The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
Mark Manson
Contributed by Micheal Celestin

Historical context

Mark Manson’s book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, and its eye-catching title immediately thrust the reader into a world critical of vapid self-help books which were being published at an astonishing rate in late 2016. Instead, Manson’s book uniquely tries to take a different approach than the other self-help guides that have saturated the online market and constantly bombard us with the same platitudinous advice. For instance, if  other entrepreneurs advised us to be more positive or to take into consideration more opinions or to test our limits, Mark Manson vehemently argues the opposite, preferring to take a counterintuitive approach to issues pertinent to people who are already too self-conscious or reflective. In fact, Manson wrote this book in order to convince people that certain approaches are so widely used that they have started to become inefficient. In an era controlled by  mass media and  multitudes of newly minted businesses, Manson’s book provides us with a critical approach and perspective that so often finds itself eschewed in other self-help books, and gives us uncommon advice on common subjects such as traversing one’s self to find inner peace and happiness.

Primarily, what we will be able to discover while we read through these pages is that Mark is definitely not a fan of sugarcoating sensitive or controversial subjects. He’s comparable to a rough Russian guy who will throw us the truth in our face and expect us to deal with it. Manson’s brutal and straightforward approach to self-help and the contrarian nature of its style to the genre of self-help in general may explain the popularity it enjoys. In stark contrast with other self-help books, Mark prefers a sarcastic tone that paradoxically allows him to convey an even greater sense of honesty to his audience. Morever, he always comes up with personal experiences are both relatable and that fit into the narrative and themes supporting the applicability of his advice.

Through his nine well-written chapters, the author makes us laugh, but also makes us feel disappointed with ourselves because of his harsh confessions. In part, the book represents his repudiation of a  generation too coddled and too infected with the perception that everything, especially the media, should be taken at face value.. A generation that has taken itself too seriously and has become incapable of stepping back in order to reflect its own existence as a result.

This book was written for everyone who likes to break the rules and for the individual who is looking for someone to confirm that the right pathway not always presents itself as the most well-worn one.  For instance, doing exactly what others advise you against and not caring about what they believe may actually lead one to greater long-term happiness.

Author’s Biography

Mark Manson is an active person in the social media world who became famous after releasing his blog,  If one were to contrast the number of visitors his website gained in the past years, we would be able to see that from a few thousand in 2014 he reached millions in 2018, confirming his public, yet rather muted success. He has no fixed niche and because of that, he has the opportunity to write about a variety of topics covering anything  from traveling to life choice advice. Many people were impressed by his raw style of writing, interspersed with humorous bits and pieces. A multitude of his articles find themselves in major national  news outlets  such as in the Time, Huffington Post, and, The Sydney Morning Herald.

By reading his posts we will be able to see how he managed to rise from the solitary, deadbeat he was to himself, seemingly a few hours ago, to a master in dating and personal life advice. Even though he is an active person on the social media, his book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, focuses on bringing pieces of evidence against the overuse and implications these platforms at scale. Further, he believes that social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram bombs us with fake news or fabricated lifestyle pictures, which Manson claim only serve to accentuate our fears of failing and to lower or damage our self-esteem and sense of worth.

Prior to his massive commercial success with The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, Manson released other two books which highlight his interests at that point in time. The first one of them was Models: Attract Women Through Honesty which focuses on convincing people, especially men, that the key to a women heart is honesty. Similarly as in his second book, he continued standing against many conventional, widespread ideas concerning personal advice.

As a result of Manson’s particularly unique, biting diction, his most recent books, including The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, were highly criticised. The choice of words, as is evident from the title, often stood to outline the polemical tip of the iceberg when it came to the actual presentation of some of Manson’s ideas. Even so, the book soon made it to the top and became a bestseller in the self-help niche.

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