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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

If you don't already have the Audible app, download it now, in the iOS App Store or the Google Play store to listen to The Butterfly Effect.

©2017 Audible Originals LLC (P)2017 Audible Originals LLC

What members say

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Pros and Cons of free porn.

I have to admit the only reason why I got this is because it was free. i am so glad I gave this a chance. This podcast, interview, investigative journalism really made me think of what actually happens when porn becomes free. Jon Ronson does a very good job being objective. He not only follows the Grandfather of free porn but also the actors, the victims of free porn, the people who have anxiety becuase of the easy access.

I will never think of Pornhub the same way again.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Better than you think.

I downloaded the book because I was taking a family trip and I needed a book fast. I was familiar with the title because of the movie. THIS IS NOT THAT STORY. Later, while driving alone, I listened anyway. This story is intriguing. The writer clearly did his homework and carefully delved into his research. As an added bonus, there are different interviews throughout the story. To say the least, it was gripping. By the end of the story, I found myself with different views about free porn.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I will never forget it...

It is a brilliant concept in reporting. Follow the consequences of people's actions without judgement. This time it is chiefly about the effect an internet guru, Fabian, with no direct connection to the porn industry, yet he has become its largest distributor. In the process, his companies have decimated the porn film industry, transferring all the wealth from its producers to himself.

Its impossible for me to feel sorry for the porn industry, and I am not alone. I am not judgemental, its a fact well documented by Ronson. Like the girl in one of Ronson's interviews said, "No, I don't want to name a deer I have shot, because then I won't be able to eat it." (She had been asked if she followed specific porn stars.) This is one of many butterfly effects for porn performers, no one cares about them personally, Even people who watch porn disdain its performers. Yet, because of free porn sights, all of their work is easily attainable by anyone, anytime, forever. It makes it difficult to have a career outside of the sex industry without being discovered.

Then there is the Ashley Madison hacking scandal. It turns out, very few women populated the site, making it improbable male users actually carried out affairs. Most of the "women users" were in reality, bots. Men would spend hours having sexual conversations online with bots. One of the tragic butterfly effects involved a Baptist Seminary professor who killed himself after being exposed. From the tragedy, his adult children learned an incredible lesson. Hiding shame is deadly.

No matter where you stand politically, spiritually or morally on pornography, The Butterfly Effect is an enlightening and thought provoking work.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Canada

This is good journalism. It was entertaining and interesting. I did not feel that Jon supported either side and he certainly gave us things to think about. As one reviewer mentions, this is more about how tech and it's ability to make porn free have changed the whole business and how accessible it has made porn. While he talks about teens and how they are viewing porn, it is also a microcosm of how tech is changing the world.

One porn producer is upset about how difficult it has made his life, yet this is how tech has changed everybody's lives for the good and bad. I once dreamed about retiring and buying a used book store. I love books and love to be around them. I have a library in my house. I used to go to bookstores all the time. When my wife and I would go on vacation, we would spend a lot of time going to used book stores in the towns we traveled through. Now I listen to books through audio and write reviews. I rarely buy a hard copy. I will never buy a copy of this book, even though I liked it. Used books stores are going out of business along with the new book stores all across America. My dream is dead, yet I am part of the reason. Radio Shack and Video stores no longer exist. I drive a truck for a living and they are talking about self driving vehicles.

There is some good and some bad to this revolution.

63 of 81 people found this review helpful

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fabulous series, unexpected joy!

wasn't sure what to expect, so I got the title and started listening ... found it eye-opening and fun. at times sad, but overall hopeful. definitely recommend this!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • aaron
  • los angeles, CA, United States
  • 07-28-17

Jon Ronson is Hunter S. Thompson on Xanax

Jon Ronson is one of the funniest, wittiest, most original voices in investigative journalism today. His style reminds me of a less-coked-up version of Hunter S. Thompson. This works well for him because he puts his subjects at ease, while he extracts the juicy bits.

Jon is the PERFECT man to explain the evolution of free internet porn, and he knocks this assignment out of the park! I only wish it were maybe 4 times longer. There's so much deeper he could've gone into the seedy underbelly of the porn world, and how it's disintegrating from its base - mutating into something much darker and more dangerous than it already was. That aside, there is NOTHING I would fix about this program (it's not a book, FYI).

I highly recommend it for anyone who has ever masturbated to free porn.

29 of 39 people found this review helpful

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Dark and disturbing with flashes of hope.

While the business aspect of this story was interesting, the obvious human toll is completely tragic. More so because of its avoidable nature. Like the opioid epidemic, I feel this epidemic is effecting our society to a much greater extent than we first thought. The main difference is porn is more wide spread and effects far more people. Alarming stats, well written, and done from a humanistic angle this is a disturbing but worthwhile ADULT listen.

