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Summary

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be positive all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people. 

For decades we've been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. "F*ck positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let's be honest, shit is f*cked, and we have to live with it." In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn't sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is - a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is his antidote to the coddling, let's-all-feel-good mind-set that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up. 

Manson makes the argument, backed by both academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited - "not everybody can be extraordinary; there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault". Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek. 

There are only so many things we can give a f*ck about, so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives. 

©2016 Mark Manson (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

First half interesting, second half meh

The first part of the book, with its slight over use of vulgar language, gives a different perspective on how to approach life. I liked the description of where best to place your "f**ks to give".

Unfortunately the second half of the book descends into waffle about the authors life experiences, which are not particularly interesting.

150 of 165 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Just ok

There are a couple of good points in this book and it is funny sometimes, but there is nothing new and I got bored by the end.

65 of 71 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Odd

After scintillating start, I found it developed into a collection of uncorrelated ramblings . I hoped for instruction and less observation. Maybe I'm missing the point.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Awful narrator

The book contains many self praising statements and anecdotes where the author glorifies himself to sometimes cringeworthy levels, but the message is agreeable. The book could have the same effect as a 20 page essay, most of it seems to be filler and personal anecdotes.

What absolutely ruins the experience is the narrator. With the most condescending voice, he emphasises curse words like an edgy teen like the rest of a sebt and mimics the voices of women in falsetto

93 of 106 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good, but with some tiresome problems.

Any additional comments?

Honestly, this isn't a bad jumping off point for kicking off some deeper thinking. However, it is pretty damn sexist in places, and straight up lazy in others. Mark is definitely someone who, despite all his self work, hasn't really thought that some of his readers might be, y'know, um.. women. Still it doesn't take away from what is being said most of the time, just a shame no one in the whole editing process pointed out some of his goddawful lazy stereotypical ideas might want to have an equality update. From the smallest things (like calling men, well 'men' but women the infantilizing and unequal 'girls') to the glaring fact that he maybe shouldn't put on an array of mock squeeky 'girl voices' when quoting words of women.. ... .. Yep. That really happens. Definitely not intended for women listeners, which is a shame as I don't think the ideas behind this apply to any one gender alone.

316 of 369 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

changed my life

its not for everyone, dont know if its right for me, but it made me hopefull, and thats somerhing I havent fellt in a long time

93 of 109 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Light hearted with a lot of truth.

The reason I love this book is because it doesn't take itself too seriously, it's written for the average joe who worries to much about daily life. If you're uptight/snobbish you probably won't enjoy this but if you're just a normal person stumbling through life I believe there's a lot you can take away from giving this a listen/read.

47 of 55 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • m
  • 08-12-16

a bit overrated

lots of swearing and immaturity initially followed by patronising generalisations. profanity masquerading as wisdom. disappointing but good in small parts. sorry for non use of capitals. I'm being lazy and don't give a f#ck

140 of 167 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • C A
  • UK
  • 11-08-17

Generic self help book with lots of swearing

I struggled to get through this although the narrator did a good job. The writing style and all the swearing really started to grate after the second chapter.

31 of 37 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Stuff you should know about self-help :)

If you're looking for (another) self help book with lists, tactics and reviews of your life so far and feel good ways to 'fix' broken you then don't by this. Throw your money at the people that cite numbers of successful candidates but always omit those that fell by the wayside (because their method doesn't work for most).
I purchased this almost as entertainment but it seems I have found at least one of the few 'gurus' that give an honest appraisal of life. Not so much a negative or stoic view as such, but the author simply offers some facts that will hopefully give you a little more perspective and guidance on how to live the life you want. Or not. Who gives a f**k?

32 of 39 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Bonny
  • 22-09-16

A book for 20-somethings, but not me

I think The Subtle Art... might have had more impact upon me if I was 20-something instead of 59-years-old. The language isn't really an issue (it just becomes another word that doesn't even seem to have much meaning); it's more that Manson is repetitive and doesn't offer anything original that most people haven't learned for themselves in a few decades of experience. For me, the same ideas are expressed much more elegantly, cogently, and thoroughly in The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman.

2,948 of 3,267 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Tyler
  • 31-05-17

AKA common sense, and buddhism reframed

Is there anything you would change about this book?

No

Would you recommend The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck to your friends? Why or why not?

Not really, most are smarter than that

What aspect of Roger Wayne’s performance would you have changed?

He was the best part about the book

Did The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to disconnect from my Social Media

Any additional comments?

This is really basic, simple shit. I can imagine if you have no familiarity with the basic principles of Buddhism and Taoism, you might dig this. Its basic philosophy rephrased with significantly more uses of the word Fuck.

338 of 380 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-06-17

Didn't find value in the content

I feel like the book assumes the reader is a pessimistic looser. I constantly found myself getting pat on the back to tell me life doesn't have to be that bad. I'm my case I'm really optimistic and I didn't find value for me in this book . This book however could be a really good read for people that see the glass half empty

54 of 61 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Far Far
  • 05-04-18

Trite

Using the F* word does not turn trite and obvious cliches into insights. If you like being shouted at by someone who thinks he’s smarter than you are, you might like this book .

128 of 146 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert
  • 20-11-17

Cheap

Take an intro to philosophy class instead...read Plato...something with depth. This book is watered down bs...not worth the time or money.

276 of 321 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ahna Brown-Velez
  • 26-09-16

NGAF - Not as simple as it sounds

Part of me bought this book because I thought it was funny and quirky, part of me bought it because I was sick of giving a f*^k about so many little things that ate up my day, I didn't have any energy for the things that really mattered.

This book isn't about throwing everything to the wind and turning in to a useless blob. It's about giving f^*ks where f^*ks deserve to be given, placing your f^*ks where they're going to do you good instead of drag you down. I highly recommend it, but if you pass on it, I really don't give a f^*k.

1,678 of 1,966 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Evan Resing
  • 28-11-17

Shallow self help book for bros

If you prefer your self improvement advice packaged in vulgarity and frivolous stories of the author's sexual prowess, then this book is for you.

251 of 294 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Suzanne
  • 18-01-17

Targets 20-somethings

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Probably not. It has an interesting premise, and a lot of the points the author makes are useful and logical, but as a 34-year-old woman, I found it hard to relate to a lot of what the author said. It seems he's garnered most of his wisdom from years of partying and traveling. Both of those are things I haven't done extensively and don't really do now. The principles still hold true, but I probably didn't need a whole book to learn them. I think a simple blog post would do.

Which character – as performed by Roger Wayne – was your favorite?

I really liked the narrator. Even when the book became repetitive, I was able to pay attention to him, which is saying something for me.

386 of 453 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Carmel Bogle
  • 28-10-17

It wasn’t as good as the hype

Perhaps the reviews led me to have more of an expectation than what was delivered. The author comes across prideful and crass. Some good pointers but it wasn’t worth all the hype.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • JAMIE BIRD
  • 14-07-17

average

a bit pointless really. the first chapter quite interesting but then devolves in to irrelevance.

197 of 232 people found this review helpful