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Failure Is an Option

An Attempted Memoir
Narrated by: H. Jon Benjamin
Length: 4 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (91 ratings)

Non-member price: $29.26

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Publisher's Summary

Actor, voice actor, and comedian H. Jon Benjamin helps us all feel a little better about our own failures by sharing his own - despite his success starring on Archer and Bob's Burgers - in a hilarious, self-helpful memoir.

While he's not quite a household name, most people would consider H. Jon Benjamin, the voice-actor star of Archer and Bob's Burgers (and a sentient can of mixed vegetables in 2015's Wet Hot American Summer) a comedy show business success. But he'd like to remind everyone that as great as success can be, failure is also an option. In a hilarious, self-deprecating memoir, Jon lays out some of his many failures in all areas of life, from Work ("wherein I'm unable to deliver a sizzling fajita") to Family ("wherein a trip to PF Chang's fractures a family").

Fans of his characters' signature wit and voice will rejoice in H. Jon Benjamin's comical failures - and appreciate a rare look into the life of the man behind their favorite shows.

©2018 H. Jon Benjamin (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“His craft, and what makes him such an inspired and singular voice, is to make it look easy.... That it’s decidedly not that easy is part of the gag; writing this funny requires immense talent.” (AV Club)

“It’s that voice.... Had me laughing out loud.” (The New York Times)  

“Benjamin’s stories run the gamut from personal to professional and will leave you laughing out loud and embracing your own failures.” (HelloGiggles

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Entertaining but no warm feelings 4 author by end

it was an interesting story of his failures and his tendency towards wanting to fail. The further through the book I got the less I liked him as a person.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Buy this book

I bought this because I was interested in the topic, but also because how often do you get to be read a book by Bob Belcher/Sterling Malory Archer?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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what a dumb book... five stars

The elegant tale of school boy humour. Filled with more than a few poo jokes and penis jokes. A wonderful short sharp laugh.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Failure in an Option. Yes it is!

Loved it. I am a fan of Archer and Bobs Burgers and love the velvet voice of H. Jon Benjamin. His life story is so funny and a refreshing change from a biography that speaks of continual success when in reality the stories of embarrassment, failure and disaster are always so much more entertaining. This title is perfect for the Audiobook listener.

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So good.

This guy is a genius. An incredibly funny and easy to listen to book. Recommended.

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hilarious!

One of the funniest books I've listened to. H. Jon Benjamin is fantastic. if you like Archer and/or Bob's Burgers you need to listen to this.

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not what I was expecting

this wasn't what we asked for when we asked for that iconic voice reading a book. it was however what we needed. I really enjoyed listening to this book.

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Brilliant and hilarious

Thanks H. Jon Benjamin for one of the most hilarious and perfectly voiced audiobooks I’ve ever heard. Your stories of failure and the way you presented them were refreshing, enlightening and overall humbling/heartwarming in a wierd way.

Please, please voice more books, I would happily buy them all.

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  • Gisela
  • 07-05-2018

No joke, This book helped my marriage

I'm way to hard on myself and my failures, which is why I decided to listen to this book. I thought if I could hear how a person who's, by all rights, "made it" can be casual about failure, then I could be too. What the book did, was allowed me to think back to some of my failures and be ok with them. Besides, failure is a set closer to success ... that if, if you keep going, which Jon often didn't ... but that's not the point.

It also gave me a great amount of insight about my husband, who focuses on his own failures, and has described the many times in his life when he's been paralyzed by failure, or the possibility of failure. I hugged him often while finishing a listening session and gained a new level of love and awe for his ability to succeed even when the fear of failure paralyzed him so.

This book was funny, and fun to listen to, and honestly it's made all the better by Jon actually reading it to you.

I recommend it to anyone who wants to laugh about themselves, while laughing at someone else.

44 of 49 people found this review helpful

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  • Tanya
  • 08-05-2018

Everything I expected and more

With all it's rambling filler this book is wonderful. The comedy within is all I hoped for. Well done!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jonathan
  • 08-05-2018

Super funny...

