In What I Do: More True Tales of Everyday Craziness, the second volume of Jon Ronson's collected Guardian journalism, he hilariously demonstrates how our everyday lives are determined by the craziest thoughts and obsessions; how we spend our time believing in and getting worked up by complete nonsense.
But also, as he chillingly demonstrates, there are clever people working in the highest echelons of business who are employed to spot, nurture and exploit the irrationalities of those among us who can barely cope as it is.
In part one, read about the time Jon inadvertently made a lewd gesture to a passing fourteen-year-old girl late at night in the lobby of a country-house hotel. And about his burgeoning obsession with a new neighbour who refused to ask him what he did for a living, despite Jon's constant dropping of intriguing hints. And about the embarrassment of being caught recycling small talk at a party.
In part two, read some of Jon's longer stories, which explore manifestations of insanity in the wider world: the tiny town of North Pole, Alaska, where it's Christmas 365 days of the year; behind the scenes at Deal or No Deal, which Jon likens to a cult with Noel Edmonds as its high priest; a meeting with TV hypnotist Paul McKenna, who has joined forces with a self-help guru who once stood trial for murder - but can they cure Jon of his one big phobia?
As hilarious as it is perturbing, Jon Ronson's new collection is a treat for everyone who has ever suspected themselves to be at the mercy of forces they can barely comprehend.
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