Book Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Posted September 26, 2020 by lomeraniel in Audiobooks, Non-Fiction, Review, Self Development, Self Help / 0 Comments

Book Review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark MansonThe Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
Narrator: Roger Wayne
Published by Harper Audio on 09-13-16
Genres: Non-Fiction, Self Development, Self Help
Length: 5 hrs and 17 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Libby
Buy on Amazon/Audible
Overal Rating: three-half-stars

An alternative cover for this ISBN can be found here
#1 New York Times Bestseller
Over 1 million copies sold
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**k positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked 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**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.
Manson makes the argument, backed both by 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**k 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**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

I had high expectations from this book, as I have heard great things about it. I read some self-help books last year but somehow I didn’t make it to this one until now. I was curious what the hype was about.

First, I would like to say that his book is okay, it makes a couple of good points but it’s very repetitive. It basically combines the principles of Buddhism and stoicism: first, choose the right metric to measure and don’t be petty (entitled); and second, death puts everything into perspective.

It speaks of great truths but I found the smug attitude of the author a bit annoying at times. He described himself as someone lost when he was young, but a drastic event in his life opened his eyes and he is now this know-it-all, who does not hesitate in telling his wife that she looks terrible after she spends one hour getting ready for a special dinner. I am all for honesty, or radical candor, how they call it nowadays, but I also advocate for respect and pluralism. Not everyone has to agree with you, and demeaning your spouse when they think they made a big effort to look good does not make you happier. Or it shouldn’t. It doesn’t even make you a good person.

I may see how this book may connect with the younger public, and I might have reviewed this differently if I have read this ten years ago, or maybe in a time of my life that I needed to hear this. The point is that there are plenty of better books delivering the same message being less repetitive and for a broader public. I felt that somehow to enjoy this book you had to be a medium-high class white male.

The narration was very appropriate, with a direct and assertive style. It was like listening to Mark Manson himself. The only setback I found is that pauses between different topics were too short, comparable to pauses between paragraphs of the same topic, which I found a bit confusing. Not that the book was complicated, but I think this could have been done better. This would have granted the narration part a 5-star rate.

Story (Plot)
Overall: three-half-stars