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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The number one Sunday Times and Audible best seller from 'the most influential public intellectual in the Western world right now' (New York Times) - read by the man himself.

How should we live properly in a world of chaos and uncertainty?

Jordan Peterson has helped millions of people, young and old, men and women, aim at a life of responsibility and meaning. Now he can help you.

Drawing on his own work as a clinical psychologist and on lessons from humanity's oldest myths and stories, Peterson offers 12 profound and realistic principles to live by. After all, as he reminds us, we each have a vital role to play in the unfolding destiny of the world.

Deep, rewarding and enlightening, 12 Rules for Life is a lifeboat built solidly for stormy seas: ancient wisdom applied to our contemporary problems.

©2018 Jordan B. Peterson (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

What listeners say about 12 Rules for Life

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Life-changing in every sense of the word

This book has brought me joy, laughter and also tears, grief and profound sadness. Through the wisdom of ancient texts and personal anecdotes, doctor Peterson gave me courage to face my fear of responsibility, take my place in the world and improve the lives of those around me. The performance is deeply personal and precise as is the case with other Peterson's material. I hope I will return to this book for strength and inspiration whenever I need them most.

11 people found this helpful

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Easily accessible wisdom

Jordan Peterson presents a refreshing voice of wisdom in a crowd of shrill hysteria and politically correct drivel. I was impressed with the combination of common sense advice and surprising insights. There is lots to learn here. If you’re looking for a blueprint for a life well lived, you’ve come to the right place.

36 people found this helpful

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This book has been rated five lobsters.

Amazing book, very deep and thoughtful. It teaches the individual responsibility over ones actions. To speak the truth and many other wonderfully useful things.

5 people found this helpful

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Deep and enjoyable experience

Peterson goes all in in his effort to lay out his philosophy in a form that resonates on many levels of analysis. The book is simultaneously a compelling map of reality, guide to a balanced and meaningful life, and a deep defence of Western culture, Christian values and healthy masculinity, which are all currently under attack. I think this book is not just an insightful thought provoker, but also a healthy vaccination against dangerous ideological viruses which are unleashed in the modern world.

17 people found this helpful

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Lit

A candle has been lit in the world to keep the dark at bay.

I’m in awe of Jordan’s capacity to ignore the nonsense hurled at him, and still speak with a white hot passion to help people. It humbles and makes you want to emulate.

Twelve simple rules that get into your subconscious so quickly it feels like they were always there.

22 people found this helpful

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Too much bible talk

Disappointed to see this book turned into a full-on bible study from chapter 6. Dr.Peterson introduced himself as a psychologist and a scientist, but I see little reasoning with genuine scientific knowledge instead this book is mostly about Dr.Peterson’s personal interpretation of the bible. He often ran off the topic and spend hours to praise and interpret Christianity, he also consistently to refer to the bible and not actual evidences to make his case, which significantly lowered his credibility.

9 people found this helpful

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Pure Wisom

Any additional comments?

Jordan Peterson deliver advices, that are ready to implement into our daily life.
He turns his knowledge into wisdom by showing the principles, which we should use as a guide both in the professional and private life.

Idea of taking full responsibility for our choices makes perfect sense and give hope to all of the young people, who got deeply immersed into the nihilist world of mass consumption.

JBP narration makes the whole listening experience even better.

Lessons that you can takeaway from this book could be life-changing, especially if you want to give your life meaning and orient yourself in the world.

4 people found this helpful

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Spirituality for the reasonable

Would you consider the audio edition of 12 Rules for Life to be better than the print version?

I prefer the narrative power of the author speaking his own words. Hence, yes! I find it much better than the print.

What was one of the most memorable moments of 12 Rules for Life?

The coda(nice choice of words there). Like a sonata form recapitulation, it ties together the multi-themed spiritual sonata that was this book!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The story about the suffering of his daughter and the frailty of li'l children moved me particularly.

"We love not 'despite' the limitations, but 'because' of them. And of course, it more complicated than that"

Any additional comments?

This book is great, not because it's some groundbreakingly new content and idea that have not been expressed before. It is so as it brings back an important aspect in the spiritual quest that is absent from most new age spiritual teachers: FORM! Most spiritual thinkers have removed everything that even resembles any real manifestation so much so that it is almost impossible to have use of what they are saying.

Jordan Peterson brings back the fundamental(archetypal) stories of our experiences back to the social collective consciousness and for that we must thank him.

This book unlike most self-help books, this book doesn't try to explain the title in almost banal detail. It takes the idea and brings it alive through contrast, variation, and storytelling that drives home the title without having to repeat it once. Only thing I can think of that comes close is classical music.

