The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a self-help book by online writer Mark Manson.
Warning: I use the F-bomb pretty liberally in this review, as does Manson in his book. Skip this one if you’re not a fan of that. Now I’m going to tell you why I didn’t really give too many fucks about this book…
This book was a pretty easy buy for me. A couple of friends recommended it to me, the cover is one of my favourite colours, the title is hilarious and catchy, and I give way too many fucks. All the time. If you’re interested in hearing about all the fucks I give, I write a blog about my Generalized Anxiety Disorder called Lexical Abandon.
I’m going to switch things up a bit with this review. I’ll include the Amazon synopsis after. It’s quite long and I don’t want to bore you before I even get to the good stuff!
And here’s my review of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck!
Unfortunately Manson’s book is not going to make the favourites list.
It started off quite strong, with an intriguing idea about the pursuit of happiness being an inherently negative process. This idea is that searching for happiness implies that one is unhappy, or unsatisfied with what they now have.
Also, each of its chapters includes really fun, interesting, and insightful anecdotes from the author’s own life or from pop culture or history. These were relevant and really did a great job of illustrating his points.
This all sounds pretty positive, doesn’t it? Well, that’s about where it ends. Although I found the book to be a very interesting read, I didn’t find it particularly helpful with the main topic it is selling: not giving a fuck.
No fucks given.
That’s a falsehood. The author really only tells you that it’s important to choose what you give fucks about. Essentially, how to choose good values. But it didn’t, at least for me, help me stop giving fucks to things I shouldn’t.
The first chapter seemed quite promising. It talked several times about fucks and the reason we shouldn’t give any, or at least fewer. However, as I continued on with my reading, I kept looking for how to stop giving so many fucks. Sadly, the book didn’t give me any answers. It gave me a lot of strategies for how to live a happier and more fulfilling life, but I think I was looking for it to be an answer to my giant heaping scrap pile of fucks, and I didn’t find one. This was a disappointment, especially since that’s what the title of the book was offering.
Overall, it was interesting. However, I’m not sure I can recommend it as a solution to help you stop giving so many fucks. However, I do recommend it… scroll down to see why.
So, here’s the (admittedly quite long, even though I cut some) synopsis of the book, pulled from Amazon:
“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….
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.”
Overall, 3/5 stars, but I still recommend it…
Because many people I know found it very helpful. I’m sure that for a lot of people it would be a useful read. And I still enjoyed much of it.
Go try to stop giving so many fucks! And let me know if you get or got more out of this book than I did!
– Paperback Patronus