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Extended Audio Sample The Sociopath Next Door: The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us Audiobook, by Martha Stout Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00026126714566 out of 53.00026126714566 out of 53.00026126714566 out of 53.00026126714566 out of 53.00026126714566 out of 5 3.00 (7,655 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Martha Stout Narrator: Shelly Frasier Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2005 ISBN: 9781400171569
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Who is the devil you know? Is it your lying, cheating ex-husband? Your sadistic high school gym teacher? Your boss who loves to humiliate people in meetings? The colleague who stole your idea and passed it off as her own? In the pages of The Sociopath Next Door, you will realize that your ex was not just misunderstood. He's a sociopath. And your boss, teacher, and colleague? They may be sociopaths too. We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people—one in twenty-five—has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in twenty-five everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath. They could be your colleague, your neighbor, even family. And they can do literally anything at all and feel absolutely no guilt. How do we recognize the remorseless? One of their chief characteristics is a kind of glow or charisma that makes sociopaths more charming or interesting than the other people around them. They're more spontaneous, more intense, more complex, or even sexier than everyone else, making them tricky to identify and leaving us easily seduced. Fundamentally, sociopaths are different because they cannot love. Sociopaths learn early on to show sham emotion, but underneath they are indifferent to others' suffering. They live to dominate and thrill to win. The fact is, we all almost certainly know at least one or more sociopaths already. Part of the urgency in reading The Sociopath Next Door is the moment when we suddenly recognize that someone we know—someone we worked for, or were involved with, or voted for—is a sociopath. But what do we do with that knowledge? To arm us against the sociopath, Dr. Stout teaches us to question authority, suspect flattery, and beware the pity play. Above all, she writes, when a sociopath is beckoning, do not join the game. It is the ruthless versus the rest of us, and The Sociopath Next Door will show you how to recognize and defeat the devil you know. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • An outstanding audio production...it's nearly impossible to get away from it once you start listening. AudioFile
  • “One in 25 Americans is a sociopath—no conscience, no guilt. It could be your mean boss or your crazy ex. [The Sociopath Next Door] is an easy-to-follow guide for spotting them.”

    Newsweek

  • “An outstanding audio production…it’s nearly impossible to get away from it once you start listening.”

    AudioFile

  • “A remarkable philosophical examination of the phenomenon of sociopathy and its everyday manifestations…Deeply thought-provoking and unexpectedly lyrical.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charla | 4/9/2016

    " Great book! Not what I expected book to really be. It's better. Very informative about Sociopathic individuals that may be in your life but you just did not know why they act the way they do. Wish I was aware of these facts a long time ago. Also, I like that the examples given are not made up yet true stories which have been changed a little to keep their identity private. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lequig | 2/9/2014

    " Excellent if you know one! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maida | 2/9/2014

    " Disturbing enough to garner *4.5/5 stars*... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Shelley | 2/7/2014

    " Can't seem to get this one started. I love pop psych, but this book is a little boring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Suzanne Crane | 2/7/2014

    " A solid reminder not to start out with trust in people, but that it be earned. The statistics seem inflated, but even assuming a 50% reduction on what the author cites, there are still way to many people out there that can do much damage with no capacity for empathy, remorse, or regret. Although somewhat overly dramatic at points, which caused me to question the overall validity of her claims, I found the book very interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Martha | 2/6/2014

    " Good to know there are some real jerks out there. They are not going to change so don't try to change them & don't wait patiently for them to change. They won't & it is not your responsibility to help them. Recognize it, admit it & get away. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fletcher Wortmann | 1/25/2014

    " As an interested amateur/dedicated consumer of psychotherapy, I'm not necessarily qualified to comment on this, but I thought it was a useful and informative primer on the disorder. I did think the text focused too much on identifying "othering" those with sociopathy - ironically, while critically examining the pathology of people incapable of empathy, the book itself refuses to empathize with them. That said, I've never had my life destroyed by a pleasure-seeking sadistic android, and if you have you might appreciate the book's condemnatory tone. But the explanations of sociopathy are thorough and convincing. It allows the reader to recognize a Very Bad Person and avoid them, and to better understand how even the best of us can slip into sociopathic behavior. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Noah | 1/25/2014

    " 1/25 people are sociopaths, after reading this book I spend a fair amount of time trying to figure out who the sociopaths are. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim Pahz | 1/14/2014

    " Great book. Insightful and scary. I learned a lot about bad people. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Camillle | 1/11/2014

    " I didn't love this book simply because I had to analyze it to death for a Psychology class I was taking in college. The author seems to put her views of a Sociopath in as fact for the most part. So, I had a hard time deciphering whether what I was reading was fact or fiction. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David Agranoff | 1/5/2014

