I’ve just completed Lost At Sea by British writer Jon Ronson. This is a great compendium of idiosyncratic, engaging stories.
Ronson has appeared several times on This American Life, one of my favorite radio programs. Having already been a fan of Ronson’s stories there and his work elsewhere, and also only now getting into audiobooks, I wondered if I might find some of his work at audible.com. Sure enough, it’s there.
This book, published in 2012, is a collection of stories from the past decade or so, also representing Ronson’s reporting for The Guardian in the U.K. Ronson himself narrates the audio version, which I enjoy because I feel an author is the best narrator equipped to add appropriate emphasis when telling a story.
Stories covered here include: the mysterious case of a girl who disappeared from a Disney cruise; a look at altruistic organ donation; a look at a mismanaged château in France; and interviews with many other quirky yet fascinating characters, including celebrity psychic Sylvia Browne, and the co-founder of neuro-linguistic programming, Richard Bandler. All in all, it’s a fascinating and engaging compendium.
Through each of these stories, Ronson applies his journalistic style with a direct, yet avant-garde approach that keeps the listener hanging on until the next phrase. Since I’m not a fan of long-form novels or fiction writing in particular, opting for well-crafted bursts instead, I found this most enjoyable.
As for my thoughts on the topics here, I found this collection of true life short stories highly absorbing. It’s definitely worth your time if you’re into This American Life or investigative reporting from a personal angle.
Update: Now with Author Comments
Many thanks to Jon, himself for checking out this post via Twitter:
@rsmithing thank you! It's very lovely
— jonronson (@jonronson) December 21, 2013