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Book review: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

This review of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck has been written by Bethan James, Editorial Assistant at My Business Bookclub.

Reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (HarperOne, 2016) was truly an emotional rollercoaster. One page had me laughing out loud – the next had me welling up. By the end, I was pretty much mind-blown, and it’s not often a book has this effect on me. Neither is it often that I put down a book believing 99% of what the author had to tell me… But here I am, feeling like I see the world in a whole new light. What I experienced reading it can only be described as a secular epiphany. Yes, I sound melodramatically naïve (and maybe I am) but I’d venture that even the most cynical of critics will be impacted by Manson’s unconventional advice. As he says on his website, ‘Some people say I’m an idiot. Other people say I saved their life.’ Everyone has an opinion therefore everyone is affected.

Manson swears a lot. Those with a sensitivity to foul language, you have been warned. The overarching sarcasm, cynicism, and incredible crudity, although hilarious, only works thanks to the hopeful, grounding and caring voice it is coupled with. It is the moments of deeper, more profound rumination that give this book the power to change your mind (and be taken seriously.)

Although Manson’s theories sound counterintuitive, a lot of what he says seems so glaringly obvious that you wonder how you never thought that way before. Manson’s advice is so relatable, some of you may begin to worry that you left your diaries open. Like, of course we all know deep down that the ever-positive yes man will eventually have a breakdown as a result of suppressing true emotions. So why do we all continue to kid ourselves that this is a healthy way to live? ‘F*ck positivity,’ Manson says: the world is messed-up and we need to learn how to deal with it.

This book is worth a read if:

  • You’re fed up of self-help books that give you a momentary high but ultimately lead to a sense of nonfulfillment
  • You want to read something that is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking
  • You want to learn how to stop giving a f*ck about things that don’t enrich you or your life

Manson is founder and author of his extremely popular life-advice blog, MarkManson.net. He is also the CEO and founder of Infinity Squared Media LLC, an independent creative communications and production company. His first book, Models: Attract Women Through Honesty was self-published in 2011.

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