The Last Days of August
In December 2017 the famous porn star August Ames committed suicide in a park in the Conejo Valley. It happened a day after she’d been the victim of a pile-on, via Twitter, by fellow porn professionals - punishment for her tweeting something deemed homophobic. A month later, August’s husband, Kevin, connected with Jon Ronson to tell the story of how Twitter bullying killed his wife. What neither Kevin nor Ronson realized was that Ronson would soon hear rumors and secrets hinting at a very different story - something mysterious and unexpected and terrible. In The Last Days of August, Ronson unravels the never-before-told story of what caused this beloved 23-year-old actress’ untimely death.

The Last Days of August Details

TitleThe Last Days of August
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 3rd, 2019
PublisherAudible Studios
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Audiobook, Crime, True Crime, Mystery

The Last Days of August Review

  • Tatiana
    January 1, 1970
    The truth is, it's impossible to tell a story about sex industry that is not utterly devastating. As one of the interviewees of The Last Days of August says, the industry is built on the backs of mentally ill. I wouldn't put it so narrowly, but yeah, even those who find themselves empowered by working in porn or prostitution, if you (I mean the people who do the actual research) dig deep enough, turn out to have come from some kind of trauma. Jon Ronson hasn't uncovered anything new, even though The truth is, it's impossible to tell a story about sex industry that is not utterly devastating. As one of the interviewees of The Last Days of August says, the industry is built on the backs of mentally ill. I wouldn't put it so narrowly, but yeah, even those who find themselves empowered by working in porn or prostitution, if you (I mean the people who do the actual research) dig deep enough, turn out to have come from some kind of trauma. Jon Ronson hasn't uncovered anything new, even though I have to commend him for his approach of compassion.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Audiobook narrated by Jon Ronson 3hrs 43mins 10 secs My second Audible original selection for January reunited me with Jon Ronson (The Butterfly Effect) who once again takes listeners to the backstage of the porn industry. As Jon and his producer delve into the death of the young porn star, August Ames( real name Mercedes Grabowski), my head was spinning from all the secrets, lies, and dare I say half-truths? What I think is very important about Ronson's work in both this and The Butterfly Audiobook narrated by Jon Ronson 3hrs 43mins 10 secs My second Audible original selection for January reunited me with Jon Ronson (The Butterfly Effect) who once again takes listeners to the backstage of the porn industry. As Jon and his producer delve into the death of the young porn star, August Ames( real name Mercedes Grabowski), my head was spinning from all the secrets, lies, and dare I say half-truths? What I think is very important about Ronson's work in both this and The Butterfly Effect is that it allows an industry that is often misrepresented and misunderstood the ability to tell their stories and point of views even if sometimes I wasn't totally sure I believed everything they said.
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  • Sonja Arlow
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 starsThis was one of the free Audible Original picks for January and is an audio documentary / podcast from the author of The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry. To be honest I think I was expecting an in-depth look at online/social media bullying when in reality it was an investigation into the porn industry and the sad death of a young woman who clearly had big issues to deal with.I have never found the porn industry disgusting or titillating, I find it deeply sad. All 2.5 starsThis was one of the free Audible Original picks for January and is an audio documentary / podcast from the author of The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry. To be honest I think I was expecting an in-depth look at online/social media bullying when in reality it was an investigation into the porn industry and the sad death of a young woman who clearly had big issues to deal with.I have never found the porn industry disgusting or titillating, I find it deeply sad. All of these people are scarred and maladjusted in some way, no matter how willing the participants are.The investigation also looked at spousal abuse, the smoke and mirrors of the porn industry and yes, a little bit of online bullying.So, although the book delivered what it set out to do it was not what I was expecting.
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  • Angus McKeogh
    January 1, 1970
    I can’t say enough about Ronson. Interesting, well-written, compassionate, thought-provoking. I’m not even going to dock any stars for this being audio only. Just bring me more of his stuff.
