The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson

  • by Jon Ronson
  • Narrated by Jon Ronson
  • 3 hrs and 27 mins
  • Radio/TV Program

Publisher's Summary

From best-selling writer Jon Ronson and the executive producer behind the TED Radio Hour and Invisibilia, Audible Originals presents a new seven-episode series, The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson.
[Contains explicit content] Hear the story of what happened when the tech industry gave the world what it wanted: free porn. Lives were mangled. Fortunes were made. All for your pleasure. Follow writer and narrator Jon Ronson as he uncovers our web of desire.
About Jon Ronson:
Known for exploring the fringes of society, Jon Ronson is a best-selling writer, noted documentarian, and screenwriter – including the award-winning Frank and critically acclaimed Okja. He is the author of international hits So You've Been Publicly Shamed, The Men Who Stare at Goats, and The Psychopath Test, amongst others. A TED Talk favorite, Ronson is also a regular contributor to public radio's This American Life, the New York Times magazine, and GQ magazine.

A Note from Jon:
Hi everyone,
Welcome to The Butterfly Effect. It's sort of about porn, but it's about a lot of other things. It's sad, funny, moving and totally unlike some other nonfiction stories about porn - because it isn't judgmental or salacious. It's human and sweet and strange and lovely. It's a mystery story, an adventure. It's also, I think, a new way of telling a story. This season follows a single butterfly effect. The flap of the butterfly’s wings is a boy in Brussels having an idea. His idea is how to get rich from giving the world free online porn. Over seven episodes I trace the consequences of this idea, from consequence through to consequence. If you keep going in this way, where might you end up? It turns out you end up in the most surprising and unexpected places.
So if you're thinking, why do I want to listen to a show about the tech takeover of the porn industry, I have two things to say:
1. Why wouldn't you want to listen to a show about the tech takeover of the porn industry? That's a great idea for a show.
2. Would you want to listen to a show about three women destroying a mysterious Norwegian man's stamp collection? Well, that happens at the end of episode 2. At the end of Episode 3 a woman becomes convinced that she played a part in a murder committed by an Italian priest. At the end of Episode 4 a boy in Oklahoma is forced to move to a house on the very, very edge of his town.
I hope you like our show,
Jon Ronson


What the Critics Say

"It makes for a gripping listen, a story that unfolds in a madly unpredictable way." (The Guardian)
"The Butterfly Effect has the same level of detail and widescreen storytelling that you would expect from a television documentary." (Financial Times)
"On the radio, Ronson comes across like Hunter S Thompson as played by Alan Bennett - an odd mix of gonzo chutzpah and cuddly politeness. He charms and is charmed by his interviewees. As a result, he has a rare gift for revealing the human side of people who have been dehumanised." (Daily Telegraph)
"An eye-opening and often heartwarming exercise in breaking taboos." (NME)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Something Literally From Out of the Blue!

Of course having recently completed some historical fiction and a very thoughtful Irish drama the obvious next step is to listen to a docu-drama about free Internet porn. Right? Okay, well it is if you've heard interesting things about Jon Ronson and Audible shove it under your nose, ironically for free!

I wasn't sure quite what to expect but I was genuinely fascinated by Ronson's journey. This wasn't gimmicky or judgemental, rather it was sympathetic to a multi-faceted subject. To my mind Ronson achieves what he set out to do and fully demonstrates something like a butterfly effect. It's often true that some of the most significant consequences of modern progress are the unintended ones as he ably demonstrates. Sometimes we improve trivial convenience to great fanfare only to sweep more consequential impacts under the carpet. I say "something like" a butterfly effect because it's clear that Pornhub had a rather heavier tread than your average fluttering insect.

He gets to a lot of the human stories behind the free porn scene and regardless of your views on porn in general there is a real story to be told. This is a decent piece of work and I'd recommend it to anyone with an interest on how the modern world works. With Ronson's production you can make up your own mind about the issues and people involved.

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- Simon

Wow, just wow.

Cannot recommend this enough. A must for fans of Ronsons work but essential listening for anyone, especially those who on the face of it might normally avoid this subject.
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- James F Dawes

Book Details

  • Release Date: 27-07-2017
  • Publisher: Audible Originals