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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
Narrated by: Roger Wayne
Length: 5 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (18,730 ratings)

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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

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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.

70 of 72 people found this review helpful

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Complete overrated

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

42 of 44 people found this review 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.

78 of 84 people found this review 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.

283 of 313 people found this review 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.

144 of 160 people found this review 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

151 of 169 people found this review 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.

68 of 77 people found this review helpful

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Worth a listen but nothing new or revolutionary.

Mindfulness and stocism repackaged in modern and casual language. Worth a listen but there's no new ideas here (not necessarily a bad thing).

38 of 43 people found this review helpful

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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.

415 of 480 people found this review 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.

16 of 18 people found this review 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.

3,440 of 3,810 people found this review 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...

1,426 of 1,603 people found this review 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.

437 of 499 people found this review 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.

1,751 of 2,048 people found this review 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.

337 of 399 people found this review helpful

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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.

213 of 252 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

416 of 493 people found this review helpful

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  • M. J. Laskin
  • 10-01-17

He takes one concept and beats it to death for several hours

This must be a book for the intellectually challenged. He takes the Buddhist concept of suffering being the central element of life and the acceptance of this in the 21st century then hits you on the head with it for many hours. This epiphany comes after many years apparently getting it wrong and now at the sage age of 30 he rediscovers it like an undergrad sophomore and should perhaps reread his book again. Anyone who purports to get it, doesn't get it.

526 of 624 people found this review helpful

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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.

286 of 339 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • 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 .

158 of 190 people found this review helpful