Book reviews by D.G. Kaye
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Sunday Book Review – Everything is F*#ked by Mark Manson

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. This week’s book – Everything is F*#ked – A Book About Hope by Mark Manson, was a bit difficult to review because I couldn’t feel an appropriate conclusion on what the book’s messages were really giving off. Now, I don’t normally review books I give 3 stars or less, but seeing as I struggled to finish this book and put in the time to finish, which seemed to drag on each time I picked it back up, I felt I at least should share some sort of a review. Also, I do want to add that I did read and review Manson’s previous book – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*#k, which I thoroughly enjoyed – (you can read that review HERE) I presumed I’d enjoy his next one, but that’s not always the case.

 

 

Blurb:

From the author of the international mega-best-seller The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck comes a counterintuitive guide to the problems of hope.

We live in an interesting time. Materially, everything is the best it’s ever been – we are freer, healthier, and wealthier than any people in human history. Yet, somehow everything seems to be irreparably and horribly f*cked – the planet is warming, governments are failing, economies are collapsing, and everyone is perpetually offended on Twitter. At this moment in history, when we have access to technology, education, and communication our ancestors couldn’t even dream of, so many of us come back to an overriding feeling of hopelessness.

What’s going on? If anyone can put a name to our current malaise and help fix it, it’s Mark Manson. In 2016, Manson published The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, a book that brilliantly gave shape to the ever-present, low-level hum of anxiety that permeates modern living. He showed us that technology had made it too easy to care about the wrong things, that our culture had convinced us that the world owed us something when it didn’t – and worst of all, that our modern and maddening urge to always find happiness only served to make us unhappier. Instead, the “subtle art” of that title turned out to be a bold challenge: to choose your struggle; to narrow and focus and find the pain you want to sustain. The result was a book that became an international phenomenon, selling millions of copies worldwide while becoming the number-one best seller in 13 different countries.

Now, in Everthing Is F*cked, Manson turns his gaze from the inevitable flaws within each individual self to the endless calamities taking place in the world around us. Drawing from the pool of psychological research on these topics, as well as the timeless wisdom of philosophers such as Plato, Nietzsche, and Tom Waits, he dissects religion and politics and the uncomfortable ways they have come to resemble one another. He looks at our relationships with money, entertainment, and the internet, and how too much of a good thing can psychologically eat us alive. He openly defies our definitions of faith, happiness, freedom – and even of hope itself.

With his usual mix of erudition and where-the-f*ck-did-that-come-from humor, Manson takes us by the collar and challenges us to be more honest with ourselves and connected with the world in ways we probably haven’t considered before. It’s another counterintuitive romp through the pain in our hearts and the stress of our soul. One of the great modern writers has produced another book that will set the agenda for years to come.

 

My 3 Star Review:

Let me preface this by saying, I tried so hard to follow this book – to no avail. After reading Manson’s previous book – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*#k, which I loved, I was eager to read this one. It took me quite awhile to finish because I just couldn’t get into it or form a connection with what seemed discombobulated and random facts, anecdotes, quotes and opinion, and of course, Manson’s style of emphasizing with expletives in his sarcastic humor. Normally, when feeling uninspired by a book, I’d just put it aside, but I was curious to see where it was leading, and was left wondering the same after I finished it.

While touching on scriptures and philosophical stories on such topics as, thinking brains vs. feeling brains, choices we make in life, excerpts on the life and teachings of Newton, Plato, Nietzsche, and several others, I just didn’t feel the theme was cohesive. Eager to finish each chapter hoping for a point or conclusion, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed. A hodge-podge of thoughts on religion, war, artificial intelligence and more, I felt this was a bit all over the map rather than carrying a central theme, often waiting for a point. And I just didn’t get the feeling of hope or inspiration from this reading. I’m sorry Mr. Manson.

 

Copyright
© D.G. Kaye and DGKayewriter.com, 2014 – 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to D.G. Kaye

 

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

30 Comments

  • Norah Colvin

    Thanks for sharing your review, Debby. Good or bad, reviews help us choose our next read. I admire your persistence with reading this one. It is disappointing to pick up a second book and find it doesn’t please as well as the first.

  • Jacqui Murray

    It does sound like it should be great. After I read your review, I clicked through to Amazon and read some of those reviews. “rather watch my father chat up a transvestite”–well, I’m not sure what to make of that one but it seems to be roundly in agreement with you that this one wasn’t as good as the first. I’m still thinking of reading it. I’m a sucker for a great title.

