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The Adventures of Johnny Bunko

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  1,865 Ratings  ·  295 Reviews
From a New York Times, BusinessWeek, and Washington Post bestselling author comes a first-of-its- kind career guide-for a new generation of job seekers. There's never been a career guide like it-the fully illustrated story (ingeniously told in Manga form) of a young Everyman just out of college who lands his first job. Johnny Bunko is new to parachute company Boggs Corp., ...more
ebook, 160 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Riverhead Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Bob Redmond
May 15, 2009 Bob Redmond rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphica
Reading the NY Times Magazine one Sunday, Amy asked over the breakfast table: "have you ever heard of Daniel Pink?" I had not. She insisted that I get his books and read them. The article she was reading (on early childhood education) cited Pink on the importance of creativity to our contemporary culture. The article addressed kids in particular (for instance, said the report: even if kids test high on academic achievement at age 5, this is no indicator of future academic success, and may even r ...more
Jun 12, 2011 Poonam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think art work was good and narrative was fine. But, by way of content, I found it bit superficial. It has 6 take-aways that when it comes to one's career:

1. There is no plan.
2. Think strengths, not weakness. (That is work what you are good at rather than where you have to work on weaknesses.)
3. It's not about you. (Contribute to team, project et al.)
4. Persistence trumps talent. (No, it doesn't contradict 2. Think about it.)
5.Make excellent mistakes.
6. Leave an imprint (wherever you go).

The b
Huyền Trang
Jun 04, 2017 Huyền Trang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help, skills
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peter Derk
It's back to school time!

Guys. I hated school. Like to the point that I can't even step foot in a Target between August and September because I get the dry heaves.

So this book has some okay career advice. I mean, it's good, it's just that advice is always hard to take. I appreciate the attempt to make it palatable, and I do think it offers one good point, which is that you should pursue stuff you're interested in, even if it doesn't have a strong A to B career path. Because hell, you probably wo
Jan 01, 2009 Jaymi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
(Adapted from
Last month, I was reading an article about Daniel Pink and how he went to Japan to study the art and culture surrounding Japanese comics, otherwise known as manga. He was interested in the format's popularity; this was a book format that people of all ages enjoyed reading. He studied the culture and the form to see how it could be applied to other disciplines successfully. The Adventures of Johnny Bunko is the result of that study. This introductory guide on life
Rizwan Latif
Feb 02, 2016 Rizwan Latif rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Adventures of Johnny Bunko is written in Manga-the Japanese comic book style by bestselling author Daniel Pink. I completed this book in just 45 minutes. I just loved the concept adopted by the author to deliver key points in a comic format without compromising the prose style. The book is enjoyable to read.
The synopsis of this book is the following 6 points:
1. There is no plan. Do what you love to do. Sticking to a infinite plan is not advisable. Do what motivates you, what excites you. An
Jan 15, 2009 Maya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For what this is- this book is brilliant.

What it is? It's a self-help career guide. Mr. Pink, a former White House speech writer, elected to use the Manga storytelling style to reach his specified audience in a unique way. His justification- Why we read a book if you can do a google search?

In 6 deliberately fast reading segments, Pink discusses the following principles:
1. There is no plan
2. Think strengths- not weaknesses
3. It's not about you
4. Persistence trumps talent
5. Make excellent mistake
Jan 28, 2010 Jackie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a novel way to get students thinking about how to choose a career. Very wise advice.
Ibrahim Niftiyev
Conni Banko "Boggs Corp"a yenicə işə düzəlib. O, gecə-gündüz çalışır, indiyədək böyüklər tərəfindən deyilən hər şeyə əməl edib, bütün qaydalara da riayət edib, lakin bir gün onun qapısını döyən böhran ona yanaşmaları haqqında yenidən düşüncələrə dalmağa vadar edir. Görəsən, ona deyilən hər şey düzmü olub? Haradansa onu gəlib tapan pəri ona 6 qızıl dərs verir. Bu dərslər sayəsində Conni özünü və arzuladığı karyeranı adım-addım tikməyə başlayır, iş həyatına özünəməxsus yanaşmasını formalaşdırır. B ...more
Terry Johal
Jul 23, 2015 Terry Johal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is this book about?
This is manga about a young man who has begun his job after leaving university. He is struggling and lacking in motivation in his job. A life coaching angel comes his way who he can then summon by breaking disposable chopsticks! She gives him six chopsticks and each time he breaks one, she turns up to give him one axiom of wisdom. Each axiom helps him take the next step of his career, but but this step inevitably needing to break another chopstick to get another axiom to
Eric Wallace
A few paragraphs of career advice wrapped into lots of unnecessary... manga.