51 of 70 people found this review helpful

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Another quirky fantastic story by Jon Ronson

Jon Ronson points his gaze on the porn industry and takes an uncompromising look at the social impacts of free porn on the culture and youth of today. Filled with tenacity, great interviews and unexpected insights into our common humanity, this is Ronson at his finest.

21 of 29 people found this review helpful

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Great listen!

I enjoyed how tasteful this book was around the topic of sex and how compassionate the writer was. He exposed the evolution of porn in such a an interesting and engaging way!

33 of 46 people found this review helpful

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fantastic as always!

Ronson is a fantastic narrator and storyteller. This was touching, strange and beautiful, as well as disturbing at times. definitely worth a listen.

35 of 50 people found this review helpful

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  • James F Dawes
  • 08-25-17

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • darren
  • 08-18-17

Wow!

Started listening and thought I knew where it how it would end, totally wrong, really well done program, thought provoking and handled with care, enjoyable and informative, 5 star listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 07-28-17

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.

23 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Remi vixxen
  • 08-01-17

brilliantly done

i cried. i laughed and i overall learned.
awesome everyone should check it out now.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • dean313
  • 09-08-17

Insightful

A subject matter that nobody wants to talk about but so many of us are reliant on in some way. A truly interesting story/Documentary.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Brayan Steven Quintero
  • 09-08-17

A diving into a ripple effect.

Wow! it is quite an eye opening to the porn industry, I quite liked how the chain of this videos can affect more lives that you can imagine.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Raphael K.
  • 08-11-17

interesting!

Really interesting, wasn't expecting that. I wish there would be the same in other fields/sectors to see how big companies or monopolies affect small retailers or producers e.g. in the food industry...

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • WMA
  • 08-08-17

Filled a space

Was ok, not particularly in depth. Felt like listening to an extended Radio4 program. I downloaded because free and because I needed something to listen to that would last 3-4hrs.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kalvin Page
  • 10-10-17

Classic Jon Ronson storytelling with captivating and emotive interviews.

Tightly woven human centred storytelling. Jon's childlike curiosity isn't out of place in the porn world. His questions encourage tales that manage to shock you, both through the content and sympathy you didn't expect to feel. The music and humour drive the investigation along and by the end I'm asking myself some important questions, but still smiling.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Borbála
  • 09-12-17

A superb documentary

What did you like best about this story?

It is a thorough, very well made and unbiased work that looks at this very controversial topic from so many different angles. The topic of porn is such a divisive one and people have such polarised opinions it was a true novelty for me to hear the same person represent it from so many different viewpoints

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

It was somewhat traumatic to hear that the traffic on porn sites significantly increases after bank holidays and Valentine's Days as the intensity of a family program or "being forced" to be with their wives too long drives men to wanting a change.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-02-17

Amazing and consistent

I love Jon Ronson's work generally. This is no different. It is kind, insightful, poignant and wistful. And the ending is as beautiful as its subject matter.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul Kearney
  • 08-01-17

incredible

This is incredible journalism. Ronson approaches the subject from many angles with a deep empathy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-02-17

Beautifully binge worthy

Beautifully sensitive, a relevant current story for all of us to binge on. I enjoy the journey immensely

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Tom Wilson
  • 10-30-17

Surprisingly interesting listen

I got the book for free and didn't expect to be blown away by Jon Ronson' s theatrics and ability to tell a story so interesting.

bought another Jon Ronson book and am expecting something amazing again!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-30-17

Brilliant

Eye opening, funny, sad, touching, multi-layered, very human and told gently and with empathy... well worth a listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Joseph Di Stefano
  • 08-22-17

never thought I would want to read this

it's a touching and human view of an industry that not too many people think about. A behind the scenes look at the sex industry and how the internet has changed it, but more importantly how it has changed us.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-11-18

Headings aren't optional

Best free audiobook I have listened to. It really opened my eyes toa lot of issues about porn I had never really thought about.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-16-18

Give it a chance

starts off quite confronting but is very insightful if you listen to it all! Jon is a great writer and narrator

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  • Tami Sussman
  • 05-30-18

Jon Ronson is my spirit animal

If there is a god , her voice sounds like Jon Ronson. Better than medication . Peace

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  • Keegan
  • 04-05-18

Audible should invest in more podcast stories like this

The stories told through this series are deeply interesting and keep you invested in the struggles of the people sharing them. Audible needs to release more of these stories on the Australian store!