9 people found this helpful

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May as well have been the Ten Commandments

I struggled through the biblical verbal diarrhea of steps 1 and 2 and felt relieved to be presented with a scientific take on the Law of Attraction in Step 3 when Peterson declared that the final ingredient to make it all work is religion. The narration is also sub standard.

3 people found this helpful

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Deep and accessible

I'll have to listen to it again and probably again but some great practical advice based on truth and his genuine real understanding

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. Leigh Riley
  • 01-17-20

Hours of the guy banging on about religion, basically

Not what I expected, he turns to religion time and time again, as a “non-believer” it was tiresome and unhelpful.

196 people found this helpful

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  • Will
  • 02-28-20

I really wanted to like this, but...

I like Jordan Peterson a lot, I think his general message is very powerful and positive. But this book is extremely self indulgent on his part, and tedious to listen to.

Each chapter is 95% unrelated to the rules, and all heavily engorged in religious themes. They derail and go off on tangents for essentially all of the chapter, only at the last 10 minutes returning to the point in a kind of ad hoc way. He has an extremely strong biblical leaning and attributes overwhelming wisdom and meaning to the stories. He also seems to have quite a strong dislike of men (hear him speak about Adam for this), with the normal societal approval and sympathy for women. He will tell you that you're not an atheist...based solely on his own definition of god. Basically he redefined god to mean anything you'd put faith in, including a better life that you'd work hard to achieve. That is not what god means to anyone, in the common sense of the word. But he will be adamant that you're not smart enough to realise the truth of your fundamental character, which is one to believe in god apparently...well, the god he has defined at least.

He is clearly a very intelligent man, and has read an extraordinary amount. But, the sense you get from the book is that he feels he is one of the only people to 'properly' interpret the stories from the bible, and assigns an unknowable amount of intelligence to them...because it took him a long time to think about their ultimate meaning and come to a conclusion about them.

The chapters are (as I said) mostly references to biblical stories and their relevance to all time and culture. Almost every sentence is hugely overwritten, with the sole aim to put emphasis on every single angrily spoken phrase. Pretty sure every word in the english language is in the book at least 5 times, along with a few he made up for overly dramatic effect. The other parts of the chapters that aren't biblical stories are of philosophy (fine, great, until he again reminds you of how stupid you are for not being one, and having the same inclination to think as they/he does) and personal anecdotes of times he has been the best parent ever, but was unwilling to give hints. I get the whole, 'don't cast pearls before swine' attitude, it's true enough. But his attitude is more of a smug bragger when implying to a parent how much better he is than them, and that he managed to do what they can't with their own child. I find it hard to remember who is supposed to be the swine in those stories.

Basically, the rules are good, I'd say. But his method for imparting the reasons of why, and talking through them, is unbelievably long winded. He puts emphasis on every word, getting angry a lot. Seemingly angry at the fact that no one else is as smart as him for already knowing these apparently obvious truths. It is undeniably well performed, probably the best aspect of the book (other than the rules themselves). But I feel that it is a little over acted and indulgent...he sure likes the sound of his own angry voice.

If you want a history lesson about the bible, this is the book for you. If you don't want to be shouted at and reminded that you aren't smart enough to see how the bible is the most intelligent and important book ever conceived, and is the basis for all of human consciousness and wisdom, then maybe give it a miss.

135 people found this helpful

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  • Berkan Sesen
  • 09-03-19

Long-winded and

very hard to understand the almost impeccable rating this book has gathered on Audible. I have returned the book after reading the first two chapters. Especially chapter 2 was badly written in my opinion. There are a lot of anectodes (quite often religious) and musings throughout both chapters which digress enormously from the topic (the rule) of the chapter; and the tying up of everything and coming full circle at the end is done hastily and not in a well written way.The narrative performance is also limited as is the case IMHO with most self-narrated audio books.

122 people found this helpful

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  • Paula Bellis
  • 04-08-20

Long-winded, boring and a waste of a credit

I don't class myself as someone who finds it difficult to grasp ideas or understand 'big words', but this book is extreme. I love audio books and can consume a good one in a couple of days but this dragged on and I found it a chore to listen to. There didn't seem much of a point to the lengthy waffle and I took nothing from it at all. I only got a couple of chapters in and found myself fast-forwarding through large chunks out of boredom and lack of understanding. The narrator's voice (the author, I think?) was very dull and monotone and had no passion for the content at all. I wish I could get a refund as it was a waste of 1 credit.