    " File this under Duh. I really thought I would learn something that would help me understand characters I was creating, and people I was dealing with who i thought fit the whole Socio-path thing. Dud, blah and duh. Sorry. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 1/5/2014

    " Intriguing. You'll never look at difficult people quite the same way again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margo | 12/21/2013

    " Really interesting book. I didn't totally agree with everything in the book, but sociopaths are fascinating and the writing isn't nearly as dry as it could have been. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 12/12/2013

    " Unfortunately, I read this book as a suggestion from someone who knew my family had been terrorized by a sociopathic couple. I was amazed how accurately this portrayed and predicted their behavior. It was a startling book that helped me process and understand this dangerous type of personality. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 12/8/2013

    " This book explained that people I thought were evil, were conscience-free, which allowed them to perform evil without the tag of guilt feelings. A good self help book for those who run into such people, with pointers on how you can protect yourself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aya | 11/15/2013

    " its an obvious guide for peopls reactions . "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 11/3/2013

    " Really sheds light on what sociopathy actually is and why one in 25 people could actually be one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pamela Galloway | 10/27/2013

    " The idea that 1 in 25 around us are sociopaths is rather interesting. Even if some of the examples may seema bit far fetched, it also makes one more aware that there are really people out there who don't have a conscience and who abuse your kindness. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 M | 5/2/2013

    " This book was fascinating to me. It's hard to imagine what someone without a conscience would do, or how they would act, but she does a great job of explaining the traits and personalities of a sociopath. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth Wheeler | 3/29/2013

    " I lived with a sociopath, so I know the information is accurate. 4 stars for some annoying narration and unnecessary scare tactics used by the author. Will you learn something? Yes. From that standpoint, this book is worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 sid | 3/17/2013

    " Quite eye opening. It makes me even more suspicious of you people... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Josh | 2/4/2013

    " Personality disorders are so fascinating, yet can be so dangerous. Martha takes you on a journey though the eyes of several diagnosed sociopaths. Very interesting and definitely enriched my practice with my patients in therapy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Salam | 11/21/2012

    " An excellent overview of sociopathy and also, blessedly, its antithetical opposites - moral sense and love. Well worth (re) reading! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jamie Whitt | 11/4/2012

    " it was ok. her writing style was really repetitive and kind of lifetime channel like. an easy read and remotely informative- pretty surface deep. for beginners with interest in sociopathy. i liked it just the same, though, and i'm glad i read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen Linton | 7/20/2012

    " Interesting book. The author tries to explain people totally secularly, which screams futility to me. But it has good info and helps some in dealing with our own special psycho. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shane Gower | 5/8/2012

    " Quick read with interesting points. I felt it dragged in places almost like there wasn't enough for a book but the author stretched it all she could. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abasi | 2/10/2012

    " A quick and easy read, yet vaguely religious, which I didn't like. Some chapters are just stories about sociopaths, others are similar to Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 9/30/2011

    " I read this book in 2 days. It was written in a riveting style of profiles, discussion and research done on antisocial personality disorder. Great book. Very helpful in also spotting the everyday sociopath in my work. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharyne | 5/18/2011

    " READ THE BOOK 3 TIMES IN THREE DAYS. ONCE I STARTED READING I WAS HOSTAGE TO THE CHILLING TEXT. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adam | 5/13/2011

    " It was ok. Didn't really blow my mind, but it does give some food for thought on the subject. Mask of Sanity is much better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamie | 5/2/2011

    " The book talks about the prevalence of sociopaths and how one might recognize the traits in others. Kinda jarring to realize 1 in 25 people have no conscience! A very good read about the subject of psychology without too much technical language or writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Corrie | 4/14/2011

    " This was very interesting. I learned a lot about both sociopathy as well as victims of sociopaths. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Summer | 4/5/2011

    " This book gave me chills more than once and opened my eyes to another real and completely different world. Told in an informative and interesting way, I didn't want to put it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megdalynn | 4/2/2011

    " I will personally never view people quite the same way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 STM | 3/28/2011

    " Fascinating and more than a little scary. Also, any psychologist who quotes Black Sabbath is alright with me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirsti | 3/21/2011

    " An important book describing the 1 in 25 "ordinary" people who are sociopaths and how to protect yourself from them. "

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About the Narrator

Shelly Frasier has appeared in many independent film and theater projects in Arizona and Southern California and has done voice-over work for commercials and animation projects. She trained at the Groundlings Improv School in Hollywood and South Coast Repertory’s Professional Conservatory in Costa Mesa, California. She has performed at theaters throughout North Hollywood and Orange County. Recent performances include Blue Window, The Battle of Bull Run Always Makes Me Cry, The Haunting of Hill House, and a British farcical version of A Christmas Carol. She resides in Hollywood.