Cover Image: If You Should Fail

If You Should Fail

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Member Reviews

Failure is a topic which we all need to read more about. Failing does not make you a failure as a person, and this book provides so much food for thought on the subject,

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Life is measured on success and failure, sometimes a long, seemingly fixed perception that is wide-spread in society, and sometimes a more personal perception. Joe Moran talks about the culture of success and now people are told that if they fail to try and try again and how fails become success. He talks more of the reality of this theory in quite a philosophical way. He also uses case studies and quotes from people from many different walks of life to illustrate the points he makes as he tries to change people’s perceptions on failure within the arguments he presents. There are mentions of well-known psychologists like Freud, literary people like Virginia Woolf, olympians and more…

It’s an interesting, philosophical book with something quite realistic, that may have readers examine their own lives in terms of failures and successes and how they perceive them and how society perceives them. It doesn’t try and set unachievable  expectations or goals.
I wasn’t as enthralled as I thought I might have been, even though it is at times, a deeply thought-provoking book, but don’t totally discount it as there are some interesting ideas and observations at how society is. There is a reality that most people at some point will relate to and may find useful. It is a book, perhaps best taking time to ponder over as you read and to reflect and think about what is being said in its well-researched weaving of historical and current time on the subject of failure and society.

Rated 3 1/2 out of 5 stars on my blog.

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I found this one tough, I was expecting a self-help book, and it ended up being more of an academic miandering. If you enjoy a little more of british/cynical view with interesting stories that take you on all sorts of historical tangents this might be for you. It's also fairly short, so make of that what you will. Not really my cup of tea but I could see my Dad finding it interesting.

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This was entertaining but it didn't have the impact on me that I was initially expecting.
I liked the writing style as it didn't have the dreaded dryness that often comes with non-fiction. Failure is a part of life and I'm a big believer that failing is a key part of the learning process. So it was refreshing to read something that was in line with my own views.

An interesting read but I was hoping for something a bit more impactful!

Many thanks to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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I had forgotten what this book was by the time I opened it to begin reading, and thought from the opening that it was a novel, but then the tone changed slightly and it became more preachy and I realised it was more of a self-help text. Reading on in this knowledge, the parts that had seemed like good fiction prose now also seemed a bit stuffy. So while the anecdotes and intention were all good, I didn’t get along with the tone.

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Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin for the review copy of this book.

I really enjoyed reading it. Joe Moran takes a look at the concept of failure by using a range of modern day and historical examples, including from philosophy, literature, the arts, sport, and more. It's well-written, engaging, and gave plenty of food for thought.

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I quite enjoyed this book but at the end of the day, it didn't grip me (for a short book it took me almost two weeks to finish reading it) and felt a bit too fragmented.

There were definitely some interesting parts, but all in all it lacked a certain something to tie it together.

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Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to review a digital ARC in exchange for an unbiased review..

Overall a very good read, and the chapter names were entertaining as well. “None of Us Is Proust”. “Life Is Hell, But at Least There Are Prizes”. “The Examination Dream”.

It was a good look at why we feel like failures from time to time and how to make adjustment to our ways of thinking. In this day and age of many feeling the Imposter Syndrome, this is a very good read.

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Both a ramble through and a rant about the concept of whether we have the right to fail -and be okay with it. At times, exhausting to read (the section on the Chinese history and current state of exams makes me gasp for mental water) but at the same time - a salve.

Why can't I enjoy the work I've done regardless of whether it succeeds or fails? Do I need the endless upper climb of capitalism? Or can I dip into it as I see fit?

Will I reject a society that wants to turn me into an economic resource, and search for meaningful work instead?

Why must I march to a drum that actually - like a drum - just produces an empty useless sound? I only have one life.

The book's value to me is its raising awareness of our own cultural air, and how much of it you choose to breathe. As the saying goes "It wasn't the fish who realised he lived in water."

This fish is grateful for this book dropped into the water. Recommended.

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This is a great book that is really a reminder of the importance of resilience in our career management and endeavours we undertake. Too often people don't give something a go because they're worried about failure. This book is inspiring in its temptation to give it a go. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Fact: we’re not failures. I loved Joe Moran’s ‘If You Should Fail’ on first reading in hardback so am delighted to see it out now in paperback this week. Recommended 🤩👍
I can't recommend this book enough! 'If You Should Fail' by Joe Moran, Professor of English at Liverpool John Moores University. Subtitled 'A Book of Solace' he manages to cut through the mach culture of 'win at all costs' to show true value in wherever we find ourselves to be comfortable and satisfied.

Early on he sees "how flimsy is the carapace of competence that makes us feel like paid-up members of the human race" on seeing a young man sleeping rough in a doorway across from his university office. And how true are those words now on our current situation.

It's one of those books that for me has an underlined insight on nearly every page. His is the first place I have read how evolution "settles for the good enough" and "in an ecosystem, what matters is not individual success or failure but maintaining the delicate organic whole."

Moran reminds us that the notion of a career didn't develop until early 20th century; as our identities came to rest heavily on the work we did "anyone who had not turned their life into a career trajectory was now in danger of being seen as less of a citizen, a partial person - a failure."

How grounding is it to read " Nature's gift is for survival. With our human talent for dissatisfaction, we forget what an accomplishment that is."

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