How to Be Perfect - Michael Schur

How to Be Perfect

By Michael Schur

  • Release Date: 2022-01-25
  • Genre: Humor
Score: 4
From 89 Ratings


From the creator of The Good Place and the cocreator of Parks and Recreation, a hilarious, thought-provoking guide to living an ethical life, drawing on 2,400 years of deep thinking from around the world.

Most people think of themselves as “good,” but it’s not always easy to determine what’s “good” or “bad”—especially in a world filled with complicated choices and pitfalls and booby traps and bad advice. Fortunately, many smart philosophers have been pondering this conundrum for millennia and they have guidance for us. With bright wit and deep insight, How to Be Perfect explains concepts like deontology, utilitarianism, existentialism, ubuntu, and more so we can sound cool at parties and become better people.

Schur starts off with easy ethical questions like “Should I punch my friend in the face for no reason?” (No.) and works his way up to the most complex moral issues we all face. Such as: Can I still enjoy great art if it was created by terrible people? How much money should I give to charity? Why bother being good at all when there are no consequences for being bad? And much more. By the time the book is done, we’ll know exactly how to act in every conceivable situation, so as to produce a verifiably maximal amount of moral good. We will be perfect, and all our friends will be jealous. OK, not quite. Instead, we’ll gain fresh, funny, inspiring wisdom on the toughest issues we face every day.


  • I read every single page of this book…

    By mike_10009
    That is a lie. BUT, I read every single page up to the notes (bibliography) and the index. I read every footnote. I read the acknowledgements. I read it all (well, again, almost all). And you know what? I very well may read it again and here’s why… It’s good. Very, very good. The main purpose of this book seems to be to help make us all better people, with emphasis on “people.” I learned a lot, I laughed a lot, and I thought a lot. And, I don’t know about you, but those three things make any book utterly enjoyable. And, for what it’s worth, I hate reading philosophy and this book is chock full of it. (Also, that’s not like “hate watching the last 4 seasons of ‘Lost’” but rather I really HATE reading philosophy.) Hope this was helpful. Reading the book will be more so. Enjoy.
  • The Coda is worth the read within itself.

    By Tjbrown2582
    What a great read Meaningful Funny And impactful
  • Great read

    By Discount Belicheck
    A fun, easily digestible way to look at philosophical ideas
  • Wanted to love it

    By Robby Moo
    Like some of the other reviews here, I went into the audiobook really wanting to embrace this work. Initially, I wasn’t disappointed. Schur chose very interesting subject matter (at least to me) and educates his reader in a well-organized, humorous and entertaining manner. He makes classic philosophy very approachable and he deserves credit for that. Unfortunately, and after getting more than halfway through, I began to find his proclivity to interject his own political and social beliefs into the work to be not only unnecessary but distracting. So I gave up, which is a shame because the frequency of such interjections are ultimately to the detriment of his work. He could’ve easily accomplished his goals and probably even appealed to a wider audience without such commentary. I’d like to note that I’m very moderate in my leanings and I usually welcome opposite viewpoints. But I found his proselytizing to be gratuitous, and I read books to escape that sort of thing.
  • Started out well....

    By Cross C
    The author has spent a lot of years in comedy. The book is funny throughout. He's also spent a lot of years in Hollywood, consequently he believes his words are important and should guide us. When it became readily apparent where his political persuasions were leading the reader, he lost me. Completely. I'm so, so tired of Hollywood elitists believing they can preach to the general public. He's woke; the world is not. He's white & privileged; he's sorry. Typical. Sorry I spent the money.