Okay, so I'm not a fan, but I thought there was a chance it would be interesting. Turns out it's more the after-school-special kind of pandering, what adults feel that "young people these days" might like. Starting off by assuming your audience are morons who will identify with the loser hero of the story did not get me started on the right foot.

Thankfully, Dan Pink has written plenty of other normal non-fiction books fo
Sep 14, 2011 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite graphic novels. Johnny Bunko shows different kinds of tips for you to getting a job. It's a pretty interesting book including tons of conflicts and advice. I would say this book is one of my favorites because I enjoy graphic novels, and I enjoyed the plot. I don't want to ruin this for you guys, so I'd recommend for you to read it. Fun, interesting, and entertaining book.
For its length, the best career book I've read. Combines the latest in "how to find a job you'll do well at - and do it well" in a succinct story in manga format. A good concept, well executed.
Jul 01, 2014 Hriday rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My introduction to the world of Manga! And also career guides! Insightful and simple! I should have read it when i was 21!
Faris Samawi
May 06, 2017 Faris Samawi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book after watching a Pinkcast on the same topic (

The book / comic is a quick read - took all of an hour. The lessons found within appear simplistic but will take longer to implement and research further.

I recommend this book as an entertaining read but with the caveat that one needs to put in the time to think through and apply the 6 lessons.
May 13, 2017 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of career advice and leadership books, watched an embarrassing number of TED talks, but when I need a boost to refocus and recharge and remember the lessons of much longer books, I pick this up again. it is quick, succinct, and spot on. entertaining and informative.
Mar 25, 2017 L rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very fun manga book outlining 6 principles.

1. There is no plan.
2. Think strengths, not weaknesses.
3. It's not about you.
4. Persistence trumps talent.
5. Make excellent mistakes.
6. Leave an imprint.

This really distinguishes itself from other books by it's lighthearted, yet wisdom filled approach to having a meaningful career.
Vicki (The Wolf's Den)
Nov 30, 2011 Vicki (The Wolf's Den) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Vicki by: Kevin Smallwood
~ Amazon ~ Powell's ~

My dad picked this up as he was perusing the bookshelves at Goodwill. I was pretty surprised when I saw it since he primarily reads only non-fiction, and definitely not picture books. But he said he'd heard good things about it, and had read the author before. So I shrugged and didn't think any more of it.

A week or two passes and he shows up with it again. Says I would really enjoy it and get some good advice out of it. I grabbed it, mostly for my sister who's a huge manga e
Estevo Raposo
Jun 04, 2012 Estevo Raposo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Con el subtítulo de “la única guía que necesitarás para tu futuro” y el corolario de “El primer libro empesarial con formato de manga” Empresa Activa publica Las aventuras de Johny Bunko, un comic que cuenta una historia escrita por Daniel H. Pink y dibujada por Rob Ten Pas. En ella, Johny Bunko tiene la suerte de que la fantastica e increible Diana, que aparece cada vez que separa unos palillos de Sushi, le transmite seis secretos esenciales para el triunfo. Son estos.

1.-No hay un plan. No pued
Barry Davis
Feb 16, 2016 Barry Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Subtitled “The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need,” this intriguing little book is written in manga (Japanese word for comics, read all over Japan on a variety of topics). Clearly written to connect the newer workforce (the style is illustrated comic book panels with the narrative in bubbles, etc.), it is nonetheless quite insightful, humorous and extremely practical in its focus.
The protagonist, Johnny Bunko (his adventures continue at is in a dead-end job as a “bean counte
Aug 18, 2008 Nicholas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Almothana Alghunaim
Before I start :D, I just realized that the author is the same speaker who gave a famous TED talk, The Puzzle of Motivation: that has been illustrated in a second famous video: which in fact was an interesting fact :D

Now back to the book :D

The book delivers a great career advice in a beautiful "manga" style. You follow the main character, Johnny Bunko, through a wonderful adventure while discovering new journeys in
Mary Lewis
Funny enough, I read this at work. While working. Still finished it in under an hour. (I'm a great employee.)

It reaffirmed a lot for me, specifically that I still don't want to end up in some kind of corporate office. Like... the setting and the plot, largely irrelevant devices for conveying real-world advice that they were, actually heightened my anxiety a little. I figured out before I even started job hunting that I want to end up in music and dance, that going the "conventional" path and do
Jeffrey Pfaller
Sep 03, 2015 Jeffrey Pfaller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
And now, for something completely different.

