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Publisher's Summary

In a landmark article published in the esteemed Harvard Business Review, Stanford University professor Robert I. Sutton addressed a taboo topic that affects every workplace: employees who are insensitive to their colleagues, corporate bullies, bosses who just don't get it, the kind of people who make you exclaim in exasperation, "What an asshole!"

Now, in a definitive book that addresses this growing problem, Sutton shows you how you can work with unsavory people without becoming one of them yourself.

©2007 Robert I. Sutton, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved (P)2007 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Sutton's work is sure to generate discussions at watercoolers around the country and deserves influence in corporate hiring and firing strategies." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • David
  • Hollister, CA, USA
  • 02-16-08

okay, I get it

Interesting, but nowhere near the best advice book I have read. Some parts are really great, and the self reflection this book triggers is valuable to even the nicest of us (like me!), but some of the advice is really terrible. For example, this is not an area where "fighting fire with fire" is a good idea. If you are sensitive enough to be bothered by these people, do you really want to become one of them as a means of coping? I suspect not. I picked up some things from this book that I really appreciate, but I am also very glad to have read more than this one book. Summary - its worth a listen if you are a self help junkie, but don't take the advice too much to heart.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • m0de
  • new york city
  • 01-23-17

Save your money

There's nothing here. Assholes are real. Don't let them into your organization and clean house if you have some there. Make examples of them. If you can't remove them then leave. Hopefully I saved someone a few dollars.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Betty
  • Las Vegas, NV, USA
  • 02-17-08

Great Listen

Wow What a great book! I work with a verbially abusive person in the office. This book gave me insight into why he acts the way he does. It has helped me realize that his actions arent my fault.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


Disappointing... I really thought this book would help me deal with negativity in the work place. Once you get past laughing about the title, there is not much substance to the book. I didn't even listen to the last thirty minutes, too painful!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


This book was a huge disappointment to me. Not only did it not offer any useful advice whatsoever on dealing with assholes, it quickly became plain to me that the author is an asshole himself. It was also an annoying listen - how is it possible that a Stanford professor repeatedly pronounces words such as "especially" as "expektially"? He sounds like an ignorant and arrogant man, and he offers no credible expertise in dealing with human beings. At least he expresses regret for his own horribly bad behavior, but it is too little and too late, and embedded in loads of subtle and not-so-subtle praise for assholes. Ew, ew, and ew! I pity this author's co-workers!

25 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

helpful information

This is the first time I have felt compelled to write a review from a book from audible. Thank you ! I love this book, really cuts to the chase and full of clear thinking.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Eleanor
  • Discovery Bay, CA, USA
  • 05-14-07

It's about time!

I hesitated to purchase this book because once it's on the I-POD, there is alway chance of our teen sons being interested in looking at it. I then decided that if they asked about it, I would let let listen and it would be a great opportunity to tell how things will be in their lives in just a few short years. There can't be ANYONE who does not identify with this book, whether as a transgressor or victim, and both sides can (hopefully) learn. And the humor factor is pretty high, the writing well done, and the scenarious true to life. It's a hit-you know, the book you KNOW you will DEFINITELY listen to many times over the life of your I-POD! Great "light
listen" where you learn without even knowing it!
Language is the only barrier for either kids or adults who can't just filter it out-I got tired of it so I just began to ignore it.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


I work in corporate America and I find myself in contact with A-hole people all the time, Sometimes I'm the A-hole. This book made me look at myself and say Hey you act like this. STOP!!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Shauna
  • Fairview, TN, United States
  • 01-05-12

Not As Good As Expected

Would you try another book from Robert I. Sutton and/or Robert Sutton?


Any additional comments?

I missed that this was the abridged version, so I'm hoping my disappointment was due to not hearing the entire book. I download this book based on a pretty great podcast featuring the author, but felt like the book was missing some of the info I would have expected.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeff
  • Perth, Australia
  • 02-09-10

ultimately unhelpful really...

okay, so in the last 6 months or so, the place i work had new guys start all within a short period of time who know each other from their last job and have formed a clique of "certified assholes" who have caused a huge dichotomy and made our dept a very negative environment with their bullying and cynical ways.

hence, the purchase of this book.

the good thing about this book is that he describes characteristics about these assholes perfectly - which was good for a laugh as i watched them do exactly as the narrator said...
the bad thing is that after all this, you never really get told how to counter them apart from either "going with the flow" or resorting to 'tit for tat' methods of winning "small battles" to gradually undermine them.
personally, i much prefer to use only positive methods to achieve desired things in life and disagree with these negative uses of thought energy.

i wouldnt recommend this book unless you are just looking to affirm your suspicions about the assholes at work!

one thing that makes this book unique is the rather annoying usage of the word: "expecially" every 3 minutes; and this is an audiobook, so it cant be dismissed as a typo!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-28-17

Really interesting concept

This is a very enlightening book and it worrying makes a lot of sense. Time to stop hiring them!

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  • Martin Hogg
  • 06-18-16

Quite Entertaining

This book is pretty novel and entertaining but it is let down by a lack of content. Too much repetition. Well read in a charismatic way.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-21-18

Good but nothing big

It's okay - the performance is good but it's not revolutionary and won't change you

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  • Nico W.
  • 03-18-16

Expecially irritating

Dude, its especially, not expecially. Very distracting when so many words are pronounced plain wrong.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful