 2013 @ 18:05:04

    This sounds like a very unusual memoir!🙂

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  4. Go Book Yourself!
    Jun 12, 2013 @ 17:34:03

    Was it a hard read. I want to give it a go but it seems like it might be a bit of a drudge??

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    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Jun 12, 2013 @ 18:24:35

      It really depends on your level of interest – it is readable but it is probably more serious than entertaining, so if you are after shock value – there really isn’t any.

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  5. sh16764167
    Dec 26, 2013 @ 22:02:26

    The author’s attempts to integrate medical literature on sociopathy is lack lustre- it reads like a university paper at times. The anecdotes are short and shallow. Finally, it is no surprise that the sociopathic writer with narcissistic tendencies spends many a paragraph describing herself in a positive light- some of which may be accurate, but never the less boring to read. Overall, This book is average at best.

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