I’ve been bingeing on Tim Ferriss’ podcast for a few months now (Seth Godin and Scorpion founder Walter O’Brien will straight up blow your mind). Every episode he asks his guests which books have been most influential to them, and which one they give most often as gifts.

The result – I’ve got a huge backlog of non-fiction books to pore through. This one isn’t your standard NYT-bestseller-with-esoteric-title-and-person-in-mid-power-move cover.

The Adventu
Jarrett Bell
'Cause why else would you not want to read a short & succinct manga book with a clear and expressive career advice?! Excellent. Not just generic "reach for the stars" book, with concrete examples. Easy to read in one sitting.
May 25, 2010 Klara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Recent high school graduates, especially future humanities majors.
Shelves: manga
I've noticed reviewers on several websites criticizing this volume because it offers only "obvious" or "common sense" sort of advice for succeeding at work. This might be true for people who have spent enough time in the working world to pick up on which particular traits lead to success and which to failure; college students and anyone else just starting a career, however, need not agree. As a college student with no real work experience myself, I found the book's advice useful. It is true that ...more
Marian Abou Samra
Apr 27, 2014 Marian Abou Samra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is more of a business book which helps someone that hasn't lived in the outer world yet. I say this because in the first part of the book, which introduces the main character Johnny Bunko, he hates his job so much but can't do anything about it. He sits at work and spends all of his time at this job he hates. In the graphic novel, they inform you that "bunkoing" means screwing up. His work is to collect balance sheets but he always messes up, or "bunkos" them. He needs to find a new view to ...more
May 31, 2010 Caren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Told in the style of Japanese manga, this is Daniel Pink's advice to high school/college students or other young people just beginning their careers. When Johnny visits a Japanese restaurant and breaks apart his wooden chopsticks, a magic girl, Diana, materializes to offer him advice. She tells him that when he needs help, he need only snap apart another pair of chopsticks and she will appear. During the course of the book and her appearances, Pink chalks up six pieces of advice for those plotti ...more
May 09, 2010 Reid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall: Like Pink's other works, the revelations of Johnny Bunko aren't quite as revolutionary as I anticipated. High expectations aside, however, this is a good little story that makes some broad but insightful points about career paths and uses a new medium (manga) to do it. The artwork is good (Rob Ten Pas is the artist) and surprisingly funny. I actually laughed aloud several times, just because of a goofy illustration, like when Johnny gets clocked with a stapler. The book has fun with its ...more
Jan 02, 2012 Wendy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I LOVE the overall message of this book! So many people think that they have to take a certain career path that really isn't necessarily the best thing for them. This book gives six lessons that help clarify how someone should approach career decisions. As I read it, I realized that I've been following this exact guidance my whole life when it comes to business/career decisions. The fun thing about this book, is that it's written in comic book form, and so it's really great for a teenage audienc ...more
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Daniel H. Pink is the author of a trio of provocative, bestselling books on the changing world of work: A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, and Free Agent Nation. His next book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, will be published in 2010.

Dan's articles on business and technology appear in many publications, including The
More about Daniel H. Pink...

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“Persistence trumps talent.
What's the most powerful force in the universe? Compound interest. It builds on itself. Over time, a small amount of money becomes a large amount of money. Persistence is similar. A little bit improves performance, which encourages greater persistence which improves persistence even more. And on and on it goes.
Lack of persistence works the same way -- only in the opposite direction.
Of course talent is important, but the world is lit erred with talented people who didn't persist, who didn't put in the hours, who gave up too early, who thought they could ride on talent alone. Meanwhile, people who might have less talent pass them by.
That's why intrinsic motivation is so important. Doing things not the get an external reward like money or a promotion, but because you simple like doing it. The more intrinsic motivation you have , the more likely you are to persist. The more you persist, the more likely you are to succeed.”
“Make excellent mistakes.
Too many people spend their time avoiding mistakes. They're so concerned about being wrong, about messing up, that they never try anything -- which means they never do anything. Their focus is avoiding failure. But that's actually a crummy way to achieve success. The most successful people spectacular mistakes -- huge, honking screwups! why? They're trying to do something big, but each time they make a mistake, they get a little better and move a little closer to excellence.
Making mistakes seems risky. It is/ But it's more risky not to.
I'm not talking about random, stupid, thoughtless blunders, though. I'm talking about good mistakes.
Mistakes come from having high aspirations, from trying to do something nobody else has done.”
More quotes…