  • Kaitlin
    January 1, 1970
    This is a 7-part free series on Audible and I picked this up after listening to the Butterfly Effect by Jon Ronson. It's actually super quick to get through as each part is only about 30mins, but it's a look at the life of an A-list pornstar after she is found to have committed suicide on the day she was bullied online about some seemingly homophobic comments she made on social media.This is a story I hadn't heard of before Ronson investigated it, and it was one I immediately wanted to uncover t This is a 7-part free series on Audible and I picked this up after listening to the Butterfly Effect by Jon Ronson. It's actually super quick to get through as each part is only about 30mins, but it's a look at the life of an A-list pornstar after she is found to have committed suicide on the day she was bullied online about some seemingly homophobic comments she made on social media.This is a story I hadn't heard of before Ronson investigated it, and it was one I immediately wanted to uncover the answers for, but as these series are so short I feel like there once again was a feeling of only just scratching the surface. Ronson interviews a lot of people who were close to August, but many of these people we only hear for a minute or so and then he's onto the next one. I felt as if this was a bit too surface-level and I wanted more from some of the interviewees. The story does get a resolution, though maybe not the one you expect, and it's well researched overall, but I am not sure it satisfies the curiosity about the industry itself. If you want to know more about that I would say Butterfly Effect is a better series, but for a 'true crime' feeling (although there is not necessarily a crime here) this would suit more. 3*s from me.
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  • Erin *Help I’m Reading and I Can’t Get Up*
    January 1, 1970
    Jon Ronson and Neil Gaiman are 100% the reasons I listen to audiobooks. Those Welsh (actually maybe Gaiman is just straight English?) wonders have the most delicious whispery voices and i will listen to either of them read anything. Even, apparently, a weird long-form podcast about the porn industry.
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  • Tony
    January 1, 1970
    Another spectacular work by Mr Ronson. Listen to The Butterfly Effect first, then follow up with this tragic tale.
  • إدريس
    January 1, 1970
    الصحفي جون رونسون، تتبع حياة عاملة في مجال الإباحة انتهت بالإنتحار. يبين كيف هي حياة العاملين في هذا المجال البشع، الذي في العادة تكون ضحاياه من البنات الصغيرات.وثائقي اسود ومؤلم جداً، يبين احد الوجوه المؤلمة الكثيرة في حياة الغرب.
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  • Branden
    January 1, 1970
    The Last Days of August is a fascinating look inside a tragedy that most of the world ignored because it happened to a porn actress. Jon Ronson set out on this journey because he believed the reason the beautiful, 23-year old August Ames hanged herself in the woods was because of a social media "pile-on". That was enough to grab my attention, but what we're left with is so much more interesting than that, if no more fulfilling.August Ames was one of the more popular porn stars in the world when The Last Days of August is a fascinating look inside a tragedy that most of the world ignored because it happened to a porn actress. Jon Ronson set out on this journey because he believed the reason the beautiful, 23-year old August Ames hanged herself in the woods was because of a social media "pile-on". That was enough to grab my attention, but what we're left with is so much more interesting than that, if no more fulfilling.August Ames was one of the more popular porn stars in the world when she died, and was very active on social media. She was set to shoot a scene with someone that had done male-on-male pornography in the past, and she decided that she did not want to work with him. She took to social media after the company let her go for refusing to work with the male performer, and some in the industry took her tweet as homophobic, which unleashed the flood of criticism directly at her.She killed herself days later.Her husband, porn producer Kevin Moore, sent out a statement about a month later, publicly incriminating two porn stars in particular for her death. Like any story worth telling, though, there is so much more going on here than what first meets the eye.Ronson makes it clear very early on that he is not trying to frame this story as anything more than it is, and I admire that. It does take away from some of the tension that he could have otherwise created, but it's clear that Ronson is trying to keep the focus on the tragedy of the matter: a young, 23-year old girl is no longer with us because something drove her to take her own life. This is a profoundly sad story, but Ronson never draws fantastic conclusions for the sake of sensationalizing anything. He manages to give the story a fair look from every prespective he comes across, and then lets the facts guide August's story.This, much like Jingle Bell Pop, feels more like a podcast than a traditional audiobook. The story is made up of interviews from the major players in August's life, including her husband, her brother, her closest friends, and other personalities from the porn industry. The Last Days of August has a very similar feel to something like the Serial podcast, or even Criminal, as it really is a true crime story, even if there is not a traditional killer like in most of the genre. I am a huge fan of true stories like these, so I ate this entire thing up from start to finish.Whether you know, or care, who August Ames was, The Last Days of August is a story worth reading. It covers the value that some place on social media, the importance of self-evaluation, mental health issues plaguing the adult film industry, grief, uncertainty, and so much more. Jon Ronson does not provide a hell of a lot of answers, but shines a light on the facts as he finds them through his nearly year-long journey into the life, and untimely death, of August Ames.The Last Days of August is available this month (January, 2019) as a free Audible Original for members. 
