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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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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.

198 people found this helpful

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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  • Martin
  • 20-02-18

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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  • Jarrod
  • 16-01-18

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-08-18

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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  • Oliver
  • 18-01-18

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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  • M MENGEL
  • 01-02-18

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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  • hao
  • 05-09-19

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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  • Hans
  • 28-03-18

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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  • Anubhav Misra
  • 12-02-18

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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  • Hennie
  • 07-11-19

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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  • Michael
  • 20-03-18

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