Reader reviews and comments on The Sociopath Next Door, plus links to write your own review.

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The Sociopath Next Door

The Ruthless Versus the Rest of Us

by Martha Stout

The Sociopath Next Door
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    Feb 2005, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2006, 256 pages

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There are currently 41 reader reviews for The Sociopath Next Door
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Dorothy Knable (11/04/14)

Great analysis!
Amazing analysis of a personality we encounter too often. It should help people dealing with a mysteriously unmanageable relationship or wondering why she cannot get ahead when a certain “off” though charming, person has anything to do with her. I loved the true stories. It rings true from: my experience of the world of 66 years and experience before my masters degree in a social service, a psych-tech job I held for a couple years. Kudos!
Audrey (12/27/12)

The Sociopath Next Door
My major problem with this book is that the writer claims that (1 in 25 ) or 4 percent of the population are sociopaths. This simply is not true. The correct stats are as follows: 2 percent of the population displays antisocial behaviour & of that 2.5 percent are sociopaths. So right off the top this book is creating a very false picture of the realty of the situation. Also, I found it odd that after 25 years of practice the writer presented only 3 profiles in this very thin volume.
J. Dunlap (03/21/12)

She Lives Next Door to Me
I live next door to a Sociopath. I have know she was one for years so I stayed away from her. I bought this book to be sure I wasn't judging my neighbor wrongly. This book is wonderful! It proved that the Sociopath next door to me is a pure Sociopath. Thank you!
Mariah Haley (12/12/11)

Good.
Really interesting to read! Enjoyed it and the mini scenarios were helpful :)
Jeannie (12/03/11)

A must read for all
I, too, was in a marriage for over 25 years with a "sociopath next door." I have a psychology background. Yet I would never think my husband was a sociopath because he wasn't mass killing people like Ted Bundy. He had a very high position in government, where his command was done without question. He also has other mental issues, including extreme ADHD, porn/sex addiction, and hoarding. Yet there was a coldness about him which wasn't explained. In the last years of our marriage as he became more mentally erratic, I started to secretly closely watch all of his behavior. I was shocked by what I found. This was the man I was living with? What I found was a Dr. Jeykll/Mr. Hyde personality. When confronted with some of the stealing behavior, he coolly denied it without blinking an eye, even when presented with evidence. I knew then, this wasn't the first time he lied. He was a master at it. Still, I didn't peg him for a sociopath, even though he passed the online test with flying colors. After all, he didn't hit me. He did charitable things for others. (It helped his career.) It wasn't until I read this book (twice) that things finally sunk in. I'm sure if they did a brain test, they would find his brain doesn't fire like others. This book has helped the healing and understanding process, although it is still difficult to understand how a human being can act as the sociopaths do. I agree that all law enforcement and those in the courts should read this.
Notloh (11/09/11)

Read this book!!!!
This book seems to be written out of a sincere wish to warn the world about the human predators among us. While it is true that some things are repeated that seems to me to be done in order to hammer the point home rather than to fill up space/pages. The author is also up front about the fact that it is almost impossible to spot a psychopath even though the title of the book suggest otherwise. The book is actually meant (I believe) to help people who suspect or know that they are victims of this kind of person to come to terms with it and save themselves. This may not be scholarly but it will save many abused people, I´m sure.
The book itself is quite well written and gets the point across in an easy to follow manner. Not because it is dumbed down but because the author writes clearly and with a certain purpose in mind.
I can see by the reviews here that this book has scared the psychopaths and this, to me, greatly recommends this book.
I want to say on slightly off topic thing before I leave. It is well known that abusive husbands/boyfriends will blame the couples problems on their spouse/girlfriend and accuse her of the very behavior he is guilty of. This often works and nets him all the support and pity that should go to his victim. These men are probably psychopaths.
Lissa (10/21/11)

Junk psychology for the uneducated
This is typical junk psychology. The author makes the same point again and again, citing different anecdotes from chapter to chapter. She attempts to elevate the fear factor and reader's interest by dramatizing the term "sociopath." The effect is to turn her readers into quasi-paranoid individuals looking for reasons to label others around them as genuinely evil. Read with caution.
jim (10/03/11)

Do the math
Actually Keith, one person in every 25 does equal 4. If you add up 25 four times, that makes 100; and there will be 4 persons out of 100 that fit the bill as full-blown sociopaths (one person for each group of 25.) That makes 4. However, these are just the clear and unambivalent cases. The rest of the population has tendencies either toward neurosis, or toward character disorders such as sociopathology or narcisism. It would be interesting to get a graph, scatter plot, or some type of visual depiction of the dispersal of psychological problems across the population, but it might be too scarey to look at.
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