Jon Ronson has an unlikely hero of the year

07 December 2012

Jon Ronson is the bestselling author of the hilarious and highly informative The Psychopath TestHis book Lost At Sea is a collection of mini-adventure stories of the chaos that lies on the fringe of our daily lives.

Read on to discover his various heroes of the real and virtual (Twitter) worlds, and his favourite books, of course.

2012: A year in books

What is your favourite book of the year?

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt. An insanely imaginative western which looks at what psychopaths do when they're being paid to kill you.

What is your favourite Picador book ever?

This isn't my favourite, but it was the most important for me as a child: Holidays in Hell by PJ O'Rourke. Growing up in the Cardiff suburbs I just desperately wanted to do what he did. 

2012: everything else

What was your favourite cultural event of the year?

Thierry Henry making his comeback at the Emirates against Leeds. He scored after seconds. It was like a fairy tale. I was THERE. Also, Katy Perry duetting with a fan - a little girl with autism - at the Beacon Theatre in New York. At an autism benefit. They did Firework. EVERYONE SOBBED.

Who is your hero of the year?

Katy Perry.

What is your most powerful memory of the year?

We sailed across the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2 with our dogs, who didn't like being on a ship and didn't believe me when I told them the plane would have been worse. 

What is your resolution for 2013?

Finish my next book.

What is your favorite blog or who is your favourite tweeter?

@themanwhofell - but he abruptly stopped on May 10 with a tweet, 'Twitter is no place for a human being.'

What was the best movie?

Argo

What was your favourite book as a child?

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis

What is the book you recommend most?

What A Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe. 

What is your favourite poem?

Your Dog Dies by Raymond Carver.

Where do you write?

Right now in an office in my flat in New York. All I can see out of the window are other windows and a flat wall. It's like an office from Kafka. But I prefer the view to views of trees.

Can you give one piece of advice to people wanting to become a writer?

Every word matters. Justify to yourself the use of every word. Cut any word or sentence that doesn't need to be there. Cut cut cut. Saying that, the overall arc of the story is more important than any one great moment. Also, try and work out what information your reader will want at any point in the story. Don't give away too much. Don't give away too little. 

Do you read on paper or ebook?

Both.

One book that changed your life?

Raymond Carver's Where I'm Calling From

One book you have read more than once?

Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5.

 

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