Jon Ronson (4 stars)

Jon Ronson

What I Do (Picador)


I’ve mostly avoided Jon Ronson in the past, mainly because of an irrational fear of his ultra-liberal-looking potato-head, and witnessing an early simpering appearance of his on late-night Channel 4. So this book was a revelation to me, revealing him to be a hilarious and perceptive columnist and an investigative journalist of real talent. What I Do starts with a collection of his quirky columns on everyday craziness, which read like an extended episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm with Ronson contravening social rules, exposing his pettiness and generally being completely ridiculous.

After that come longer pieces which outshine Louis Theroux, with Ronson accurately observing the madness of Deal Or No Deal and an Alaskan town called North Pole, where it’s literally Christmas Day every day. Then finally, Ronson does a powerful and serious exposé of the UK credit industry and the motivational gurus behind it. A man of many talents, it transpires, despite that soft putty face.

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