Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £22.49

Buy Now for £22.49

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

From the author of the New York Times bestseller Mind Wide Open comes a groundbreaking assessment of popular culture as it's never been considered before: through the lens of intelligence.

Forget everything you’ve ever read about the age of dumbed-down, instant-gratification culture. In this provocative, unfailingly intelligent, thoroughly researched, and surprisingly convincing book, Steven Johnson draws from fields as diverse as neuroscience, economics, and media theory to argue that the pop culture we soak in every day - from Lord of the Rings to Grand Theft Auto to The Simpsons - has been growing more sophisticated with each passing year, and, far from rotting our brains, is actually posing new cognitive challenges that are actually making our minds measurably sharper. You will never regard the glow of the video game or television screen the same way again.

©2006 Steven Johnson (P)2006 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Persuasive...The old dogs won’t be able to rest as easily once they’ve read Everything Bad is Good for You, Steven Johnson’s elegant polemic.... It’s almost impossible not to agree with him. (Walter Kirn, The New York Times Book Review)

"A thought-provoking argument that today's allegedly vacuous media are, well, thought provoking...A brisk, witty read, well versed in the history of literature and bolstered with research...Johnson, it turns out, still knows the value of reading a book. And this one is indispensable." (Time)

"There is a pleasing eclecticism to [Johnson’s] thinking. He is as happy analyzing Finding Nemo as he is dissecting the intricacies of a piece of software ... Johnson wants to understand popular culture…in the very practical sense of wondering what watching something like The Dukes of Hazzard does to the way our minds work." (Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker)

What listeners say about Everything Bad Is Good for You

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 15-01-18

great material, but outdated.

If you are truly interested in the topics of this book, there are many more modern adaptations of the idea that have taken this research further.

It was a great book, and I believe the author was ahead of the curve at the time, but when he is talking about technology, we are leaps and bounds ahead of where he mentions in the book.

Although it is somewhat comforting to validate the information.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for stacey nelson
  • stacey nelson
  • 17-03-18

nice to hear "the rest of the story"

I like how Johnson doesn't make bold claims just solid claims that can be backed up with his research.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jasson
  • Jasson
  • 18-05-15

Smart people… it must be TV and video games!

Would you recommend Everything Bad Is Good for You to your friends? Why or why not?

No. It's references are dated.

Was Everything Bad Is Good for You worth the listening time?

Not worth the time. It's an interesting idea and I'm sure parts of it are true however he provides little proof to support his theory. The book is full of "I think" and "I suspect" without backing up his assumptions.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paul
  • Paul
  • 22-05-21

compelling

interesting read with compelling arguments that were easy to read (or listen to) with an underpinning of hard science.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kico M
  • Kico M
  • 20-01-20

Insisghtful

It is a very interesting and insightful book. Johnson is able to link good cases with his hypostases of the evolution of the mind. In addition, as a father, is a relief to know that video games and TV might be good for kids.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for liz
  • liz
  • 28-11-16

Skips sections

Periodically the audio book will skip over a sentence in the book. It also skipped four pages (109-113 depending on your book copy)

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Citizen
  • Citizen
  • 27-04-16

a good cultural commentary, a little redundant

Maybe it's because he's preaching to the choir in my case, but there were sections of this book that seemed a bit obvious and superfluous to his thesis. That said, there is plenty in this book that I would want everyone to read. The fashionable self deprecation in our culture should stop and this book gives good reasons why it should stop.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sean
  • Sean
  • 07-12-15

Wish he had more to say.

Great content. The author's points need to be heard. I only wish he would bring up more than just games and TV, or at least he could have delve deeper. He could have talked more about the change in crime rates, the similarities to work life, and more about user-created content.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jay Quintana
  • Jay Quintana
  • 29-03-15

Wanted to love this, but, not convinced.

Would you try another book from Steven Johnson and/or Jason Culp?

Yes to both. Johnson writes well and Culp's narration breezes along. It was an easy listen. Alas, I just wasn't convinced of the author's claims that watching TV and playing video games has made us smarter. In fact, I'm not convinced that the people who say these things dumb us down are wrong. Believe me, as someone who's watched and played more than my share of TV and video games, I would like nothing more than to agree with the author.

Did Everything Bad Is Good for You inspire you to do anything?

Frankly, it made me think of watching less TV and playing fewer video games.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Pekka
  • Pekka
  • 05-11-12

Interesting, a little spread out

Interesting, fun and varied.
[Audible: I would rather use the guided review form, but if you then ask me to give three describing words, try first removing the minimum limit of 15 words, okay?]

1 person found this helpful