by Patric Gagne

Publisher: Bluebird, an imprint of Pan Macmillan, 2024

Publisher’s blurb

‘Your friends would probably describe me as nice. But guess what?
I can’t stand your friends.
I’m a liar. I’m a thief. I’m highly manipulative. I don’t care what other people think. I’m capable of almost anything.’ 
Sociopath: A Memoir is at once a mesmerizing tale of a life lived on the edge of the law, a redemptive love story and a moving account of one woman’s battle to create a place for herself and the 5% of the population who are also – like her – sociopaths.

Ever since she was a small child, Patric Gagne knew she was different. Although she felt intense love for her family and her best friend, David, these connections were never enough to make her be ‘good’, or to reduce her feelings of apathy and frustration. As she grew older, her behaviour escalated from petty theft through to breaking and entering, stalking, and worse.

As an adult, Patric realized that she was a sociopath. Although she instantly connected with the official descriptions of sociopathy, she also knew they didn’t tell the full story: she had a plan for her life, had nurtured close relationships and was doing her best (most of the time) to avoid harming others. As her darker impulses warred against her attempts to live a settled, loving life with her partner, Patric began to wonder – was there a way for sociopaths to integrate happily into society? And could she find it before her own behaviour went a step too far?


by Margaret Walsh

Patric Gagne is many things; a wife, a mother, a therapist, and a sociopath.  This is a memoir of her life.

We normally only hear about sociopaths through true crime books, so we tend to form the opinion that all sociopaths are criminals.  Or detectives, as many people are aware of the line from BBC’s drama ‘Sherlock’: “I’m a high functioning sociopath.  Do your research.”  This is what Patric has given us: the perfect research book on sociopathy.

We are led through her life from her childhood right up to the decision to publish the book.  Along the way we learn what life can be like growing up without the inbuilt moral compass that the majority of people have.  And it is a life that can be pretty bleak and confusing.  Especially during childhood.

Patric is brutally honest about her transgressions, from stealing a classmate’s hairclips to breaking into a neighbour’s house to help herself to sugar.  Later on, as an adult, the transgressions become more serious.  It is, quite frankly, a miracle that Patric has got as far in life as she has.

The result is a book that is both a harrowing and an enjoyable read.  Harrowing, because it is hard to read about someone who has few emotions and little understanding as to why doing the things she did as a child were wrong.  Enjoyable, because Patric’s sense of humour shines through, casting a light on some very dark subjects.

Sociopath – A Memoir is an engrossing read.  I pretty much sat down and read it in one sitting.  The book succeeds in one crucial area.  It removes the emotive reaction to the word ‘sociopath’, making it the perfect book for understanding people with that particular diagnosis.