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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 listeners say about The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

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  • HG
  • 31-05-19

80% filler

Initially I thought this book was superb. An interesting take on analysing oneself, sharp humour, a breath of fresh air. But then about 20% of the way into this it is abundantly clear there is no substance. As soon as the humour thins out and the author starts going into lecture mode he’s out of his depth. Very simple anecdotes that have been heard in various guises many times over. Then it seems to turn into a platform solely for the author to constantly tell us how many sexual conquests he has supposedly had. Most people know the psychology behind that. It took so much effort to try and get through this increasingly mundane and narcissistic book but I finally gave up when the author made himself out to be some sort of holier-than-thou deity because... he’s so honest. So honest that he doesn't refrain from telling his wife if she doesn't look good before nights out, resulting in her storming off in obscenity laden huffs. What amazingly profound, deep and admirable people. But most of all...honest. I was thinking about stating what a rip off this book is, then it dawned on me - I bought a book that clearly states on its cover, in no uncertain terms, that you shouldn’t care about anything. What a mug I am! This guy is really funny.

272 people found this helpful

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This is a horrible book.

This book is dreadful. It has no soul. Just a load of nonsense sewn together with even more swearwords. Boring and uninspiring- a waste of a credit.

52 people found this helpful

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Complete overrated

Another shallow self help help book. Nothing special on this one. Its actually quite the opposite.

115 people found this helpful

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The word fuck has been burnt into my eardrums

This audiobook would’ve been alright if the word fuck wasn’t repeated literally 5 times in every sentence. I consider myself a pretty liberal person, and maybe it was just the annoying American accent, but it feels like using fuck constantly was just a way to make up the word count. This audiobook has no substance, the narrator is annoying, and the author comes across like a massive knob pretending to be down to earth. It’s not funny or enlightening - don’t download.

163 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible, lazy, uninformed.

Author somehow put a big long rant into chapters and called it a book. So many mistakes . Was there any editing at all? Waste of money. 1 star because I had to give at least 1.

64 people found this helpful

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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.

304 people found this helpful

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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

176 people found this helpful

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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.

157 people found this helpful

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Below average, basically a simplistic view on stoicism

Really?? I gave it 2 stars as far play he wrote it, but this isn’t new at all, he’s basically handed in someone else’s homework... That’s a credit I’ll never get back... the narrator was fine, easy to listen too. The actually content of the book is average at best, I can’t think for the life of me why it’s received so many 5 stars, it’s not new or revolutionary, it’s basically rehashed stoicism theory with a load of bland personal stories trying to back up the points.. Personally there are better books, I listened it to see what the hype was about, now I wish I’d saved the credit for something more interesting... that’s my personal take on it..

8 people found this helpful

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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.

86 people found this helpful

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  • Melissa Wikum
  • 04-08-19

EXTREMELY bizarre ending. Spoiler alert

The book starts off great in some banter and stories, the word 'fuck' is thrown around making Mark Manson ultra relatable. The middle is the usual content of self reflection/ self help. -You are part of your problem. It's a refreshing reminder to reevaluate your own thoughts. SPOILER ALERT The last chapter is a confusing near suicide attempt? The book ends with him speaking of how he inched closer and closer the the edge of a cliff and sat on the edge asking himself "if this is really it, if this is all there is?" His senses and body take over ultimately grounding him back in reality and leaves him feeling "alive" and hopeful. Not my idea of how to end a self help book. I understand the last words are hopeful but the last 10 minutes literally put you on the edge of cliff "taking microsteps" inching closer until your legs are dangling over the edge.... rather an inappropriate ending for people that had just invested hours and dollars into self help. I really liked the book up until the last chapter. The last chapter has completely distracted me from the over all message. I dont think I'd recommend although there were several spots I bookmarked and made notes. Wont be buying his other book.

64 people found this helpful

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  • inkycaps
  • 10-01-20

Ill save you 5 hours 17 minutes....

Basically, apply the mantra "I don't give a f##k" to things that don't matter. Essentially, be responsible, but take chances when opportunity presents itself... Question: "Should I apply for this higher position even though I feel I'm not qualified?" Answer: "F##k it. I'm applying. " The result is you either get the job, or you don't get it. If you get the job, you would have never gotten it if you hadn't said f##k it. If you don't get the job, that's also okay as you are still alive and there will be plenty of opportunities for you as long as you at least recognize them, so F##k It ! That's pretty much it.

57 people found this helpful

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  • Fireside Cup of Tea
  • 07-02-20

Its really directed at frustrated young men.

This book is very much directed at and written for angry/frustrated young males and that type of that demographic. It's deliberately not clear in the title or outer cover. So its a waste of money for the rest of us because its clearly written with the kinds of narrative and concepts that would be important to mostly young men or men who "want to feel young". Buddist concepts as well as thoughts on prioritizing or eliminating feelings, things, goals and people unless they truly matter are repeated over and over, The book has some concepts that were good in that they encourage emotional balance in cases where an individual may be overloading themselves. However, it seems like he's encouraging the reader to constrict in social/emotional growth and relationship maturity in many important ways by radical avoidance as oppose to thoughtful selection. I find the advise therein limited in a long term and practical use even for the selected demographic. So, it seems shallow and very casual in terms of encouraging truly life altering change.

16 people found this helpful

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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.

3,529 people found this helpful

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  • Gil Kerbs
  • 17-07-17

The author doesn't give a 'F*ck' about your time

I think their is some merit to the ideas of Mark Manson, but they do not give enough content for a whole book, which was rather a waste of time. The first parts of the book were interesting, but later on it was just dragging on and on with no real content. Most of the writing is " I think" rather than "I know" - there are rarely examples or evidence. It's like a living-room chat with a friend.
You could probably sum this book up in a 20 min TED talk without losing anything that matters...

1,489 people found this helpful

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  • 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.

462 people found this helpful

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  • 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.

1,778 people found this helpful

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  • Robbieboy111
  • 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.

361 people found this helpful

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

average

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

226 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

302 people found this helpful