The Last Days of August by Jon Ronson

The Last Days of August

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 his wife. What neither Kevin nor Ronson realized was that Ronson would...

Details The Last Days of August

TitleThe Last Days of August
Release DateJan 3rd, 2019
PublisherAudible Studios
GenreNonfiction, Audiobook, Crime, True Crime

Reviews The Last Days of August

  • Tatiana
    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...
  • Sam Quixote
    In December 2017, pornstar August Ames (real name Mercedes Grabowski) found out that she was scheduled to shoot a scene with a male performer who had previously done gay porn and not been subsequently tested. As a result, she refused to perform in the scene and tweeted out this refusal and explanation to her followers on Twitter. This immediately led to a series of intense tweets from people calling her homophobic, demanding her to apologise and,...
  • Erin
    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 ab...
  • Sonja Arlow
    2.5 starsThis 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 di...
  • Angus McKeogh
    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
    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...
  • Julie
    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.
  • Tony
    Another spectacular work by Mr Ronson. Listen to The Butterfly Effect first, then follow up with this tragic tale.
  • Branden
    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...
  • Mehrsa
    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 interes...
  • Cheri
    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 m...
  • 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 se...
  • John
    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
    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...
  • Aerin
    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 hum...
  • Dawn Christoffersen
    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 ...
  • Revellee
    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 narrat...
  • David
    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 va...
  • CiderandRedRot
    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, ...
  • Simon
    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 peo...
  • Andrea Trenary
    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.
  • robyn
    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 pe...
  • Gaurav Gupta
    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.
  • Daria
    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...
  • 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 ...
  • Kate Vane
    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...
  • Christopher
    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 Am...
  • Thomas
    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...