Wednesday, October 8, 2014

‘The Psychopath Whisperer’ by Kent A. Kiehl

Thanks to Blogging for books i got to read and review "The Psychopath Whisperer" by Kent A. Kiehl for free in exchange for my honest review. I choose this book because i am fascinated, as are many others, but the mindset behind what makes someone a psychopath and why they do what they do. It is my hope to someday work as a therapist, though not with psychopaths, so anything that delves into the "why" of human behavior interests me. 

Here is a summary of the book, "One of the leading experts on psychopaths, Kent Kiehl takes the reader on a comprehensive study of psychopaths. He discusses his personal experiences with psychopaths as well as a more academic approach, discussing the Psychopath Checklist and the science behind psychopathy." 

I want to start by saying i had high expectations for the book, that in the end were only halfway met. The book is more his experiences and often his bragging(he spends to much time and seems more than happy to share the high salary he was offered for his first job), than it is science. From the title i was assuming he would lead us down a road of explaining pyscopathy, which he does very well, and then showing us some idea's for a "cure" or a treatment, for lack of a better term. It is not until the end of the book that he even brings up a group in Wisconsin that has come up with some treatment options. His experiences with fMRI and the brain activity of the numerous psychopath's he see's in prison's is interesting, but that's about all that is interesting. 

The book itself has some structural issues that i found distracted me while i was reading it. There are several places where several sentences in a row all begin with the same words or wording. There are many places, such as when he describes the negotiations with three competing MRI machine suppliers but spends a great amount of time detailing what the office looked like. It adds nothing to the story he is recounting. Most of the nonfiction books like “The Psychopath Whisperer” that I’ve ever read have included a concluding section that sums up what’s been covered and nudges the discussion forward, beyond the contents of the book. The final chapter of this book is two paragraphs and is followed by an epilogue of less than a page, which i found to be a very unsatisfying wrap up. 

I started, stopped, then restarted this book to get through it. I found myself glad that it ended, and though it was hard to get through for me, i would still recommend that anyone who truly has a deep interest in this area, or who are going to work in the legal system with these kinds of serious criminals, read it. 


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