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Publisher's Summary

What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson's answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research.

Humorous, surprising, and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street.

What does the nervous system of the lowly lobster have to tell us about standing up straight (with our shoulders back) and about success in life? Why did ancient Egyptians worship the capacity to pay careful attention as the highest of gods? What dreadful paths do people tread when they become resentful, arrogant, and vengeful? Dr. Peterson journeys broadly, discussing discipline, freedom, adventure, and responsibility, distilling the world's wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life. 12 Rules for Life shatters the modern commonplaces of science, faith, and human nature while transforming and ennobling the mind and spirit of its listeners.

©2018 Jordan B. Peterson (P)2018 Random House Canada

Critic Reviews

“Jordan Peterson, has become one of the best-known Canadians of this generation. In the intellectual category, he’s easily the largest international phenomenon since Marshall McLuhan.... By combining knowledge of the past with a full-hearted optimism and a generous attitude toward his readers and listeners, Peterson generates an impressive level of intellectual firepower.” (Robert Fulford, National Post)

“Like the best intellectual polymaths, Peterson invites his readers to embark on their own intellectual, spiritual and ideological journeys into the many topics and disciplines he touches on. It’s a counter-intuitive strategy for a population hooked on the instant gratification of ideological conformity and social media ‘likes,’ but if Peterson is right, you have nothing to lose but your own misery.” (Toronto Star)

“In a different intellectual league.... Peterson can take the most difficult ideas and make them entertaining. This may be why his YouTube videos have had 35 million views. He is fast becoming the closest that academia has to a rock star.” (The Observer)

What listeners say about 12 Rules for Life

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Fairly religious view toward the "Rules for Life"

While the author does a decent job at still bringing his "rules for life" to a broadly relevant sense, the deeper explanation of the "rules" are often rooted in religious biblical quotations. I felt this detracted from the overall applicability of the meaning as it was a bit of a turn-off for listeners who may have varying strengths in religious beliefs. I was not able to finish the book, as it got to the point where the religious quotations became too much of an overtone. I would highly recommend this book for those with strong ties to biblical text as the material will likely resonate with their worldly perspective. However, I would caution those who may not find that as useful of a lens through which to evaluate the world.

128 people found this helpful

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Makes you think about how you are looking at your life

I feel that Jordan Peterson balances perfectly between science and his own life experiences. It’s like a good late night talk with a really smart person. The type that when you go to sleep you would like to reevaluate how you are living your life. But you are happy that this talk happened.

86 people found this helpful

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Disappointing.

I'm fascinated by Dr. Peterson's agility in real-time interactions in many YouTube postings. However, this book makes it apparent that he's best able to cast his impressive intellect to the nature of very specific questions within the rigors of other-created time spans. I mean he's impressive when on the clock. In this book he isn't. Rather he has time to digress and his digressions become meanderings that kept making me murmur, "Get to the point.... Please." Too often this collection of essays on separate topics (rules) are similar to Sunday sermons delivered by average, but well intentioned, preachers. I'm hoping he'll produce another book where perhaps he can take counsel from an editor to better focus his topics AND their reasonably observed limits. While there are some flashes of intellectual excitement in 12 Rules For Life, frankly, too much of this book put me to sleep.

36 people found this helpful

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An antidote to boredom

It just non-sensical rambling of his wandering incoherent thoughts. There is nothing new here, just a re-hashing of other peoples ideas in a list. Sorry, you can't simplify life into a list of 12 rules. The bible references irked me the most. Painful to listen to. A semi-popular quora answer doesn't justify a 15 hour book. I honestly don't understand all the 5 star ratings. The first chapter is about how lobsters mate and how that is a good example of how we should live our lives too. Sorry, human life is a bit more complex than survival of the fittest, I guess I'm just too stupid to understand the analogy.

109 people found this helpful

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Ruined by religious extremism

When a book that is not supposed to be a Bible review becomes a Bible review, that's a ruined book. I was able to make it through the first 3 rules because 80% of the content is an apology of the Bible.

27 people found this helpful

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Bible-thumping chimpanzee in a dinner jacket

This Jordan Peterson guy lost me at 'there are no atheists' and yet 'atheists can kill anyone, and the ones who don't have Christian values'. Is this guy for real? What lunacy! This book feels like an intellectual book for dummies, and the ideas are drowned by salad bar words to inflate his "intellectualism". It's really off-putting.

50 people found this helpful

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Tangential and repetitive

This book is a platform for the author’s religious interpretations. The text is extremely tangential and repetitive.

23 people found this helpful

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too long.

he goes into way too much depth to explain his perspective. I wonder if the summary was all that I needed.

18 people found this helpful

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Random rambling

It seems that the author was talking just to talk. Lots of irrelevant facts and stories. Hard to follow what the book is even about. On top of that intermixed with lots of religious preaching.

16 people found this helpful

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Very Helpful for the Unguided

12 Rules to Life helped me out so much during my time of crisis. It gives structure to people that may have negative or no beliefs at all. Great perspective can be gained by Jordan Peterson's interpretations of many known stories and overall collection of knowledge as a psychologist.

44 people found this helpful