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The Last Days of August

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  1,948 ratings  ·  280 reviews
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
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Audiobook, 150 pages
Published January 3rd 2019 by Audible Studios
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3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,948 ratings  ·  280 reviews


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Tatiana
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, non-fiction
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
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Erin
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it
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
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Sonja Arlow
2.5 stars

This 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
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Angus McKeogh
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Erin *Help I’m Reading and I Can’t Get Up*
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.
Kaitlin
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it
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
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Tony
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another spectacular work by Mr Ronson. Listen to The Butterfly Effect first, then follow up with this tragic tale.
إدريس
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible, journalism
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.
Julie
Jan 31, 2019 rated it did not like it
DNF. This has no point. It's not sufficiently about anything it reports to be - not enough about cyber bullying, or suicide, or mental health, or abuse, or porn, or anything. If it's one thing it's about 3 hours of gossip.
Branden
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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Cheri
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is my second audiobook by Jon Ronson focused on some aspect of the pornography industry and I truly love his style. In The Last Days of August, he digs into the apparent suicide of 23-year-old porn star August Ames. Frankly, this is the only access I plan to have into the business and I'm glad that Ronson and his producer, Lena (not sure of the spelling because it's an audiobook...) spend months tracking people down and interviewing a good many people in an effort to paint a picture of not ...more
Sadie
Interesting and quite compelling. Ronson looks into the suicide of August Ames, an adult movie star, who apparently took her life after online bullying. Only, was this the only reason? The story unfolding says otherwise, even though this isn't a classcial true crime (in a sense of whodunnit) tale. It's more a general look at the porn industry, its players and relations.

I really enjoyed the way the story was unfolding, it was quite revealing to see who spoke to Ronson, when, and what they said. V
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Jessica Frances
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 ...more
John
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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.
Tariq Mahmood
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Aerin
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
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.”
Dawn Christoffersen
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
CiderandRedRot
Jan 10, 2019 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Simon
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Andrea Trenary
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
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.
Revellee
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
robyn
Jan 10, 2019 rated it liked it
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.
Gaurav Gupta
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
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.
Mehrsa
Jan 07, 2019 rated it liked it
I really liked Ronson's book on shame so I thought this audiobook would be a nice follow-up and I get the sense that he did too, but then the story is not what he thinks it is and then he tries to make it a murder mystery and digs himself a hole and then he tries to save himself from it by coming up with some banal lessons.

But I did think the view into the business of the porn industry and the interviews with some of the women was really interesting
David
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Small town girls, tweet mobs, porn stars
Jon Ronson, a journalist who writes a lot about social media and contemporary culture, has done pieces on the porn industry before, with The Butterfly Effect, but I think this was a better work, as it's the result of a year-long investigation focused on a single individual's story. Compiled from a podcast series into an Audible original, it's a combination of narrative and interviews, in which Ronson speaks candidly about his ethical qualms at various points during the investigation.

The subject
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Daria
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I chose this book from the monthly selection of free Audible listens. I have to admit, I was reluctant to chose it: I find porn and porn industry a disturbing subject and tend to shield myself from it, as more often than not the writers and journalists who attempt to cover the subject end up exoticising the women involved, or moralising or building a delusional "they are all very happy adults living the life of their dreams" narrative.

However, I was intrigued by the very high reader evaluation
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Tara♥
This was very insightful actually. I think Jon taking on the story was beneficial to the people that I think were wrongly accused of causing August's death. I think the most important insight was that August was mentally unwell and the pile on she received may have pushed her over the edge but there were many, many underlying factors.

I think her husbands accusation of Jessica Drake was incredibly irresponsible and downright cruel. I also find it ironic that a man claiming his wife killed herself
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Kate Vane
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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Christopher
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it
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
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Thomas
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
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Jon Ronson is a writer and documentary filmmaker. His work includes the international bestsellers Them: Adventures With Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats, which was adapted into a major motion picture starring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges.

A contributor to The Guardian, Ronson is the author of the columns "Human Zoo" and "Out of the Ordinary". He writes and p
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