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

“We are so materially well off, yet so psychologically tormented in so many low-level and shallow ways. People relinquish all responsibility, demanding that society cater to their feelings and sensibilities. People hold on to arbitrary certainties and try to enforce them on others, often violently, in the name of some made-up righteous cause. People, high on a sense of false superiority, fall into inaction and lethargy for fear of trying something worthwhile and failing at it.”  – Mark Manson


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good LifeThe Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was just ok. I enjoyed parts of it but as a whole it didn’t land for me.

A lot of this book was funny, (if you can stomach a s**t load of swearing), and somewhat educational, it was a series of short stories…(some true, some may be true?), of examples of how f**ked up we all really are. There was some data interwoven to back it up and some of it was pretty decent learning.

Proof that we’re all f**ked up isn’t what bothered me. I just found myself thinking “oh, another story time” every time the author started in on a long drawn out story, that didn’t REALLY have to do with not giving a f**k at all. In fact, I’m not sure by the end of this, I’m any wiser on how not to give a f**k.

Perhaps that’s where the subtle part plays in.

A few parts that were valuable reading were the topics on entitlement – (called “You Are Not Special”) – a reminder that it plays out in 2 ways: “I’m awesome, give me special treatment”, or “I’m a victim, give me special treatment”, which is far more common.

The romantic love/boundaries part I also found was well done. Basically, healthy love involves boundaries, healthy rejection, and taking responsibility for their own issues and not taking on their partner’s. Entitled and unhealthy relationships is the opposite. Pretty basic, but he does a good job at summarizing it and observing how entitlement also weaves into toxic dynamics.

The rest wasn’t earth shattering, and again, not sure where the “Not Giving a F**k” comes in. There were parts where I laughed out loud, but I’m easily amused at really foul language.

If you are looking at a direct strategy on how to give way less f**ks, read The Sedona Method. If you’d like a funny and entertaining account of how effed up and complicated we all are as humans, this is the book for you.

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Brooke Simmons