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The Last Days of August

Length: 3 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (434 ratings)
Regular price: £22.89
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Summary

Please note: This audio features sexual content, adult language, and references to suicide and violence that may be upsetting to some listeners. Discretion is advised.

As an Audio Show - free for members - when you add The Last Days of August to your library, you'll get all 7 episodes, each with a runtime of about 25 minutes.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please call the Samaritans on 116 123. This number is free to call, any time, from any phone.

©2019 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2019 Audible Originals, LLC

Go behind the scenes with Jon Ronson

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What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Ronson is the Real Deal!

I've listened to a few of Ronson's shows now including The Butterfly Effect which also covers the porn industry albeit from a very different angle. The depth and quality of research and the presentation is top notch. More importantly so is the apparent journalistic integrity which I noted in this one includes not setting false expectations.

This one I also found pretty compelling listening as Ronson guided us through a fairly complex cast of characters and situations. This journalist demonstrates his lack of bias and open-minded nature as he follows what seems at the start like a simple case of online bullying into the murky depths of the darker side of the porn industry.

The reason that I didn't mark this one as highly is twofold. Firstly I found it very hard to empathise with most of the people being interviewed with one or two of them seeming to be in competition to get the most f-words per minute into their answers but more importantly, they seemed very self-obsessed. Secondly, and mostly because he's such a good journalist and would not stop digging I don't think Ronson got quite the story he was hoping for when the truth was revealed. That said, the ending is powerful and sadly a little disturbing.

It is still a very human story, it offers further insight into this rather unique aspect of the film industry and I enjoyed listening to it despite those few reservations.

26 of 33 people found this review helpful

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Pathos & Bathos

I am drawn in by Jon’s colourful and dramatic promise of shocking revelation, but ultimately disappointed in what was finally revealed which was ultimately very little other than sordid inuendo. He announces early on that this story would NOT be about murder, so you think what could be a more shocking outcome than this? You hang in there listening to his voice dripping with insightful discernment, and the occasional aside along the lines of “before I tell you that, I want to tell you something he said”. You sit forward thinking “oi oi, here we go”, but no, nothing much really and then this is followed later by “come here till I tell you what happened nexts” and “you won’t believe this’s” till finally there isn’t really much at all.

A lot of people Jon spoke to had a lot of opinions about August Ames, her untimely and tragic death and her husband, who - understandably in my view - seemed well sick of Jon Ronson and his team by the end of the project and I was surprised that he stuck it out for as long as he did. He is neither established fully as the villain of the piece, nor as a grieving hero, but he is left stained by insinuation and thinly veiled suggestions of being a controlling bully, without any satisfactory evidence in my view other than the word of people who certainly do not come across as trustworthy in much of their commentary.

Having said all that, Jon does at least seem to include a lot of varied views in the book, some of which are scathingly and articulately critical of him and to his credit, he includes them and doesn’t dwell too much on defending himself or his endeavour but instead let’s them have their say and continues on. So at least those dissenting voices are there to give some of us the freedom to be critical of Jon and in fairness, this gives a nod towards some semblance of balance.

But in the end, I felt a little silly for taking Jon Ronson as seriously as I did. I was taken in by his mousy dulcet tones and I gave too much credit to his faux-bookish insight into humanity. This was a collection of conversations with a lot of flawed, damaged people working in an industry that must take a toll on one’s mental health and personality.

Overall, this model of seven chapters, each with the same saccharin spiel by Jon at the beginning and end becomes very irritating by chapter 2. I find his brand of mournful bathos mixed in with pseudo investigative journalism - like some kind of monastic Colombo - dubious.

But worst of all, is that accompanying MUZAK - that media device that is the curry sauce and melted cheese covering up the cheaper cuts of journalistic meat. That is the most damning of the whole thing. It nudges the weak-minded and the gullible along this path of non-intrigue. One can picture a huge factory full of ex-cocktail bar key-board players finding that there’s decent money to be made churning out accompanying soundtracks to pathos in the “nudging” industry.

The great stories on Audible don’t need ‘muzakial’ accompaniment and this one certainly doesn’t benefit from it.

20 of 26 people found this review helpful

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Exceptional

I was a big fan of Jon Ronson’s work, so when I discovered The Butterfly Effect, I was keen to listen. It was absolutely entrancing. I listened to the whole thing in a day.

This new story is sort of a pseudo sequel in that it stays in the same world to tell a tragic story of a young woman’s death, that was left unreported in the mainstream media. I urge you to give it a listen, and learn about the Last Days of August.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

An interesting and thrilling documentary told with respect and diligence. Love Jon Ronson - more please!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Sensitive, engaging, heartbreaking & brilliant

I’m so impressed with how Jon Ronson handled this heartbreaking story. At many points he could have demonised some of the people involved to ramp up the excitement & to add some juicy sensationalism, but he didn’t - instead allowing us to appreciate the complexity & humanity of everyone involved. If only the mainstream press could treat people with this amount of care & research stories with as much empathy & diligence. They could learn a lot from Mr Ronson.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Well written and sensitive

An interesting and well written exploration into a personal tragedy with sensitivity and honesty. Would definitely recommend for insight into the porn industry and the people immersed in it.

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another great production from Jon Ronson

I'm late to the Jon Ronson party. I've been aware of him on Twitter for a few years but it was on the podcast my dad wrote a porno that I first heard him. I loved his voice, his tone and his thoughts so immediately listened to The Butterfly Effect. When I started my audible subscription, I got so you've been publicly shamed and am now on this. I love it. How it all carries on from the other podcasts and continues the narratives heard previously.

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couldn't stop until it finished

Narrator great and easy to listen to even though the subject was hard to talk about.

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A sensitive look at an intriguing person

Love Ronsons work. He has such an artistic view of journalism and how to use it. His work is always thought provoking and if you are squeamish, the porn is incidental to the humanity.

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Ronson superb as usual

Interesting look into a bizarre world. Love a bit of Ronson and this doesn't disappoint, he is one of modern day's best storytellers.