M. E. Thomas is a practising attorney and law professor, and the founder of the popular blog Sociopathworld.com.
Thomas, a diagnosed sociopath, begins this part study of sociopathy, part confessional memoir with narcissistic descriptions of personal style and grooming habits that develop into a complex and layered self-portrait. She describes growing up in a large Mormon family and how her religious practices continued into adulthood, her time as both a music and law student, and how lacking empathy affected all stages of her life, notably her experience with making friends and enemies. Noncriminal sociopaths are, Thomas says, "hidden in plain sight," and her account of this experience doesn't bother with political correctness. She writes with blunt, witty insight on human behavior, particularly sexuality, and is strangely endearing. She smartly overlooks the potential damage to her reputation if a student or colleague reading the book recognized her as the author. Yet the story is too convincing to be a fabrication, and a sociopath isn't likely to feel remorse for expounding intimate details to shed light into the kind of life lived by four percent of the American population. VERDICT A page-turner with broad appeal. Some material has previously appeared on the author's blog, sociopathworld.com; fans will find an enjoyable companion in The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout, who offers a psychiatrist's view of the condition.-Chrissy Spallone, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Lib. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Praise for "Confessions of a Sociopath""[A] gripping and important book...revelatory...quite the memorable roller coaster ride."--"New York Times Book Review ""[F]ascinating...part memoir, part psychological treatise, and entirely not to be trusted."--"Boston Globe""The goal of "Confessions" is to redefine sociopathy--or at least to shake off the stigma associated with it. And Thomas accomplishes both. Through her honest portrayal of herself as a highly capable yet deeply flawed individual, she demystifies her disorder."--"Scientific American""[F]ascinating stuff, and Thomas delivers...riveting...chilling....Her incisive observations about human nature can be breathtakingly pointed."--"Cleveland Plain Dealer""An essential, unprecedented memoir...intelligent, measured...[H]er arguments against using the diagnosis as an indicator of evil or a pre-emptive reason to imprison are a slam-dunk. This is a critical addition to narratives of mental illness, deepened by the awareness that we're reading someone whose most intense motivation is 'acquisition, retention, and exploitation of power'."--"Publishers Weekly", starred review"Fascinating and compelling as well as chilling, Thomas' memoir offers a window into the mind of a portion of the population that usually remains shrouded in mystery and fear."--"Booklist", starred review"[Thomas] invites us into her courtroom, classroom and bedroom to witness how her behavior has stunted her work life and made her love life difficult....Much here is chilling, but there are also cracks that make you ache for her....A work of advocacy for greater awareness of sociopathy's reach and conduct."--"Kirkus Reviews"