Joe Moran is Professor of English and Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University and is the author of seven books, including Queuing for Beginners- The Story of Daily Life from Breakfast to Bedtime, Armchair Nation- An Intimate History of Britain in Front of the TV, Shrinking Violets- The Secret Life of Shyness and First You Write a Sentence. He writes for, among others, the Guardian, the New Statesman and the Times Literary Supplement.
A classic anti (or counter-intuitive) self-help treatise -- robustly argued, intellectually sturdy, laced with self-deprecatory humour... it is deeply empathetic to the trials of the creative life * Livemint * A beautifully written meditation on life's inevitable setbacks and what he sardonically terms the failing well movement . Moran encourages us to accept our impostor syndromes, to avoid becoming a sporting masochist for whom winning is everything, and to admire the history of West End musicals that were instant, notorious flops -- Steven Poole * Guardian Books of the Year * A calming antidote to the world of professionally failing... What Moran has created is a slim, lyrical and blessedly cool-headed reflection on failure as a universally shared human trial... What he provides, instead of the mechanical business strategies laid out in some popular failure titles, is a selection of fascinating and often moving lives, characterised in some way by their failure -- Megan Nolan * New Statesman * These stories are beautifully told, and they are comforting at first... Moran's compassion shines through this gift of a book -- Kieran Setiya * Literary Review * I really love Joe Moran's work, he writes with such generosity and kindness -- Tiffany Watt Smith Joe Moran is a wonderfully sharp writer, calm, precise and quietly comical -- Craig Brown * Mail on Sunday * Joe Moran is the most perceptive and original observer of British life that we have -- Matthew Engel Moran is a past master at producing fine, accessible non-fiction -- Helen Davies * Sunday Times * Moran is a wonderful, witty writer -- Marcus Berkmann * Daily Mail * A fascinating insight. Moran's honesty is brilliantly raw and uncomfortable at times, but under the apparently bleak message on the surface there is an uplifting truth to be found. For myself, the concept of failure has been redefined -- Matthew Parris Joe Moran is a brilliant historian. He makes the humdrum riveting -- Matthew Engel This is a deeply tender book, and full of wise insight and honesty. Moran manages to be funny, erudite and kindly: a rare - and compelling - combination. This is the essential antidote to a culture obsessed with success. Read it -- Madeleine Bunting