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The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
Narrated by: Roger Wayne
Length: 5 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (120,084 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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. 

©2016 Mark Manson (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

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A book for 20-somethings, but not me

I think The Subtle Art... might have had more impact upon me if I was 20-something instead of 59-years-old. The language isn't really an issue (it just becomes another word that doesn't even seem to have much meaning); it's more that Manson is repetitive and doesn't offer anything original that most people haven't learned for themselves in a few decades of experience. For me, the same ideas are expressed much more elegantly, cogently, and thoroughly in The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman.

3,366 of 3,733 people found this review helpful

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The author doesn't give a 'F*ck' about your time

I think their is some merit to the ideas of Mark Manson, but they do not give enough content for a whole book, which was rather a waste of time. The first parts of the book were interesting, but later on it was just dragging on and on with no real content. Most of the writing is " I think" rather than "I know" - there are rarely examples or evidence. It's like a living-room chat with a friend.
You could probably sum this book up in a 20 min TED talk without losing anything that matters...

1,392 of 1,564 people found this review helpful

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AKA common sense, and buddhism reframed

Is there anything you would change about this book?

No

Would you recommend The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck to your friends? Why or why not?

Not really, most are smarter than that

What aspect of Roger Wayne’s performance would you have changed?

He was the best part about the book

Did The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to disconnect from my Social Media

Any additional comments?

This is really basic, simple shit. I can imagine if you have no familiarity with the basic principles of Buddhism and Taoism, you might dig this. Its basic philosophy rephrased with significantly more uses of the word Fuck.

413 of 469 people found this review helpful

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Written by a twenty-something man for twenty-something men

I was capture by the title of this book. But that’s really all it is. A great title. You might get some value out of it if you are really hung up on not driving a Ferrari or not having sex with Jenifer Aniston but otherwise skip it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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NGAF - Not as simple as it sounds

Part of me bought this book because I thought it was funny and quirky, part of me bought it because I was sick of giving a f*^k about so many little things that ate up my day, I didn't have any energy for the things that really mattered.

This book isn't about throwing everything to the wind and turning in to a useless blob. It's about giving f^*ks where f^*ks deserve to be given, placing your f^*ks where they're going to do you good instead of drag you down. I highly recommend it, but if you pass on it, I really don't give a f^*k.

1,734 of 2,028 people found this review helpful

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Cheap

Take an intro to philosophy class instead...read Plato...something with depth. This book is watered down bs...not worth the time or money.

325 of 381 people found this review helpful

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Targets 20-somethings

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Probably not. It has an interesting premise, and a lot of the points the author makes are useful and logical, but as a 34-year-old woman, I found it hard to relate to a lot of what the author said. It seems he's garnered most of his wisdom from years of partying and traveling. Both of those are things I haven't done extensively and don't really do now. The principles still hold true, but I probably didn't need a whole book to learn them. I think a simple blog post would do.

Which character – as performed by Roger Wayne – was your favorite?

I really liked the narrator. Even when the book became repetitive, I was able to pay attention to him, which is saying something for me.

412 of 487 people found this review helpful

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He takes one concept and beats it to death for several hours

This must be a book for the intellectually challenged. He takes the Buddhist concept of suffering being the central element of life and the acceptance of this in the 21st century then hits you on the head with it for many hours. This epiphany comes after many years apparently getting it wrong and now at the sage age of 30 he rediscovers it like an undergrad sophomore and should perhaps reread his book again. Anyone who purports to get it, doesn't get it.

516 of 612 people found this review helpful

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Shallow self help book for bros

If you prefer your self improvement advice packaged in vulgarity and frivolous stories of the author's sexual prowess, then this book is for you.

275 of 326 people found this review helpful

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average

a bit pointless really. the first chapter quite interesting but then devolves in to irrelevance.

206 of 244 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-16-19

The word fuck has been burnt into my eardrums

This audiobook would’ve been alright if the word fuck wasn’t repeated literally 5 times in every sentence. I consider myself a pretty liberal person, and maybe it was just the annoying American accent, but it feels like using fuck constantly was just a way to make up the word count. This audiobook has no substance, the narrator is annoying, and the author comes across like a massive knob pretending to be down to earth. It’s not funny or enlightening - don’t download.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • P. Healey
  • 03-30-17

First half interesting, second half meh

The first part of the book, with its slight over use of vulgar language, gives a different perspective on how to approach life. I liked the description of where best to place your "f**ks to give".

Unfortunately the second half of the book descends into waffle about the authors life experiences, which are not particularly interesting.

267 of 295 people found this review helpful

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  • carlos Neia
  • 06-19-19

Complete overrated

Another shallow self help help book. Nothing special on this one. Its actually quite the opposite.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kts
  • 03-11-17

Just ok

There are a couple of good points in this book and it is funny sometimes, but there is nothing new and I got bored by the end.

131 of 146 people found this review helpful

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  • Bwilson
  • 06-27-17

Odd

After scintillating start, I found it developed into a collection of uncorrelated ramblings . I hoped for instruction and less observation. Maybe I'm missing the point.

