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Book Review: The Subtle Art Of Not Giving a Fuck


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.


If you’re a loser you will most likely always be one. If you’re a winner, you’ll have better luck than the losers. That pretty much sums up Mark Manson’s views which is quite arrogant however it is majorly true. But I do not agree with his opinions of those that where positive and had hope and so forth.

I was disappointed by the book. The author has wrapped up rather basic behavioral sciences theories and combined it with anecdotes from his own life. He claims to break new grounds, but that is very hard to see. Adding to that, he uses a language that is supposed to be informal, but is mostly annoying.

Most interesting was the author’s writing about finding the pain you can stand rather than just dreaming on what you want to become. But those glimpses of interesting thoughts were scarce in between, and got scarcer throughout the book.

There are so many behavioral sciences books that deserve being read instead of this one. It still had some good points although it did become very repetitive.

2/5 Stars

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