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  • Jessica Frances
    January 1, 1970
    This was a really interesting listen. I didn't know this story before hearing this, but I thought it was portrayed well and in a way where it was just presenting the facts. I think many things from this will stick with me for a while. It brought up, and helped shine a light on, a lot of issues that I think need more attention. I definitely recommend to anyone who knew of August Ames, who is interested in hearing about what struggles and life this woman led, and anyone who is just looking to list This was a really interesting listen. I didn't know this story before hearing this, but I thought it was portrayed well and in a way where it was just presenting the facts. I think many things from this will stick with me for a while. It brought up, and helped shine a light on, a lot of issues that I think need more attention. I definitely recommend to anyone who knew of August Ames, who is interested in hearing about what struggles and life this woman led, and anyone who is just looking to listen to something different.
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  • John
    January 1, 1970
    Another recycled podcast from Audible's failed attempt at podcasting converted into an audiobook. However, unlike Twain's Feast the production values and research is top notch. Once you get past the subject matter (the porn industry) and the seriously screwed up people involved, Ronson conducted a surprisingly compassionate look at the suicide of a young actress. The only reason I give this 3 instead of 4 stars is the yuck factor.
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  • Tariq Mahmood
    January 1, 1970
    Jon has produced an absolutely riveting audio documentary on the current state of the porn industry. An environment where young girls who are casually encouraged to please men at a cost of their own emotional selves. The men in the porn industry are generally middle-aged but haven't really mentally aged beyond their teenage years. They are still watching porn and playing video games and are social recluses, whom working girls mistakenly assume to be father figures will look after their welfare. Jon has produced an absolutely riveting audio documentary on the current state of the porn industry. An environment where young girls who are casually encouraged to please men at a cost of their own emotional selves. The men in the porn industry are generally middle-aged but haven't really mentally aged beyond their teenage years. They are still watching porn and playing video games and are social recluses, whom working girls mistakenly assume to be father figures will look after their welfare. The documentary is emotionally painful to listen but gives a unique insight into the darkest corners of human behaviour. I am looking forward to the day when real porn stars are replaced by lifelike anime characters which is the only way to finally kill off this industry.
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  • Aerin
    January 1, 1970
    Jon Ronson investigates what he thinks is another instance of internet mob brutality of the kind he profiled in So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed: A porn star commits suicide after being harshly called out for her ostensibly homophobic tweets.It turns out there’s a lot more to the story, and all of it is depressingly sordid. As the victim’s husband, a porn producer, says: “You don’t get into this [industry] if you’re a well-adjusted human being.”
