• How to Be Perfect

  • The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question
  • By: Michael Schur
  • Narrated by: Michael Schur
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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How to Be Perfect

By: Michael Schur
Narrated by: Michael Schur
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Publisher's Summary

From the writer and executive producer of the award-winning Netflix series The Good Place that made moral philosophy fun: a fool-proof guide to making the correct moral decision in every situation you ever encounter, anywhere on earth, forever.

How can we live a more ethical life? 

This question has plagued people for thousands of years, but it's never been tougher to answer than it is now, thanks to challenges great and small that flood our day-to-day lives and threaten to overwhelm us with impossible decisions and complicated results with unintended consequences. 

Plus, being anything close to an 'ethical person' requires daily thought and introspection and hard work; we have to think about how we can be good not, you know, once a month, but literally all the time

To make it a little less overwhelming, this fascinating, accessible and funny book by one of our generation's best writers and adept minds in television comedy, Michael Schur, boils down the whole confusing morass with real life dilemmas (from 'should I punch my friend in the face for no reason?' to 'can I still enjoy great art if it was created by terrible people?'), so that we know how to deal with ethical dilemmas. Much as Chidi used humour and philosophy to make Eleanor a less selfish person, Schur takes us on a journey through the 2,500-year discussion of ethics, sketching a road map for how we ought to act along the way.

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. Okay, not quite. Instead, we'll gain fresh, funny, inspiring wisdom on the toughest issues we face every day

With contributions from Professor Todd May of Clemson University, who served as an advisor on The Good Place, this is a brilliant, clever and hugely entertaining book about one of the most important topics in the world.  

'The problem is, if all you care about in the world is the velvet rope, you will always be unhappy, no matter which side you're on.' (Tahani Al-Jamil, The Good Place)

©2022 Michael Schur (P)2022 Simon & Schuster Audio

What listeners say about How to Be Perfect

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How philosophy should be written

Excellent, laugh out loud read which remains serious and true to its sources and forebears. Highly recommended.

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  • Dave
  • 03-31-22

Not good

I must say, in the author’s defence, the footnotes were hilarious*



*no they were not

2 people found this helpful

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  • old man and the sea
  • 02-20-22

Perfec T

The narration, and the occasional guest voices from that Good Place, are pitch perfect. And read with good humour. Even the footnotes. If you enjoyed the show, or even if you’ve never heard of the show but maybe wish you could be a better person, you should love this audiobook. Really. If you ever wondered why philosophy is important just give this a listen. Oh and absolutely, I’m with Michael on the Hawaiian pizza thing. Good call.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ryan Potter
  • 10-19-22

Brilliantly written, endlessly funny

This book is one of my instant favourites. Michael Schur and the cast of The Good Place bring Schur’s writing to life, yet again bringing moral philosophy and ethics into the mainstream, with his characteristic mix of serious concepts and witty humour. Easy to access descriptions of some of the most famous western thoughts on moral descriptions. Schur’s books is a must-read for anyone looking to ‘Become a better person today, than they were yesterday.’

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  • Nathan B.
  • 08-16-22

A really entertaining learning experience

This book is a great listen for anyone who wants to learn and be entertained - regardless of whether you’ve seen The Good Place. Having the actors from the series read segments or different through processes of the book was a refreshing way to deliver a difficult and complex (and often boring) topic. It can be hard to follow at times, but stick with it as it becomes clearer in the end.

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  • Jen
  • 08-15-22

Great intro to moral philosophy

Interweaves moral philosophy with the author’s own personal experiences and some good jokes. It should be noted that it’s not super analytical and the ideas are not particularly original; but if you enjoy watching the Good Place and want to dig deeper into the ideas there, this is a good read.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-08-22

Very Enjoyable Introduction to Moral Philosophy

Really enjoyed this book overall. First two chapters were philosophical, talking about others' writings, etc. Third chapter was kinda rambly, often specific to the writer, but was ok. The first two chapters were very nice, though. I felt I learnt some stuff but it was enjoyable, not heavy.

