The Sociopath Next Door Martha Stout Audiobook Review

I think I must be a bit of a weirdo in that I quite like learning about anomalies and different sorts of things. Obviously being a sociopath is not normal and it’s outside my realm of experience, thus I find it fascinating as a topic. After a pretty big tragedy struck (not me personally), I found myself wanting answers and wondering how a person could do something like that. And so, I plunked down a $10 gift card and $0.91 to purchase The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout on Audible in hopes of gaining an understanding of how people who do not possess a conscience think and also function. Thankfully, The Sociopath Next Door reminded me exactly why I delve into non-fiction quite often.

The Sociopath Next Door Martha Stout Book Cover

So, basically The Sociopath Next Door is all about how 1 in 25 people are sociopaths. It shows that not all sociopaths are criminals nor do they all engage in murderous rampages. However, people who have sociopathy do not think like I do. They don’t have that whole guilty conscience thing. Stout chose to focus the book on every day behavior, which to be honest, I liked because then I didn’t get nightmares — I am prone to them when reading about real life terrifying things. ALSO at the end she delves into how to protect yourself from being manipulated by a sociopath with a set of rules to live by. It’s helpful, I guess. I don’t know if I actually know any sociopaths though.

I actually quite enjoyed the way that The Sociopath Next Door was written. It’s on a level that I understand. You see, I took one psychology class in college (aside from educational psychology but that’s another can of worms) and was like ‘this is not nearly as awesome as I had hoped’, thus if there was nothing but jargon I would not have understood a single word. Instead, I was easily able to follow along with Stout and her conclusions. Plus, she makes it interesting by putting in stories about her clients and the sociopaths who victimized them. The sociopaths range from a powerful business man, a principal, and an elderly woman among others. OH OH and she puts in this really great example at the beginning about this guy who has to fly out for a meeting, then heads back to his house to feed his dog, and explores every angle with us readers to decide whether the guy is doing this out of intrinsic self-motivation and driven by a conscience, or doing it out of extrinsic motivation and what others might think. And she relates that whole scenario to factors that determine whether the guy is a sociopath or not. Either way, being a total weirdo nerd, I found the whole thing fascinating and felt as though I learned something by the end — well until I saw that some people cast a bit of doubt on Stout’s findings. Alas, I am not a psychology major so I can’t tell you anything about the validity of Stout’s book.

Of course, I listened to the audiobook because these days that is exactly how I read all my non-fiction. The Sociopath Next Door is narrated by Shelly Frasier. This was my first audio narrated by Frasier and it certainly won’t be the last. She has impressive enunciation. She has a clear voice that’s not unpleasing. Plus, she sounds intelligent while she’s narrating, which is an important quality to me when it comes to non-fiction audiobooks. The Sociopath Next Door is 7 hours and 26 minutes unabridged. It’s produced by Tantor Audio. There weren’t any weird breathing or mouth noises thank goodness, and I was actually impressed with the production quality of this book. I’d definitely recommend this short listen if you want to broaden your horizons and learn something.

Disclosure: Purchased on Audible with one of those here’s $10 for being kickass gift certificates.

Other reviews of The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout:

I can’t find any by like actual book bloggers, so if you review this, leave your link in the comments and I will be certain to add it.

About April (Books&Wine)

April is 30 years old and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and baby, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

Comments

  1. Lol! Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could really purchase gift certificates like that. I mean I could go to B&N and instead of buying a gift card with Where the Wild Things Are (because that is obviously the best one!) on it, I could get one that said “Since you’re totally kick ass, here’s some money to buy books with!” Okay, that isn’t the best slogan, but you get what I mean.

    Anyway, interesting review. It definitely is kind of freaking me out though. Glad to hear you didn’t get any nightmares.

    • If only. I would love if all my gift certificates had words like because you are a total baller here are some funds for you to purchase the things you like. Have at it.

      I was so scared of getting nightmares, but luckily, she doesn’t focus on the sociopaths that commit mass murders, but the manipulative ones. It’s a fascinating listen, on the whole.

  2. There’s nothing weird at all about being fascinated by this topic. Millions of people are as you can see from the popularity of shows like Dexter and the many books coming out lately on this topic. In fact it’s becoming such a popular topic that I started a website just to document all the stories coming out about it every day.

    The Sociopath Next Door was one of the books that really got me into this topic and is one of the ones I recommend to people often.

    • Very good point — I didn’t even think about Dexter and that show’s popularity ha! That’s really cool that you started a site on that very topic.

      The Sociopath Next Door definitely does provide fascinating information and I do think that it’s recommendation worthy!

  3. OMG, APRIL, THEY WON’T STOP LOOKING AT ME. THEY’RE LOOKING INTO MY SOUL AND FINDING MY FEARS AND WILL KILL ME WITH THEM.

    Also, as soon as I saw this creepy ass cover, I KNEW it would be an audio review. Holla!

    1 in 25. Fuck. I need to read this. I am decided already. You are good at selling books. Though I probs won’t buy it, but you know what I mean. If it’s 1 in 25 for reals, then you probably know multiple sociopaths, but WHICH ONES ARE THEY?

    Ugh, I hate when audios have weird mouth noises or heavy breathing. It’s like if you had the audio narrated by some pervy caller. No thank you. Glad this isn’t like that.

  4. OMG, I NEEEEEEEEED to check this book out! I’ve always found stuff like this weirdly fascinating, especially when it delves into the darker bits of psychology. I never realized that 1 in 25 people was a sociopath, but then again, I suppose it does make sense. Starts to make you wonder about the people closest to you, doesn’t it? I’ve always wanted to know what makes people do what they do and I like the biology behind it all. SO interesting! And now that you mentioned the narrator to the audio version is worthy, I think I might have to splurge on the audiobook. You’re right… this definitely makes me want to include more non-fiction into my regular literary diet!

  5. I am fasinated by this subect too. I always watch about this subject on tv, etc.

  6. I personally think this sounds extremely interesting. While I was initially a bit intimidated (and slightly nervous) after seeing the title, your review has made me rethink my opinion and want to check this out. Psychological stuff like this has always been fascinating to me; psych was one of my favorite college classes ever.

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