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  • CiderandRedRot
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not a fan of the generalization that all women working in porn have some kind of unresolved mental trauma and/or daddy issues. After all, porn is one of the few industries where the female performers' salaries far outstrip (pun not intended but left in...god, everything can be a pun when we're talking porn, eh?) that of their male co-stars. That said, as Ronson's latest foray into the porn world - after The Butterfly Effect - makes apparent, misogyny is still alive and kicking in the industr I'm not a fan of the generalization that all women working in porn have some kind of unresolved mental trauma and/or daddy issues. After all, porn is one of the few industries where the female performers' salaries far outstrip (pun not intended but left in...god, everything can be a pun when we're talking porn, eh?) that of their male co-stars. That said, as Ronson's latest foray into the porn world - after The Butterfly Effect - makes apparent, misogyny is still alive and kicking in the industry.In some ways, The Last Days of August works as an extended coda to two of Ronson's previous works about pornography (TBE) and online bullying (So You've Been Publicly Shamed). With his signature nerdish, somewhat naïf determination, Ronson looks into the suicide of successful actress August Ames, who hung herself in December 2017 after her Twitter post was deemed homophobic and invited swift rebuke from those both inside and outside of her industry.Invited to explore the topic by Ames' Svengali-like husband Kevin, Ronson and his producer quickly determine that the truth is not as simple as online bullying = suicide. In a world with a plethora of true crime podcasts, I appreciated that Ronson quickly debunked the possibility that Ames's death was more than a suicide; a lesser journalist could have easily teased the reveal out for an entire season. Ronson's sympathetic approach to people within the industry - always polite but not willing to entirely swallow (...pun?) their peddled bullshit - is in keeping with his self declared mandate for this piece: to get a clearer understanding of the personalities within this marginalized and misunderstood community. Ames's death is an entry point. Naturally, the truth is messier, sadder and more nuanced than the tagline suggests, with the porn performers running the human gambit from empowered to damaged but rarely victims, with even the figures a lazier podcast would cast as villainous coming across as somewhat fucked up. Rejecting lazy tropes, the porn world emerges as a complicated, problematic world that may attract performers that ascribe to the aforementioned generalizations, but cannot be entirely defined by them. Porn may be exploitative - the story of young women having to hold up their paychecks and swear on camera that they're not being abused with dull eyes, choking back tears, is horrible - but not any more so than the shitty parenting, fostering and neglectful mental health care they've suffered prior to arriving in Los Angeles.
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  • Simon
    January 1, 1970
    I love Jon Ronson's work and this was no exception. What I enjoy about his work is that he follows the story wherever it goes. This started out as an additional piece following on from his book on public shaming but this story soon turns into something else. WHat is so compelling about the Last Days of August is all the grey. There's no black and answers because what seems so obvious to an outsider becomes so complex when you speak to all the people in this woman's life. Not one person has the s I love Jon Ronson's work and this was no exception. What I enjoy about his work is that he follows the story wherever it goes. This started out as an additional piece following on from his book on public shaming but this story soon turns into something else. WHat is so compelling about the Last Days of August is all the grey. There's no black and answers because what seems so obvious to an outsider becomes so complex when you speak to all the people in this woman's life. Not one person has the same view. Every person is a varying shade of honest/dishonest, open/closed, caring/not caring. It shows how hard it is for investigators to get to the truth of an issue because things are never that simple. Only one person knows the truth about August and her state of mind, and sadly she's dead.
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  • Dawn Christoffersen
    January 1, 1970
    Following the suicide of young porn star August Ames, journalist Jon Ronson starts to unravel what really lay behind her tragic death. What on the surface looks to be a case of cyberbullying that pushed her over the edge, a topic Ronson has written a great deal about and his initial focus on the case, quickly turns into a complex look at the people closest to her and the much deeper root of August's demise. Thorough and unsensationalized, it's a chilling and very important scrutiny and I highly Following the suicide of young porn star August Ames, journalist Jon Ronson starts to unravel what really lay behind her tragic death. What on the surface looks to be a case of cyberbullying that pushed her over the edge, a topic Ronson has written a great deal about and his initial focus on the case, quickly turns into a complex look at the people closest to her and the much deeper root of August's demise. Thorough and unsensationalized, it's a chilling and very important scrutiny and I highly urge everyone to listen to it.
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  • Andrea Trenary
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this, since it was basically a 'true crime' esque podcast. And I love those. Listened to on Audible, glad I got this one.
  • robyn
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting because of the personalities involved; the disturbed and beautiful young women, the predatory and charismatic middle-aged men. If this were a murder, it writes itself. That's not the conclusion. So what makes a story about a suicide that turns out to be - a suicide, worth listening to? It's all about the people involved. In a book that's about a porn industry, the porn is bizarrely the incidental; it's only important because of the people drawn to work there.
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  • Gaurav Gupta
    January 1, 1970
    Listened to the books as it was part of January audible original series. Okay listen, but highlights a lot of insights and problems in the industry.
