Jon Ronson (1967-) is a British journalist who tends to do strange and occasionally dangerous things to get his stories, and these stories often end up as wonderfully entertaining reads. You may be familiar with The Men Who Stare at Goats (2004) which was made into a film a few years ago, but today’s Flik is his brilliant book, Them: Adventures with Extremists (2001).
Them is a report of Ronson’s adventures with some of the world’s best-known “extremist” groups – including the Ku Klux Klan and Islamic extremists, while searching for evidence of a secret ruling group which may or may not consist of twelve-foot lizard men.
The book is a very entertaining read, mainly due to Ronson’s delightful sense of humour and absurdism, but it is also thought-provoking, as you get an inside look into the thoughts and philosophies which drive “the others” – the ones we perceive as threats, or even just “random crazies”. I thoroughly recommend that you check out this book and not just wait for the film version directed by Edgar Wright. Oh yes, he’s attached to the project, which is a sure sign (for me at least) that it will be glorious and fine and good. But while we wait for that slice of fried gold, why not read the book? And while you’re at it, you could do worse than to read some of his other works, such as Out of the Ordinary: True Tales of Everyday Craziness (2006) or What I Do: More True Tales of Everyday Craziness (2007), both of which are hilarious and lovely, or the aforementioned The Men Who Stare at Goats.