Assholes: A Theory
What does it mean for someone to be an asshole? The answer is not obvious, despite the fact that we are often personally stuck dealing with people for whom there is no better name. Try as we might to avo ...more
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Up until reading this book, I don’t think I completely understood the ...more
I should have listened to my Goodreads friend Jon, who told me that this book was not nearly as funny or entertaining as it promised to be.
It is difficult at times to tell if "Assholes" is a parody of a dry, prolix, academic treatise, or just a treatise about assholes written in a dry, prolix, academic style. The final result is much the same. I won't deny there are a few worthwhile pages here--the definition of "asshole," for example, is a precise one that articulates the distinction between bo ...more
James is a serious philosopher, and "Assholes" is a serious piece of ethics. James handles the asshole phenomenon from every angle. The ...more
The description of this book is a bit misleading. I was expecting a lighter yet informative read. There were some moments where I enjoyed it and chuckled quite a bit, but I wish there was more material to relate to for myself.
I liked the descriptions of the types of assholes. While reading it, I found myself thinking of all of the ones in my life, appropriately categorizing them along the way.
The book would break off into a lot of lengthy political tangents, which I didn't really car ...more
The opening chapters, developing a taxonomy of assholes, are occasionally amusing. I blew air out of my nose slightly harder than normal a few times, I think I smirked once or twice. His general conception of the asshole is one who, against all logic and reason, considers themselves entitled to more than everyone else. Let me cut in; let me have that parking space; let me have control over the board; don ...more
With the title it has, and with its small size and large print, this book should have taken me a couple hours. But, because it was so boring, it took me four days instead!
I was looking for funny and useful suggestions for dealing with assholes, and instead I got a boring academic discussion on the various aspects of assholery. Chapters on "asshole management", which should have been fun to read, were dull and tedious. At times this guy's assessmen ...more
It is not mean ...more
As one might expect, James begins by defining the term asshole. What is an asshole? According to James, it is someone who has an “entrenched sense of entitlement.” This someone believes himself entitled to special privileges ALL of the time as opposed to the rest of us who only believe ourselves to be entitled to special privileges SOME of the time.
James works his way through this theory with quite a bit of philosophic ...more
It's funny that other reviewers seem equally sure this book is either funny or serious, pop culture or academic. I would say it is quite serious, and we laugh in recognition because the examples are so true.
I studied Ethics in college and this book raises some legitimate philosophical points.
The problem with “Assholes – A Theory,” by Aaron James is that it’s too dumb to be smart and too academic to be funny. I came into the book with high expectations, mainly based on the title. The thought process went something like “I dislike assholes, but assholes can be funny! A whole book that explains (and presumably lightheartedly pokes fun at) assholes will be a nice holiday read as I sip on eggnog and enjoy a light buzz!” Instead, I plodded through about 200 pages of philosophy-ese to take...more
As an academic philosophy text, it is (so far as I am capable of judging) quite good. It offers almost nothing in the way of practical advice. I suppose this is more of a marketing problem than a problem with the book itself, but I suspect that most readers will pick this up looking for solutions and be disappointed.
I especially enjoyed the breakdown of the differences between as ...more