Title: Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight
Author: M.E. Thomas
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Rating: 4 out of 5
As a clinically diagnosed sociopath, M.E. Thomas knows that she is in a category of people distrusted and misunderstood by the world. In this memoir, she explains to the reader how she thinks and the way she views things, giving us more insight into what a sociopath really is like.
An intriguing memoir, Thomas provides the reader an honest (or at least, as honest as a sociopath can be) look into her mind in Confessions of a Sociopath.
M.E. Thomas is a sociopath, but she isn’t a serial killer. She’s not serving a sentence behind bars, or even a criminal at all. No, Thomas is a law professor (who wrote this memoir anonymously, but whose identity has since been revealed) who lives quite the ordinary life, albeit one with a deep dark secret. Thomas’s aim with this book is to change how people think about sociopaths because she knows if her true nature was ever revealed, she would be reviled (as indeed, she was after her identity was uncovered).
Confessions of a Sociopath is absolutely fascinating, if creepy. Thomas discusses her lack of emotion, the way she learned to read people at a young age and play them against one another to get ahead, even the fact that she argued her way through law school instead of actually earning her top grades through schoolwork. It really is the glimpse into the mind of someone with a mental illness, and it’s clearly written and really interesting.
Thomas is absolutely frank in Confessions of a Sociopath, and why shouldn’t she be? As a sociopath, she has no shame about who she is or how she feels (though she does worry she’ll pass on her sociopathy to any children she might have—an interesting twist). There are so many reviews out there of this book that say the author is difficult to like and a narcissist, and I can’t help but laugh at that. Of course she’s difficult to like. That’s the entire point! Thomas draws the reader into her world so well that readers seem to forget that. In that respect, it’s very well done.
If you enjoy popular nonfiction about psychology (this is in no way an academic book or a textbook—Thomas is engaging throughout the book, conversational in tone, and though she is trying to be completely honest, you can see the telltale charm of a sociopath peek through on more than one occasion), then absolutely pick this book up. It’s creepy to see how Thomas truly thinks, but it’s also fascinating, especially given that Thomas is an unreliable narrator of her own story precisely because of her mental illness. I found this book riveting and highly recommend it if you are at all intrigued by the subject.