74 people found this helpful

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  • Lee miles
  • 11-04-19

Definitely worth a listen

Every rule makes sense. I'm a firm believer that if you learn just one thing then the book was worth a read. Well I learned 100 things.
Very religious heavy in some points which is not my flavour but is not used irrelevantly.
Full on enthusiastic delivery by Peterson. And if you open your ears you can persuade yourself its Saul Goodman.

53 people found this helpful

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  • Georgia Longford
  • 11-20-18

How have I ever lived without this book?

I've been listening to Jordan a lot on you tube over the past few months. I have watched and learnt so much. Even a simple lesson of watching him pausing and calming himself in aggressive interviews before answering back has been priceless. But through his book, it's so nice to actually listen fully to his train of thoughts. Uninterrupted by idiological arguments from others and explained with references we've all grown up with but never had fully explained in such a way whilst growing up. I feel calmer and ready to face the world and can't wait to listen to again.

Not that it matters to this review.. but I am a woman.. And based on his book.. now proud to be one. Always thought it meant to be less than man. But my role as a human.. if that be it free to choose: mother, bread winner, wife, or friend.. is as equally important to any other role around me. so much more to say but I will leave it there.

Thank you

163 people found this helpful

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  • Shane
  • 04-03-19

Superb!

Yes, it is a hard read/listen and you will probably need to do it twice but its worth it. dont listen to low ratings for this book.

38 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-22-20

Jordan B Peterson narrates

The fact that the writer narrates his own work is a testament to authenticity. The audible emotion in his voice at times makes you realise that 'life is real'. I have been able to recognise that we all see our lives the way we want to & it often represents an extremely narrow version of the full technicolor experience. Peterson provides a road map of his thoughts / concepts / musings via 'rules', which allows the reader to choose whether or not they are willing / equipped / ready to open their minds to a self awareness that you will win no medals. The reward is accepting that there will always be suffering and it is how we use that information that is important. Excellent.

30 people found this helpful

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  • James Weaver
  • 11-02-19

Change your attitude and change the world!

Peterson absolutely nails the fact that resentment, blame and jealousy will keep you in a prison of sadness, frustration and dissatisfaction.
The book outlines the problems that cause people to live unsuccessful, suboptimal lives. It also explains how by changing your goals and behaviours you can live better. The focus is mainly on the problems humans are facing and the need to change - the practical methods of how to accomplish this change aren’t so clear to me, but this doesn’t detract from the book. It forces you to take a good look at yourself, to identify the defects in character that prevent effective living and then to look for a way to access the needed power that will change your thoughts and actions on a daily basis.
Find someone who is spiritually healthy and ask them how they do it. Be wary of people who blame others for their problems - at some point they will have made a decision based on self, that has put them in a position to be harmed. Looking at the consequences of their actions rather than the actions themselves is not helpful.
I was fortunate(?) to get into AA when I was 38 - a real change or die moment, and I have been working a 12 step program for over 14 years now. Through working the steps, I have experienced a huge shift in my attitude to life. It took alcohol addiction to force me to this path - hopefully Jordan’s book will be sufficient for you to start your own journey to spiritual health.
“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

25 people found this helpful

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  • Mr G
  • 12-24-19

Ok

While I like Peterson’s content on the whole I felt a bit lost in this audio book and can’t tell you what the lessons actually were come the end of the book. Come the last 2 hours I was just wanting it to end. That said there are a few useful nuggets here and there.

24 people found this helpful

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  • greg watts
  • 01-08-19

“To say anything is to say nothing at all”

He mentions in his book something along the lines of “to say anything is to say nothing at all” with regards to the level of pain his daughter experienced.

In the same spirit of that line....
October before last, my fiancé at the time and myself listened to one of Jordan’s lectures/podcasts relating to having kids on the drive down the coast to our wedding.
We’d been together for 10 years before we were married and had planned not to have kids.
After listening, we decided “if it happens on the honeymoon it happens, if not, back to our careers”.
We’ll it happened so thanks to this guy my new wife and I now have a 6 month old son who we love more than we knew possible.

This humble carpenter attempting to find the words to express gratitude for the difference made in my life by a stranger I’ll never meet, on the other side of the globe, wouldn’t do it justice.

To say that I am grateful is “almost to say nothing at all”.

For both the inspiration and now the instruction manual, my new family and I thanks you.

63 people found this helpful

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  • Candice
  • 09-19-21

Some good advice saturated in misogyny

When I first started listening I thought this book was great. But as it progressed it got a bit nuttier. Talk of Chaos and Order being male and female. And a lot of Adam and Eve being the reason the two sexes are go they are. References to the best women being the beautiful women, whose the best men are the intellectual ones. Talk about how people don't take care of themselves because they have guilt about being sinful creatures made in the image of God, but not as good as God himself....List goes on. If you want to read a good self help books pick something else. I'd you want to read the ramblings of someone trying to dress up their religious and sexist views and scientific this is the book for you.