    • dgkaye

      Lol Jacqui. I’m just like you when I read a review I like to visit Amazon to see the general consensus reviews. I felt bad I couldn’t love this book like I did the first one, and I too wasn’t surprised at quite a few reviews who didn’t feel it either. And yes, of course there are always some silly reviews that are less than informative. Did you read the first book? 🙂

  • Vishnu

    So glad to read this…going to skip this one.

    Was already weary about this but you confirmed what I was thinking about the book after having flipped through it a couple times.

    • dgkaye

      Well, I hate to force my opinions on others Vishnu, but such that it is, it’s my opinion. I did notice quite a few of his fans felt the same way though.

  • Stevie Turner

    I usually feel guilty if I have to give 3 stars to a book, but hey, we cannot like everything we read. I haven’t read either of Mark Manson’s books, but not sure I’d pick this one up anyway.

  • Kevin Cooper

    Good honest review, Debs. It’s a shame this book didn’t live up to the previous one. I’ve had that kind of experience on several occasions. Hopefully, your next read will be much better. 🙂

  • Diana Peach

    I read the first book and really enjoyed it. It’s a good way of realigning priorities. I do feel like I got what I needed from the first and will probably skip this one. Thanks for the honest review.

  • Pete Springer

    One of the things I think a lot of us struggle with is how to handle a review when we haven’t enjoyed a book that much. I obviously can only speak for myself, but I appreciate an honest review that gets the points across without ripping a book to shreds, You were articulate, sensitive, but also honest. Good work, Debby!

    • dgkaye

      Thank you for that Pete. I don’t like to hurt anyone’s feelings – especially from opinion so I do still like to give a gist of the book, explaining what didn’t satisfy. There is zero reason to shred anyone’s hard work. And who would know that better than a fellow writer. 🙂

  • Annika Perry

    Debby, you shouldn’t feel the need to apologise. You’ve written an excellent honest review which praises his first book and details the short-comings of this one. Maybe a second one on the same topic was superfluous and he found it hard to say anything new? Sounds like you need a gripping thriller or such for your next read!

    • dgkaye

      Lol, thanks Annika, you are so sweet. I’ve also just finished a wonderful thriller I’ll be reviewing next week and currently engrossed in another riveting book by Alice Hoffman. <3

  • Amy M Reade

    It can be hard not to feel cheated when you finish a book you didn’t like. But I’m glad you were honest about it and willing to share your feelings about the book with your readers. Actually, the title would turn me off since it implies a hopelessness that I don’t want to read about. I can turn on the news and get that same feeling in thirty seconds…

  • lisa thomson

    Well, I still haven’t read the first one, which I realize is very popular. I think it’s important to share three star reviews or even lower rated reviews of the books we read. Actually three stars on GoodReads, means you “liked it”. So, its not a terrible rating by any means. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one, Deb. I will likely skip it but I will eventually try his first book.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Lis. I agree with you that 3 stars isn’t terrible, as this book wasn’t terrible. There is a lot of researched info in this book, perhaps the delivery and the lack of summation didn’t do it for me. But yes, I thoroughly enjoyed the first one. 🙂

  • John Maberry

    Well, I’m not afraid to give low star reviews–to people I don’t know, especially the famous ones. Like Pynchon’s “Gravity’s Rainbow. I tried several times to read it and finally gave up after getting maybe 40% through. Worst book I never finished reading. So 3 stars is probably generous if you just couldn’t get there on this book. Don’t worry, Manson won’t slam you for your review. LOL.

  • Liesbet

    Good for you for reviewing this one as well, Debby. I remember your review of his first book. I would also feel the urge to create a review, or at least share my thoughts, about a book which “stole” so much of my precious time. Sorry you didn’t like it as much as the first one. Onward and forward to the next book – from a different author! 🙂

    • dgkaye

      Lol, thanks Liesbet. That’s just how I felt. I even bought the book in paperback, so with the monetary cost and the cost of my time to finish while so many other books wait in cue for me I did feel justified. 🙂 x

  • Sally Cronin

    Thanks for a great review Debby and you should not apologise for giving a three star review which simply put says ‘buyer beware’. I probably would not read especially after your review as I already am aware we are ‘f**ked and still looking for a place to live out my life that is less ‘f**ked’ than anywhere else….lol ♥♥

  • Jennie Fitzkee

    Thank you for an honest review, Debby. I can’t seem to find the bravery to write a review on a book I didn’t like. When the book is written by an author I know, that’s doubly hard for me.

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