Jon Ronson - Lost at Sea
A collection of non-fiction writing from the offbeat investigative journalist
Will Self pretty well nailed it when he dubbed Jon Ronson as ‘one of the finest comic writers working today’. Even when a subject appears on the surface to be deadly serious (the Self review was for Ronson’s last full work, The Psychopath Test), the Cardiff-born, New York-based journalist and broadcaster can’t stop seeing the lighter side of life.
It’s this admirable perspective that actually lends extra power to topics such as the Kidneys for Jesus campaign and a murder plot being hatched in the Alaskan town of North Pole where every day is Christmas.
But there are just some things that it’s probably better not to laugh at, such as the conviction of Jonathan King, the death of a debt-ridden man and the mystery disappearance of a 24-year-old on a cruise. Ronson is highly adept at knowing when to take his foot off the comedy pedal, a skill which gives a collection such as Lost at Sea a solidity and pace.