16 people found this helpful

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  • Cedric Hodges
  • 04-20-19

Wouldn't do it again

It has some good stuff, but also a lot of really boring or weird parts which drag on.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. David M. Lee
  • 12-06-21

WARNING: Listen to Behind the Bastards instead.

I have never before asked for a refund on the basis that I want the author not to earn a cent of my money because I have discovered how reprehensible they are, until now.

The best way to describe Jordan B Peterson is (and these are not my words) as the "dumb person's smart person". He is an obviously intelligent man, but uses his intellect in the most incredibly intellectually dishonest ways; he cherry picks arguments, makes sweeping generalisations — all in service to pushing a series of reprehensible agendas. I won't enumerate them all, other than to note that he takes toxic positions on just about everything from misogyny and racism to Nazism.

The book itself seems interesting at first but quickly devolves into a garbled mess of pseudo-intellectualism mixed with a strange personal mythology rooted a simplistic dichotomy of "order vs chaos" (order is good and masculine, and chaos is destructive, tragic and feminine, of course). The delivery is like Kermit the Frog delivering a sermon, while high on ayahuasca.

Jordan B Peterson is a pathetic human and a fecal stain on human intellectual progress. However, the podcast "Behind the Bastards" has an excellent two part series on the man and his work which is excellent, and far more interesting and worthwhile than this book.

Now, I'm off to ask for a refund, or at least for the author not to receive any proceeds.

10 people found this helpful

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  • leisa
  • 11-26-20

misogynistic

To Peterson, chaos is equivalent to femininity. The world, he's essentially saying, needs an antidote to femininity.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher
  • 01-21-18

Fascinating Read

Psychologist and controversial public figure, Jordan B. Peterson, undertakes his first serious attempt to distill his ideas about life into a book for a general audience. Although, perhaps not one for the typical audience of such books. Jordan's various essays are fascinating, lengthy--and at times wandering--discussions of what it means to be human and how to live in this world we inhabit. The explanations for his suggested 'rules' are not for your typical Oprah Book Club reader longing for simple answers, and dumbed-down explanations. There is no woo-woo or hoo-rah here. Instead, Peterson draws particularly on a unique combination of Jungian psychology and Darwinian evolution to explain how he believes the world works, and what that may mean for each of us as we move through life.
This is an unusual work, unlike other popular psychology books I've read, for it presents an engrossing and intellectually fascinating take on the modern human condition, rather than just offering a few anecdotal (or researched but overly-simplified) quick fix ideas. There is no concessions to pandering here, and the explanations he provides are at times uncomfortable for they strip away some of the masques we wear and facades we build around our humanity. What is beneath is not always pretty, but evidently is a side of our humanity Peterson believes we each ought to confront, for it is the healthy assimilation of these elements into the psyche that allows us to move courageously in the turbulent, chaotic world. We must each embrace the chaos within, should we wish to confront it in the world. This book is Peterson's attempt to show us how it's done.

133 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 02-16-18

Great advice but a little long-winded at times.

I really appreciated a lot of the advice and I really respect Jordan Peterson. Most of the chapters start off strong with personal and clinical anecdotes, only to be followed by 30 minutes of biblical studies... As someone who isnt religious and grew up in a non-religous home, in a mostly non-religous country, it became a little much. I can appreciate some of these christian references and enjoy exploring their ideas. But it wasn't long before I'd find myself lost in thought rather than listening as the point had already been made prior to the bible being pulled out.

120 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-17-19

Is he a clinical psychologist, or a Priest?

I bought this book due to the increasing hype around Jordan. Disappointingly, It's just that; a hype.

I could relate to and confirm that the advice he gives, as a parent and psychologist, on chapters concerning children are very good as this is my professional field and I did refer some parents to the specific chapters.

I am, though, poorly disappointed at the amount of, rather lack of, evidence which comes in the form of Bible literature. He is a psychologist yet, this book seems to have been written by a priest.

3 of 12 chapters seemed well. Was told in a mostly entertaining & easy to absorb manner.

45 people found this helpful

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  • laurence
  • 07-08-18

I got half way in and just wasn’t for me.

Good snippets here and there.
Just wasn’t for me. Too much dogma and religious overtones.
It’s just my opinion of course.

22 people found this helpful

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  • SafT
  • 04-26-21

Not what I was expecting...

What a bore! Agree with other reviews that there is too much emphasis on biblical stories rather than evidence. Couldn't get further than rule 3.

4 people found this helpful