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

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
by Mark Manson, Roger Wayne (Narrator)

Publication date: September 13th 2016
Publisher: HarperAudio


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 modern 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.

Source: Goodreads


“The desire for more positive experience is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one’s negative experience is itself a positive experience.”

This book has been everywhere in the past 5 or so years and I’ve finally got around to reading it!

I wouldn’t typically pick up a self-help book but this one is popular and seems to be a bit of an exception for many (almost every review starts with a similar line about this not being the normal read for them). I guess what appeals to people is the aim of this book, to help us think a little bit more carefully about our priorities in life, choosing to do things that are important to us over those that are not. After all, we only have limited time in which to live our lives.

I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second and I think the reason for this is that I eventually found it to become a little repetitive and a bit too much self-helpy. At first I really enjoyed this eye-opening approach to thinking about life, giving you a different perspective on some relatable situations. It’s really interesting to be given an alternative view point and think about how you can apply this kind of thinking to your own life.

I think if I had read this in an article or some other shorter media, I’d probably have taken more from it than I did in this audiobook. Although I did enjoy the first half or so and have taken some of the points in, eventually finishing the book felt a bit of a chore.

Would I recommend this? I’m not sure, I’m a little torn. I think if someone asked me, I’d probably recommend they give it a go, but I won’t be raving about it unprompted!

“In life, we have limited amount of fucks to give. So you must choose your fucks wisely.”

Overall rating: “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” is a bit of an alternative self-help book. I enjoyed the first half and found there to be some really interesting and thought provoking views within it, but I found it went on a bit and become a little repetitive. It’s a 3 stars from me!

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