  • Kate Vane
    January 1, 1970
    In The Butterfly Effect, Jon Ronson dissected how technology shaped porn, which in turn shaped the internet, sexuality and arguably, all of us, whether we’ve looked at porn online or not.The Last Days of August is a much more low-key project, but none the less fascinating for that. It tells the story of the suicide of porn star August Ames, after she was subjected to a Twitter pile-on for posting about her unwillingness to work with male actors who also did gay porn.Her husband believed there wa In The Butterfly Effect, Jon Ronson dissected how technology shaped porn, which in turn shaped the internet, sexuality and arguably, all of us, whether we’ve looked at porn online or not.The Last Days of August is a much more low-key project, but none the less fascinating for that. It tells the story of the suicide of porn star August Ames, after she was subjected to a Twitter pile-on for posting about her unwillingness to work with male actors who also did gay porn.Her husband believed there was a clear causal relationship between the two, but as Ronson researches her death he uncovers a more nuanced picture.Many suggested this wasn’t a suicide at all, but Ronson states early on that this is not a murder mystery. If The Butterfly Effect was about what porn does to us, The Last Days of August sheds light on what the porn industry does to the people who work in it, and particularly to its young female stars.Although there is no big reveal, Ronson is a great storyteller and he isn’t averse to using the techniques of the true crime podcast. There are a number of hooks and twists. Unsurprisingly in the porn industry, there are people who disappear, who don’t want to talk or give their real name, who lie or contradict themselves or make accusations they can’t sustain.At the heart of it is what we learn about August, with contributions from her husband, friends and family. It is particularly poignant hearing clips of August telling her own story, taken from a podcast recorded shortly before she died.This is a beautifully told story about how a series of events led to one woman’s tragic death. It is a thoughtful and sensitive portrait of the porn world, but it also shows how events can escalate in any tight-knit community.Read more of my reviews on my blog https://katevane.com/blog/
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  • Christopher
    January 1, 1970
    Another Audible Original that's really a long-form magazine piece or podcast. This one attempt to uncover the reasons behind porn star August Ames' suicide in 2017 which was initialy attributed to social media bullying following her decision to not work with a male performer who had done gay porn. What comes across is a series of personalities that act like gossipy, catty, maladjusted high school students. Ronson quickly finds his "villain" in Ames' husband Kevin Moore, who comes across as manip Another Audible Original that's really a long-form magazine piece or podcast. This one attempt to uncover the reasons behind porn star August Ames' suicide in 2017 which was initialy attributed to social media bullying following her decision to not work with a male performer who had done gay porn. What comes across is a series of personalities that act like gossipy, catty, maladjusted high school students. Ronson quickly finds his "villain" in Ames' husband Kevin Moore, who comes across as manipulative, controlling, and an utter man-child (despite being nearly twice as old as Ames). Ultimately, the sense is one of hyperbole and chaos. In a world that presents a fantasy by exaggerating everything about itself, you find people that are drawn to that dynamic (wittingly or unwittingly) and are then drawn to each other. It's like a pool table where the balls never stop careening around and colliding into each other. The benefit of being able to listen to portions of the interviews of Ronson's subjects is that you can here directly their inflections, phrasings, and cadences...in addition to what they are saying. What you get is a sense that Ames was a beautiful, if fundamentally insecure (and bipolar), young woman who had multiple issues in her life such that an episode of cyber-bullying, while not the CAUSE, can't be ruled out as a contributing factor.
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  • Thomas
    January 1, 1970
    I would've picked this one up even if it hadn't been a free Audible Original. I can always count on Jon Ronson to take me on a fascinating journey through the parallel worlds of some very odd and eccentric (to be diplomatic) people. These stories never fail to be interesting though there is usually an undercurrent of darkness. This one is definitely no exception to that, it's very dark indeed, how the death of porn star August Ames, tragic enough on its own, spiraled out into a web of suffering. I would've picked this one up even if it hadn't been a free Audible Original. I can always count on Jon Ronson to take me on a fascinating journey through the parallel worlds of some very odd and eccentric (to be diplomatic) people. These stories never fail to be interesting though there is usually an undercurrent of darkness. This one is definitely no exception to that, it's very dark indeed, how the death of porn star August Ames, tragic enough on its own, spiraled out into a web of suffering.This story combined with "The Butterfly Effect," in which Ronson chronicled the impact of the internet on the porn industry, takes us on a fascinating journey through a world most of us never really see. I include the people who watch the stuff produced by that world. It's like a small town rocked with jealousy, betrayal, and gossip, while at the same time trying to pull together in the face of a world which marginalizes them and views them, often hypocritically, with contempt. This is a very sad and tragic story made all the more so by the painfully flawed and damaged people who are interwoven into it. How do we sort it all out? We can't. All we can really do is allow our shared humanity to guide us so we can try to understand. If only a little.