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  • Brookmill
  • 07-03-22

Everyone should read this

I constantly wonder whether I’m doing the right thing. Not in a productive way, more of an overthinking way. This book not only guides you through moral philosophy in a fun. light and memorable way, but it also enables you to forgive those little moments that wake you up in the middle of the night, like: ‘I didn’t offer so and so a second cup of tea!’ And remember that you are still a good person as long as you’re trying.
Everyone should read this book, and everyone should watch The Good Place

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-06-22

A fascinating beginners guide to moral philosophy

A great starting point for anyone vaguely interested in moral philosophy. Even if it’s just puzzling through some of the anecdotes, you will finish enriched in some way.

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  • calum kelly bain
  • 03-14-22

More good place points

I absolutely loved this. As I've hit 30 and about to become a father for the first time, I've found myself looking at how I can be better for my son compared to what I look back on with my parents. I've read the stoics and looked at the works of the old schools of thought, this brings these thoughts and ideas bang up to date with some really helpful scenarios and great modern examples. Michael Schur is truly a great a writer and I bow to him and will revisit this book now and then. as long as it doesn't class as excess in what will be my moral exhaustion.

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  • Erwin
  • 03-10-22

Perfect combination between textbook entertainment

I love how entertaining the book is while it still does a good job in explaining some advanced moral philosophy topics.

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  • Neil EJ
  • 01-27-22

The pineapple on top a moral philosophical pizza

A great follow up extension from The Good Place.
Aware, open, and exploring in sufficient detail to provide listeners with several "hmm" moments that make you consider your place in this world. Despite the author's clear bias towards delicious pineapple on pizza, he doesn't belittle anyone who takes the small but important step to consider life from different viewpoints.
While other philosophical discussions can leave one with "moral exhaustion" (Schur, 2022), this one is interesting and light enough to navigate you through the various concepts, like a competent trolley driver who is fastidious about brake maintenance.

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  • Jim Parker
  • 09-19-22

Amusing if Overlong

Some laugh out loud moments in the many wisecracking asides and footnotes from this Hollywood comedy writer and creator of the hit TV comedy ‘The Good Place’ enliven this otherwise straight and overlong lay person’s history of ethics as a philosophical study. Thought he was rough on JS Mill.

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  • MsN
  • 08-04-22

Too hard to follow

I listen while I’m driving, the extensive foot note cut ins and changing voices, while seemed cool and witty initially made it so hard to follow. I kept getting lost with it. I’m sure the book is a great read, but unless your listening with dedication, I would not recommend it.

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  • Aida
  • 06-24-22

Food for Thoughts!

The book has been narrated perfectly. Michael Schur did a great job in narrating a philosophical book in a way that sometimes it's funny! and easy to listen to.
The book is eye opening and make you think twice about the choices you make.
I really liked it!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-24-22

I need an apology…

A pity as the book did not deliver to this listener.

The use of a page when a sentence will do is annoying; as are analogies of varying worth and benefit to the thesis.

Footnotes are a constant interruption to listening and are both aggravating and unfunny.

Perhaps, the Reformation is ample evidence that philosophy should be for the theorists to argue and pontificate upon in the hallowed halls of academia; whilst they are supported by practical people getting on with the business of life, plying their trade and paying their taxes.

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  • Nate
  • 05-01-22

Not for me

Not for me... read of that what you will 🤷‍♂️
Big fan of Mike Schur's work but too much philosophy really turns me off. I'll still try to be a better human but I won't over think it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-30-22

Easy. Funny. Relatable.

So easy to kick back and listen to. Constantly laughing about references and side notes, and reminiscing stories everyone can relate to. 1000% first book anyone should read if they’re curious about philosophy. 1000% first book to recommend for anyone you’re trying to get interested in philosophy.

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  • neko_cam
  • 04-03-22

A perfect introduction to moral philosophy

An incredibly approachable and entertaining introduction to moral philosophy. I cannot possibly recommend this book more readily.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-29-22

The Good Book

A good book, by a good guy, who created The Good Place, to teach us how to be good people - loved it

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  • Nic
  • 03-12-22

I'm now clearly perfect

Thanks to Michawl Schur, I am now an entirely perfect person on this planet.

Thank you Mr. Schur