I enjoyed this book more than I initially thought I would. The first chapter said “giving a fuck” and all the various iterations waaaayyyyyyyyy toooooooo many times. I was almost put off to the point where I thought I might close the book and pick a different one, which is saying something. I don’t think it was the cussing so much as just the repetitive wording of a phrase that felt like it started to lose its meaning with how many times it was said.
From there, I started to like the book more and more with each chapter. A lot of what Manson is sharing is anecdotes from his personal experiences and experiences of others that pointed towards trying to shift away from blind positivity towards embracing problems in our lives. He argues that problems are the point of life, and what truly makes us happy is solving them. This was perhaps the point I liked the most, although I also want to add that this may be also where he seems to least acknowledge his privilege in the world. He doesn’t pay much head to those who have had to face much more hardship than he has because of their situation, not because of their choices. He is privileged and spends very little time talking about it. He spends a lot of time talking about making choices.
He goes on to explore how people need to accept the emotions they have as emotions are often our radars to tell us whether we need to change something in our lives. He encourages introspection and also encourages readers to not always act on our emotions, but neither to ignore them. This was definitely his other main point that I appreciated. Americans definitely spend a lot of time avoiding our emotions and avoiding thinking about what we actually want out of life. We don’t often talk about our values. It is really important to think about what values you actually want to pursue in life.
I believe his main audience is millenials, although perhaps I am wrong. It just seems like he’s encouraging younger folk to start thinking about their values and pursuing things to care about at a younger age than he was able to.
I think I enjoyed this book slightly less because I didn’t particularly like the feeling of condescention towards those who hadn’t figured life out in the same way he has. I particularly didn’t like the way he talked about false memories, and that didn’t seem to be particularly relevant to his argument. As you might have already guessed based on the title (as I did prior to reading it), this book is bound to be controversial. Maybe you will like it, maybe you won’t. I chose to take from it what I wanted and was able to work around what struck me as unpleasant.