The Ultimate Book of Heroic Failures, Paperback Book

The Ultimate Book of Heroic Failures Paperback

5 out of 5 (1 rating)


This book was the winner of the Sunday Times Humour Book of the Year.

Anyone can be a success, but it takes real and original genius to foul up big time.

These are the all-time greats, Gods in the field of failure, surreal artists, who spurn mere drab success ('I'm a winner, Lord Sugar') to explore the vast, magical, life-enhancing possibilities of getting it wrong.

Any of us could make a mistake, but these great souls can turn the simplest everyday task into a scene of jaw-dropping wonder.

These are the immortals. Stephen Pile, President of the Not Terribly Good Club of Great Britain and author of the number-one best-seller The Book of Heroic Failures, takes us on an all-new and mind-bendingly hilarious tour to celebrate the most spectacular and absurd failures of the last twenty-five years. Failure is everywhere. There are 235 stories in total spread from the Outer Hebrides to America, Ireland, Australia, Europe and Africa.

The Syrian entry, for example, holds the world all-comers record as the driver who got most lost under satnav direction (5000 miles). From the most driving test failures (959), the most pointless election (in Dakota, in which not even the mayor voted), the worst robbery (when two different sets of bank robbers struck simultaneously) and the worst mugger (who left his victim $250 better off), to the holidaying rugby team of fifty-somethings from Dorchester who, due to a mis-translation, ended up playing the top team from Romania live on state TV, this is the ultimate book to make you feel better about yourself and the world around you.

The Ultimate Book of Heroic Failures fails miserably at failing to be a runaway success amongst funny books.


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Well, bugger me sideways Tuesday this was hilarious.The first book in this series "The Book of Heroic Failures" is hilarious, the follow-up, "The Return of Heroic Failures", is hilarious, and this, the third in the series, is hilarious. Basically, "The Ultimate Book of Heroic Failures" covers, like its predeccesors, tales of extremely poor attempts at a task, be it parking, bank robbery or concert review, or references to the most boring hobby (collecting brown wrapping paper). Stephen Pile, who also compiled the two previous contributions, has an engaging writing style and an eye for the ludicrous and I was left chortling merrily by reading any random section of the book. Picking a favourite entry is impossible due to the sheer number of tales of heroic failures mentioned within, so opening the book to a random page finds the tale of some would-be bank robbers who rang the bank ahead of time to say they would be arriving shortly and could they have money ready for them. Not suprisingly, the police were also at the bank (the story is a lot funnier when I'm not telling it).Hugely recommended.