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  • Christie Bane
    January 1, 1970
    First of all, I can't stand Jon Ronson's voice. (If I have to listen to him pronounce the word "schedule" as "shed-ule" one more time, I think I am going to scream.) I almost didn't get this book because I knew he was the narrator. But in the end, it was free and it was a story about porn, so I got it anyway.It's an all-right story. This porn star August Ames killed herself by hanging herself from a tree in a park. It happened the day after August got a lot of social media hate for not wanting t First of all, I can't stand Jon Ronson's voice. (If I have to listen to him pronounce the word "schedule" as "shed-ule" one more time, I think I am going to scream.) I almost didn't get this book because I knew he was the narrator. But in the end, it was free and it was a story about porn, so I got it anyway.It's an all-right story. This porn star August Ames killed herself by hanging herself from a tree in a park. It happened the day after August got a lot of social media hate for not wanting to do a film with an actor that she knew had done gay porn in the past. The book investigates the question of who was the most responsible for August's death: the social media bullies? her older, controlling husband? the pressure of doing sex work for money?This book really doesn't answer the question. I think it's because the answer is: August Ames killed herself because she was depressed. Nothing more complicated than that. It's sad, but neither complicated nor interesting. All of Jon Ronson's investigation turned up nothing interesting or incriminating. I'm not sure why this book even had to be written.But still... let's face it, porn is interesting. It really is just another career, with all the complications of any career. Reading about it is interesting, and because of that, I still gave this book three stars. I am left with the conclusion that the porn world is full of people with issues who are mostly not very educated or very likable. Still, the glimpse inside it was fascinating.
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  • Camila Matamala
    January 1, 1970
    This books tells you the investigation made by Jon Ronson and his team following the days after the death of the pornstar August Ames. It talks about the importance of social media shaming, the difficulties of the porn industries and different aspects of the life of August Ames that could have been related to her death. Beware the story is for adults, since it has strong language and sexual references not anyone would be used to listening to in an audiobook.Pros:- This book really makes the most This books tells you the investigation made by Jon Ronson and his team following the days after the death of the pornstar August Ames. It talks about the importance of social media shaming, the difficulties of the porn industries and different aspects of the life of August Ames that could have been related to her death. Beware the story is for adults, since it has strong language and sexual references not anyone would be used to listening to in an audiobook.Pros:- This book really makes the most of the format (Audiobook) since you can listen the real statements of everyone that was interviewed for Jon Ronson's research. - It opened my eyes about the porn industry, in terms of how it is for female porn stars to start, make a living and stay on it. Cons:- I hated the voice of Jon Ronson... I mean absolutely despised it. At first I thought it was some actor faking an accent, but no... it's the actual author of the book. :( - The way the story develops it gets repetitive at times, mostly because they will tell you something like "then I remembered what X said about this event... -que X statement AGAIN-" I mean it's an audiobook we don't want to listen to the same thing more than once in the same book. A reference would've been enough.
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  • Michael
    January 1, 1970
    The Last Days of August is Jon Ronson’s followup to 2017’s The Butterfly Effect. That book explored the impact of the internet and more particularly streaming sites on the people involved in the production and distribution of pornography. Here, he takes a more focused approach and explores the circumstances leading up to the 2017 death of a famous porn actress, August Ames, ostensibly in the wake of a bullying campaign on social media.In this respect it ties into some of Ronson’s earlier work (p The Last Days of August is Jon Ronson’s followup to 2017’s The Butterfly Effect. That book explored the impact of the internet and more particularly streaming sites on the people involved in the production and distribution of pornography. Here, he takes a more focused approach and explores the circumstances leading up to the 2017 death of a famous porn actress, August Ames, ostensibly in the wake of a bullying campaign on social media.In this respect it ties into some of Ronson’s earlier work (particularly So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed), but it quickly moves past the headlines of twitter pile-ons into something darker, exploring the endemic presence of mental illness and substance abuse in the industry.Much like The Butterfly Effect, this reads a lot more like a podcast than a traditional audiobook, but Ronson is - as always - an engaging journalist and interviewer. He deals with difficult subject matter and grieving individuals with sensitivity and compassion.
