An investigative, mysterious podcast capturing me to the point where I binge the entire season in a day? Yeah look, it happens a lot. But given there’s 3,572,074 investigative podcasts landing every day, when one really grips you it’s worth writing about IMO. Jon Ronson‘s The Last Days Of August really, really gripped me from start to finish.
Released earlier this year on Audible, but hitting other podcast streaming services only last week and therefore gaining more traction, Last Days Of August is Jon Ronson’s investigation into the death of August Ames. A successful porn actor, August died by suicide in December 2017 – the week after a tweet she posted about not wanting to work with a porn actor who also filmed gay scenes went viral, leading to waves of criticism from fans and those in the industry.
August’s husband, Kevin Moore, blamed August’s death on the Twitter outrage and it’s effect on August’s mental health, specifying several industry heavyweights in particular for leading to August’s tragic decision. It’s here where Jon Ronson starts his investigation – why did August Ames decide to kill herself? Was it directly related to the Twitter “pile-on” as he terms it, or were there other, more insidious factors involved?
His investigation dives deep into the porn industry, August’s relationships and her back-story – I don’t want to tell you any more than that because a large part of this podcast’s brilliance is the way Ronson unravels this story without ever being exploitative. He is a masterful journalist and approaches each interviewee with empathy and sensitivity, something I think can be sorely missing in many investigative podcasts these days.
This isn’t a true crime expose, and Ronson makes this clear around 2 episodes in – the twists aren’t going to be “this person was MURDERED!” It’s also not a take-down of the porn industry – while some darker elements are uncovered, Ronson is careful not to unnecessarily judge an already demonised industry.
But trust me, it’s so gripping you’ll be parking your car outside your house and refusing to get out until you finish an episode. Did I do this? OBVIOUSLY.Image: Twitter / @augustamesxxx