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The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  2,570 ratings  ·  360 reviews
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There’s never been a career guide like The Adventures of Johnny Bunko by Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others). Told in manga—the Japanese comic book format that’s an international sensation—it’s the fully ill
Paperback, 160 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Riverhead Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Bob Redmond
May 15, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Sep 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Daniel Pink is one of my favorite authors and this is the last of his books I had yet to read. It is short and simple but provides a decent foundation of professional lessons.

The story is focused on six career lessons that begin with "There is No Plan" and end with "Leave an Imprint." While there were no new groundbreaking methods shared in The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, it was a quick, easy read and a reminder to take focus on what's important and what you derive value from in the workplace.
Akshay Parakkote
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
While listening to the Tim Ferriss show featuring Kevin Kelly whom Tim calls the world's most interesting person suggested this book for the persons whom are just starting out on their career for getting enough clarity and to avoid the common mistakes most make , hence I had to read it then itself cause I'm just starting out and don't want to screw up anything and I did complete this graphic manga novel in a single sitting cause it was actually a brief read and super interesting, it had some hil ...more
Jun 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Rizwan Latif
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Peter Derk
Aug 21, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Harshvardhan Beniwal
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finance, manga
Persistence trumps talent.

Good short read. Unconventional self-help, career guide!!

Recommended 👍
Jan 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Maya Senen
Jan 15, 2009 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was ok
This is a novel way to get students thinking about how to choose a career. Very wise advice.
Feb 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
I disagree with the title a bit - for those seeking a career guide, I’d say this one doesn’t go in-depth enough with its lessons to be “the last you’ll ever need”. However, whereas it’s a comic, I realize that to go more in-depth might be at a cost of being less entertaining and also that the choice of title may be a marketing tactic. I did enjoy it though and perhaps would’ve never imagined the comic medium being used to convey such messages so kudos to the author for such a unique creation. I ...more
Terry Johal
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016, nonfiction, career
2.5 stars

A quick read presented in a creative way. This book introduces six principles to keep in mind when thinking about career. I find the subtitle "the last career guide you'll ever need" kind of ironic because while the book introduces good principles, I think they need a bit more discussion in order for people to really see how to implement them in their lives. This is more like the career guide to start with rather than the last word. If you're someone who's willing to sit down and really
Eric Wallace
Oct 09, 2015 rated it it was ok
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 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Nov 06, 2009 added it
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. ...more
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
My introduction to the world of Manga! And also career guides! Insightful and simple! I should have read it when i was 21!
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Super fun quick read, but really insightful on career (and life) advice. Gives good examples for the 6 career secrets nobody has ever told you.
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: career
2 stars -- finished, but nothing special

Had it not been in a quick-read manga format, I would have given it 1 star ("did not finish").

I was hoping for some substantial career wisdom, something I could actually use during the next 30-something career years I have in front of me. But the book just feels dull. It's a low-quality pep talk about a guy leaving his boring accounting number-crunching job to get into marketing where he thinks outside of the box and comes up with a revolutionary product (
As I am rereading Mr. Pink's Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us for a PLN, I starting exploring some of his other works since I rated Drive 5/5 and To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others has been highly recommended to me; albeit, about five years ago. Johnny Bunko's adventures are sage snippets of career advice for those who are for the first time embarking on their professional journeys but also for those who want to make sure that they are still pursuing fu ...more
Andrew Mills
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I'd first heard of Daniel Pink when he published "A Whole New Mind", but this particular book wasn't on my radar until he mentioned it during his recent appearance on The Tim Ferriss podcast (03-25-2018). It's a departure from what I expect from DHP, and I somewhat like the idea behind delivering career advice dramatically through manga, but I can also see why it didn't catch on.

The artwork is decent, and it's a quick read-- easily done in a single sitting. The dramatic story feels a bit like a
Susan Chow-Dukhan
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Presented in manga format, The Adventures of Johnny Bunko is an easy to read, entertaining book that provides career advice. Johnny Bunko is stuck in a dead-end job. One night, while working late, he finds himself in possession of magical, disposable chopsticks. Every time he snap apart a set of chopsticks, Diana, a strange woman shows up, to answer career questions.
The advice Johnny receives is; there is no plan, think strength not weaknesses, it's not about you, persistence trumps talent, make
Ameya Joshi
Jun 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book probably won't change your life but it's a very cool way to actually provide sensible career advice in an un-pretentious and un-pompous manner. Agreed that most of it tends towards motherhood statements ('Make excellent mistakes' anyone?) but that doesn't mean they're invalid...

I would probably have appreciated it fresh out of college, but even later some of these pieces of advice are useful and they're explained in a succinct manner without it seeming like some old fogey is farting
Ian Khan
Nov 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Really like the format of using a graphic novel to share the top 5 career insights Daniel Pink determine to be required to lead a successful career. Some of which are probably cliché (you've heard them before) and others might be counter to your beliefs.

It isn't as riveting or as in-depth as his other books, but I think that's by design. The illustrations and the messaging are clear, easy-to-follow and leave a lasting impression.

Probably won't answer all your existential questions or thoughts on
Jeshua Aswin
Jun 05, 2021 rated it liked it
This review would resonate well with anyone who is reading their first manga story. The story is pure fiction yet they address different horizons in career guidance. If you're looking for a fun ride, you can bet on this one as it wouldn't take more than 45 minutes to finish reading. The guidance is loosely based without much credibility. It squeaks vague ideas but might work when perceived from a broader perspective. Simple takeaways:

1. There is no plan.

2. Think strengths, not weaknesses.

3. It'
Son Nguyen
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is quite useful for fresh graduates who are bored and seek some career advice. There are 6 advice from the book:

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

I can learn a lot from these 6 lessons, sometimes it's easier said than done, however, the context of the book is extremely familiar with new graduate, I strongly recommend them to read this book before working for their first job.
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Instead of your a-typical career guide, Johnny Bunko will introduce you to a couple points that are rarely discussed in the how-to-world. Like not having a plan. You may need to ponder this one before moving on to the next course of action. Pink stays clear from the top-ten list of regurgitated information, which is very comforting.

I dig the artwork and more importantly I love all authors that are able to convey a message through a graphic novel. Short read with great insight!


The last less
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: manga, howto, business
Cute, fast read that helps frame some life lessons / career advice. Probably useful for anyone in their early 20s struggling with "what should I do with my life?" but not nearly as good or as deep as "So Good They Can't Ignore You," which I would recommend instead of this.

But given that you can read this book in an hour or so, I might give both. And the manga format is fun.

Lesson summary from the book:

1. There is no plan
2. Think strengths, not weakness
3. It's not about you
4. Persistence trumps t
Faris Samawi
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

This book has some good career advice, or at least, some advice that most modern career books would agree with (I personally struggle with combing the focus-on-strengths one with the persistence-trumps-talent one: how do you know when something just requires persistence versus when something is actually a weakness?). The manga format is an interesting way to present it and because it's a manga format it can't be too long and thus it's rather simple and gets to the point pretty quick.
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Daniel H. Pink is the author of six provocative books — including his newest, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.

WHEN has spent 4 months on the New York Times bestseller list and was named a Best Book of 2018 by Amazon and iBooks.

Dan's other books include the long-running New York Times bestseller A Whole New Mind and the #1 New York Times bestsellers Drive and To Sell is Human. His

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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…