Reviewing: The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson, Narrated by Roger Wayne

Content warnings: Death, discussions of sexual assault, sexism

Highlights: 

  • It was mercifully brief to listen to

We read this book for my office book club and every single one of us hated it. I’m not even getting a quote, because I do not want to read it again even in part. I usually try to be fair in my reviews by recognising that they are entirely subjective to my own personal views and experiences – this book has 3.94 on goodreads and a lot of people seem to have read it so I guess some people find it useful. However, I would not recommend this book to anyone ever except maybe as a punishment – especially in audio form. 

He does accents. He does an impression of Malala. 

When that happened I had to pause my work, and then the audiobook, and just stare into space going ‘who the fuck approved this?’ in my head. I only finished it because of the book club. I will never get that time back. 

Imagine if mansplaining became a book attempting to patronise you into mental wellness by telling you to stop caring about bills and start telling your spouse they look bad in an outfit if it’s what you think. Because he values honesty in his relationships, everyone. 

Apparently more than he values his wife’s feelings, but I digress. You do you, Mark. 

Amidst saying he used to be awful to women, but is better now, and describing how his friend’s accidental death inspired him to help the masses solve their stress problems, Manson tries to make a few valid points – such as that worrying about things you have no way of changing is a waste of time and energy because you are creating stress you cannot solve (which is fair, if common sense). Unfortunately the rest of the book – such as misleading information about false memories of sexual assault, meandering self-indulgent smugness and fragments of buddhist-inspired stoicism definitely covered in a less patronising way in another psychology book somewhere – meant that I listened to the last part on 2.5x speed just to get it done. 

That’s it, that’s the review. If you want a review of a ‘self-help’ book I actually enjoyed a lot, keep your eyes peeled for my review of You Will Get Through This Night, coming soon to Sapphistication with quotes, a highlights list and a much higher star rating. 

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