52 of 58 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Alberto Rizzoli
  • 06-22-17

Awful narrator

The book contains many self praising statements and anecdotes where the author glorifies himself to sometimes cringeworthy levels, but the message is agreeable. The book could have the same effect as a 20 page essay, most of it seems to be filler and personal anecdotes.

What absolutely ruins the experience is the narrator. With the most condescending voice, he emphasises curse words like an edgy teen like the rest of a sebt and mimics the voices of women in falsetto

130 of 147 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex
  • 01-21-18

Worth a listen but nothing new or revolutionary.

Mindfulness and stocism repackaged in modern and casual language. Worth a listen but there's no new ideas here (not necessarily a bad thing).

35 of 39 people found this review helpful

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  • A.Leon-Joyce
  • 01-05-17

Good, but with some tiresome problems.

Any additional comments?

Honestly, this isn't a bad jumping off point for kicking off some deeper thinking. However, it is pretty damn sexist in places, and straight up lazy in others. Mark is definitely someone who, despite all his self work, hasn't really thought that some of his readers might be, y'know, um.. women. Still it doesn't take away from what is being said most of the time, just a shame no one in the whole editing process pointed out some of his goddawful lazy stereotypical ideas might want to have an equality update. From the smallest things (like calling men, well 'men' but women the infantilizing and unequal 'girls') to the glaring fact that he maybe shouldn't put on an array of mock squeeky 'girl voices' when quoting words of women.. ... .. Yep. That really happens. Definitely not intended for women listeners, which is a shame as I don't think the ideas behind this apply to any one gender alone.

391 of 455 people found this review helpful

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  • m
  • 12-08-16

a bit overrated

lots of swearing and immaturity initially followed by patronising generalisations. profanity masquerading as wisdom. disappointing but good in small parts. sorry for non use of capitals. I'm being lazy and don't give a f#ck

165 of 193 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-16-17

Light hearted with a lot of truth.

The reason I love this book is because it doesn't take itself too seriously, it's written for the average joe who worries to much about daily life. If you're uptight/snobbish you probably won't enjoy this but if you're just a normal person stumbling through life I believe there's a lot you can take away from giving this a listen/read.

55 of 64 people found this review helpful

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  • jaise
  • 03-18-19

good basic psychology in everyday words

well worth listening to. Nothing mind blowing which was a refreshing change. Bit overuse of f@ck...we got it!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • AU Pete
  • 03-01-18

Great hook, great narrator, little payoff

This starts out really punchy, with great humour. But it soon descends into cookie-cutter self help preaching. Ironic that it points out the problems with exceptionalism early on, then goes on to base lessons around the stories of exceptional people. The book may offer some perspective for younger adults, but if you're pushing middle age you've already learned what's worth giving a f*ck about.

255 of 297 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Leonie Mitaxa
  • 03-23-18

Self-help for beginners

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, it's a good, simple book for those who've never undergone any cognitive behavioural therapy.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

It's a simple overview of self-help tactics that appear in more technical/academic books.

Which character – as performed by Roger Wayne – was your favourite?

Same character the whole time. At times he came across as a little obnoxious, but that was a true performance of the material within the book.

Was The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck worth the listening time?

Yes, it's shorter than other books that cover similar points - I listened to the whole thing on a six-hour drive.

Any additional comments?

If you liked this, I recommend The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris.

31 of 36 people found this review helpful

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  • Dwayne
  • 03-04-18

WTF

Just another self-help book that has you nodding in places but leaves you empty. The fuck word is completely unnecessary but obviously used to boost sales. In a nutshell you're going to die, so make sure you care about the important things in life.

200 of 243 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-02-18

A great piece of the puzzle..

Prior to reading this book I had herd conflicting reviews. I personally found this book to be quite refreshing and thought provoking. Whilst this book is by no means a silver bullet I feel it's a fantastic piece of the puzzle. I think this is perhaps a book that gets mixed reviews depending on where in life that particular person may be. If all aspects don't particularly appeal to you at this stage, reread it in the future when your circumstances or mindset starts to change.
The book is not a shallow as the title may suggest, I have definitely recommend it to my friends and family.

29 of 35 people found this review helpful

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  • Rushy in Tas
  • 01-26-19

A Refreshing Read

This title is a breath of fresh air, brilliantly performed and delightfully written. What a revelation, we are responsible for how we experience the ups and downs of life.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Steve Kimmins
  • 01-25-19

My first audio book

I liked the narration easy to listen Aand found the book very relative and enjoyable

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Zinny
  • 12-14-18

The author is all over the place with his contents

There was a lot of philosophy from many different religions. However everything come down to just one very simple thing. Grow up and accept your responsibility and don't muddle in non important affairs.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Lara
  • 03-13-18

READ THIS! You will be thankful.

It changed my perspective on life. I had to rewind some pieces, to really make sure I took it in. The advice is simple and clear, exactly what everyone needs to hear.

The piece on using activity before motivation, then motivation as a reward (you will understand when you get to it) has helped me in my studies. Very thankful I read it.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-13-18

Not what I expected, all the happier for it

I thought this would be some regurgitation of how not to care about stuff but it's definitely not that. Well worth the listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful