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.
Last year Stephen Pile attempted to deliver a daring blow to the success ethic that so pervades Western culture. To his dismay, The Ultimate Book of Heroic Failures sold many copies and even became the Sunday Times 'Humour Book of the Year.' Nothing daunted, Stephen returns with a new selection which brings together the very best of his original classic titles - The Book of Heroic Failures and The Return of Heroic Failures. The heartwarming news that stays news is that there really is no limit to what humanity can achieve, as we move onwards and downwards to ever more immortal and breathtaking feats of incompetence. The Not Terribly Good Book of Heroic Failures lovingly chronicles the all-time heroes who have been so bad at things that they shine as beacons for future generations. It is hard not to feel boundless admiration, for example, for the fifty Mexican convicts who dug an escape tunnel out of their jail and came up in the courtroom where many of them had been sentenced. Or for the world's worst tourist, who spent three days in New York believing he was in Rome.
'When an owner stood by his Triumph Stag, it was usually because he couldn't get the door open.' 'The Niki demonstrated every handling vice known to suspension engineers, plus some invented especially for this car.' 'If you needed a sudden burst of acceleration in the Goggomobil Dart, it was best to jump out and run.' It's true that cars are getting better and better. But sometimes, despite the designer's best intentions, instead of a peach we get a lemon. And while car enthusiasts (WHEELS magazine has a circulation of about 65,000 copies) will argue endlessly about what are the best cars, they'll argue even more ferociously about what are the WORST. LEMON! is a catalogue of 60 courageous disasters, from the 1958 Ford Edsel (by the 1960s 'edsel' was used in the US as a byword for failure, and the 23rd edition of the Webster Dictionary made it official) to the much-loved travesty, the P76 (when people took P76s in for warranty work they carried lists of the things that didn't need fixing). Bad design, appalling execution, ridiculous pretensions, ludicrous names- this detailed and hilarious look at automotive atrocities from the 1950s to the 1990s is a motoring Hall of Shame. Great photographs from car manufacturers' 'NEVER AGAIN!' Photo Archives will make this book impossible to resist. There are also plenty of top ten lists (top ten worst designs; top ten worst for handling etc) for those who suffer from list mania. The perfect Father's Day gift, LEMON! will also make a great stocking filler at Christmas. From Alfa to Zeta, from the tiny to the gargantuan and from the endearingly incompetent to the bombastically stupid, LEMON! will leave you not only laughing, but wondering how so many car makers got away with so much for so long.
50 Inspiring Exercises In Creative Writing in Five Minutes a Day
Author: Margret Geraghty
Pubpsher: Hachette UK
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
This follow-up book to Margret Geraghty's bestselling The Five Minute Writer contains 50 more inspirational exercises to inspire you to write - even if you have only five minutes a day to spare. Margret also includes a new feature: snippet triggers, which she has designed in order to show readers how they can develop quirky little anecdotes they find in newspapers and regional broadcasts. Each short section offers you a thought-provoking discussion, followed by a five-minute exercise. These daily warm-up exercises can be taken at random and will help you to: Develop a reliable and enjoyable writing routine. Break through the dreaded writing block. Open your mind, step out of your comfort zone and set free your creative thought. Access your inner self and the personal memories that provide an inexhaustible source of story ideas Develop whole-brain techniques for 'stepping outside the box'.
Herewith a handful of sample entries to tickle your funny bones... In the 1824 war between Britain and Ashanti (now part of Ghana), the British Redcoats found themselves surrounded by 10,000 fierce Ashanti warriors, and running very low on ammunition. Their commander ordered Charles Brandon, the army’s stores manager, to break open the reserve ammunition he’d ordered. As the Ashanti advanced Brandon began to open the ammunition boxes – only to find he had brought the wrong supplies. They were all full of biscuits. The grandfather of film star Lana Turner owned a half share in a brand new company that had started bottling a fizzy drink. He thought the drink’s name would affect its saleability and wanted to change it – without success. In frustration and as a protest he sold his 50%. It’s a pity really because Coca-Cola became quite popular... Italian Vittoria Luise was out driving during a fierce storm in Naples. A huge gust of wind blew his car into the River Sele. The car began to sink, but the calm motorist managed to break a window and swim to safety. He dragged himself onto the riverbank – and it was here that he was hit by a falling tree and killed. The Times of 19 October 1986 carried the story of Emilio Tarra, a crewmember of the 1986 America’s Cup race, who was driving from Perth towards Adelaide during the Australian leg of the race. En route, his car sideswiped a kangaroo, leaving it sprawled across the road. Tarra got out of his car and, assuming the kangaroo was dead, decided to take a novelty photograph to show his colleagues. Dressing the kangaroo up in his smart team blazer, he propped it against his car to take its photograph. As he was focusing his camera, the kangaroo, which had only been stunned, woke up and bounded back off into the bush, taking with it the jacket, which contained Tarra’s passport, $2,000 worth of cash and his credit cards.
The president who left the nuclear launch codes in a suit at the dry cleaners. The novelist who put the orange juice outside and the kitten in the refrigerator. The Russian general who left home in full military dress . . . minus his pants. The famous sex goddess who blew the same line through 52 takes. And the rock star who no longer remembers 1975. Filled with classic lapses, gaffes, and mental bloopers, 1,000 Unforgettable Senior Moments is a fabulous and witty gift for anyone of a certain age. And now it is updated, revised with more than 20 percent new stories, and repackaged in two color, making it an even more vibrant, visually appealing, fresh, and compellingly readable book. Anyone who’s ever had a mental lapse will empathize with relative spring chicken Nicki Minaj, who, while accepting a BET Viewers’ Choice Award, forgot why she was receiving the statuette (on live national television, no less). Or the team of astrophysicists who believed they had discovered proof of alien life—only to discover the signals were coming from the lunchroom microwave. Here’s a best man forgetting to show up at the wedding, a musician leaving his priceless cello in a cab, the bank robber who wrote a holdup note on a paycheck stub that had his name and address printed on it, and the Fox studio chief who, when pressed by his leading lady to remember her name, offered “. . . Cleopatra?”
The Great War and the Remaking of Global Order 1916-1931
Author: Adam Tooze
Pubpsher: Penguin UK
WINNER OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES PRIZE FOR HISTORY FINANCIAL TIMES AND NEW STATESMAN BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2014 On the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, Deluge is a powerful explanation of why the war's legacy continues to shape our world - from Adam Tooze, the Wolfson Prize-winning author of The Wages of Destruction In the depths of the Great War, with millions of dead and no imaginable end to the conflict, societies around the world began to buckle. As the cataclysmic battles continued, a new global order was being born. Adam Tooze's panoramic new book tells a radical, new story of the struggle for global mastery from the battles of the Western Front in 1916 to the Great Depression of the 1930s. The war shook the foundations of political and economic order across Eurasia. Empires that had lasted since the Middle Ages collapsed into ruins. New nations sprang up. Strikes, street-fighting and revolution convulsed much of the world. And beneath the surface turmoil, the war set in motion a deeper and more lasting shift, a transformation that continues to shape the present day: 1916 was the year when world affairs began to revolve around the United States. America was both a uniquely powerful global force: a force that was forward-looking, the focus of hope, money and ideas, and at the same time elusive, unpredictable and in fundamental respects unwilling to confront these unwished for responsibilities. Tooze shows how the fate of effectively the whole of civilization - the British Empire, the future of peace in Europe, the survival of the Weimar Republic, both the Russian and Chinese revolutions and stability in the Pacific - now came to revolve around this new power's fraught relationship with a shockingly changed world. The Deluge is both a brilliantly illuminating exploration of the past and an essential history for the present.
- The first anthology of the Guardian's brilliant music writing - To be promoted in the Guardian through space ads and on its website - Further promotion through the paper's Friday Film and Music section - Top music writers from Richard Williams to Nick Kent and Laura Barton - A prestigious addition to Aurum's high-quality music list