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  • Raja Subramanian
    January 1, 1970
    This audio book is about August Ames, an actor in the adult film industry, who committed suicide in December 2017. Just prior to her suicide August Ames had tweeted something that was considered homophobic and there was a lot of abusive trolling. Her husband, Kevin Moore (who also worked in the adult film industry) attributed her death to excessive cyber bullying and went ahead and stated that Jessica Drake led the bullying and therefore responsible.Jon Ronson investigates the tragic life and de This audio book is about August Ames, an actor in the adult film industry, who committed suicide in December 2017. Just prior to her suicide August Ames had tweeted something that was considered homophobic and there was a lot of abusive trolling. Her husband, Kevin Moore (who also worked in the adult film industry) attributed her death to excessive cyber bullying and went ahead and stated that Jessica Drake led the bullying and therefore responsible.Jon Ronson investigates the tragic life and death of August Ames, especially whether it was indeed cyber bullying that caused her to commit suicide or whether mental illness contributed to it. It is not an easy subject to read about (or listen to). It does provide several insights into the life of people in the adult film industry. While cyber bullying may not have been the prime reason, there is strong evidence that cyber bullying is on the rise to monstrous levels.The people interviewed freely use the F-word in all forms – as noun, verb, adjective, adverb and more.
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  • Joshua Shioshita
    January 1, 1970
    What a crazy world the porn industry is. What starts out as a look into cyber bullying becomes a much darker reveal of an industry most know little of and the broken people who reside there. It has all the makings of some crazy murder mystery, but the truth and the solution is not nearly as clean and tidy as a fabricated story could create. There are no answers here, just a depressing glimpse into the close-knit porn community and the damaged people who call it family.
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  • Revellee
    January 1, 1970
    Multiple times in this book the author and narrator says he’s not telling a murder mystery yet he incessantly sets up each chapter, each transition, and each snippet of interview as if he is telling a murder mystery and some truth bomb is about to go off. And he spoon feeds it in an annoying manner, such as “I tell you this now because it becomes important later” or “this detail is important when we discuss such and such” sort of narration. Give the reader some credit for connecting dots on his Multiple times in this book the author and narrator says he’s not telling a murder mystery yet he incessantly sets up each chapter, each transition, and each snippet of interview as if he is telling a murder mystery and some truth bomb is about to go off. And he spoon feeds it in an annoying manner, such as “I tell you this now because it becomes important later” or “this detail is important when we discuss such and such” sort of narration. Give the reader some credit for connecting dots on his or her own. But then there aren’t really any dots to connect are there? He’s intentionally sensationalizing a story about a woman with a traumatic history and mental health issues who commits suicide. I gave a star for at least broaching a somewhat misunderstood and taboo industry with some professionalism and candor.
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  • amanda
    January 1, 1970
    I appreciate the intended respect with which sex workers and the subject of porn is treated, but there are still some unhelpful reductive stereotypes that get perpetuated and really no clear narrative in the end. One is left with the feeling that perhaps there was never any ‘there’ there. To me, it seems the real story is more the metanarrative of Ronson’s experience as a journalist: His initial assumptions, how he got off track, what biases may have influenced the path, and what the simpler ‘tr I appreciate the intended respect with which sex workers and the subject of porn is treated, but there are still some unhelpful reductive stereotypes that get perpetuated and really no clear narrative in the end. One is left with the feeling that perhaps there was never any ‘there’ there. To me, it seems the real story is more the metanarrative of Ronson’s experience as a journalist: His initial assumptions, how he got off track, what biases may have influenced the path, and what the simpler ‘truth’ ended up revealing, not only about the subjects, but about the storyteller as well.
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  • Sonia
    January 1, 1970
    somewhere between 3.5 stars to 4 stars. But 4 stars at the end because I'm still very much impressed by the way Jon Ronson can get people to talk to them and he manages to have empathy for the less likeable people he comes across. That was quite amazing. The Butterfly Effect was a better work in this form because it's less predictable and the web was definitely wider. This is an a lot more personal story.
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