Thank you...

... for taking the time to stop by. I hope some of these ponderings will resonate with you.

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(Unless stated otherwise, all text & pictures are © Lee Labuschagne, all rights reserved.)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

1+1+1 for 365 day 37: A brilliant answer to all those self-help books about becoming successful

"To Quin-Xiang-Yi who in 1846 was given the title 'distinguished failure' in recognition of his 20 years spent failing the Chinese Civil Service entrance exams.  Buoyed up by this honour he went on to failed several times more." - Dedication of "The Return of Heroic Failures" by Stephen Pile.

The Book of Heroic Failures - (subtitled The Official Handbook of the Not Terribly Good Club of Great Britain) and The Return of Heroic Failures by Stephen Pile

So I'm breaking a rule (an appropriate failure) and talking about more than one book. But these two really go together and very sadly are both out of print, although available as second-hand copies from various sellers.  Thus sadly I don't expect a rush of people to book stores to try and acquire a copy.

But if ever a duo books caused belly-aching, tears-inducing, raucous laughter then these are the ones.   When Stephen Pile first published The Book of Heroic Failures in 1979, it became a runaway bestseller (thus failing at failing!) for good reason.   It was followed by The Return of Heroic Failures in 1988 and promptly  became yet another one of those books that you borrowed from a friend and found hard to return.

To illustrate that last statement, my copy of  The Book of Heroic Failures disappeared into that black hole created by trusted friends who 'will definitely return stuff', whereas the copy of The Return of Heroic on my bookshelf does not actually belong to me, but to a friend, as her name written on the inside cover clearly attests.