...I just wish it were longer. Any fan of Jon's work should get a kick out of his attempted memoir; I don't think I've ever laughed out loud this many times while listening to an audiobook. Hopefully he attempts a follow up!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Posinerd
  • 11-05-2018

Love H Jon Benjamin

Truth be told, I was a little disappointed about the book. BUT H. Jon Benjamin as narrator does NOT disappoint, and the last 3 chapters are worth the price of admission. You should still get this book.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Mollie
  • 08-05-2018

Set up to fail

Thank you Jon Benjamin. Thank for you this book which I do very much believe in written form is made of solid gold. It’s probably a heavy book then. Thank you for narrating your book. Thank you for being you. I feel like I’m set on a good track to fail after listening to this audio book! If you have even just one working ear you should listen to this book. Your ear(s) will thank you.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-05-2018

Failure to not entertain

Very funny and above expectations! I love Jon's other work and enjoyed get a bit of insight into his life's failures.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jill Nicely
  • 03-05-2018

sex, drugs, rock'n'roll, archer, and bob

I've been a fan of Bob's Burgers and Archer for years, so when I saw that H. Jon Benjamin wrote a memoir, I knew I had to have it. And when I saw that he read it himself, I knew I had to get in on audio. 

I was not disappointed. 

Failure Is an Option is a phenomenal book to listen to. Benjamin starts from his childhood and goes through his life so far, detailing his failures: how he failed to have a name, how he failed to have a sleepover, how he failed to make a pilot, how he failed at launching a kid's show. He's had a lot of failures. And yet, he's clearly had successes too. He makes the point that while some authors talk about how failures can lead to success, he believes that they're not necessarily correlated. We all fail. We all succeed. But then he goes back to doing one of the things he does best, being funny. 

With buckets of honesty and self-awareness, Benjamin shares stories of living in France and studying at university, about trying pot and negotiating with gay escorts (it's not as easy as it sounds, especially when they play Good Gay Escort/Bad Gay Escort). He goes to Canada and baseball games and a Chinese restaurant that his parents "discover." He buys a dirt bike (or two) and offers poor customer service, both in his father's electrical supply store and at a restaurant that serves sizzling hot fajitas. And in with all the stories of his failures are other ideas he's had: failed Presidential pets, failed business ideas, failed pickup lines, and he even includes an excerpt from his fake Holocaust memoir. 

His openness is only matched by his ability to take what could be a painful experience and turn it into a laugh-out-loud funny story that makes you like him even more.

Failure Is an Option may be a perfect audiobook. I recommend it strongly (while giggling behind my hand, knowing what you're in for). 

Note: this isn't for everyone. There is talk of sex, including threesomes, and drug use. If you know him from Bob's Burgers, you might cringe a little every once in awhile. If you know him from Archer, you won't even bat an eyelash. 

Second, far more important note: In this book, Benjamin admits that as a teenager, he liked disco. Not only that, he had the ability to do the DISCO SPLITS! ON ROLLER SKATES!! How has this not been in an episode of Archer yet??? Someone important: please make this happen, ASAP!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Irene Barnett
  • 15-06-2018

Favorite comedy book of all time

I’m a huge fan of Archer so getting to listen to that voice in my ear - huge plus. HJB is so likable and endearing and hilarious. Laughed through the whole book, out loud and to the concern of others at the gym.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Kevin Zeillmann
  • 16-07-2018

Great narration, less than great content

I love H Jon Benjamin's voice, and I really enjoyed parts of the book, but when someone keeps writing about how unimpressive they are, you gradually start to ask yourself why you are listening to such an unimpressive person and learning about their life. As much as I love his voice, I couldn't finish the book. Made it about 60% of the way

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Aaron
  • 23-05-2018

Hilarious

This was one of the funniest books I have ever read. A must read, so relatable, so perfect.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Katievsbubble
  • 09-06-2019

i just love everything about H. Jon Benjamin.

he is failure. he through his failures helps you through your own failures.

the book is sweet, funny, and realistic. no hyperbole. we are all failures and that is fine.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-03-2019

Truly amazing

To hear how he stumbles through life, it will make you think how he is still alive, or at least not in jail

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  • Chris Tiernan
  • 31-01-2019

PHRASING!

I was waiting for the story of Archer and Bob Burgers and it was worth it!
A Beautiful and hilariously embarrassing journey of a man too lazy to quit but also too lazy to get up.
Jon has taught me a lot of things!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-12-2018

Great listen, i found it funny and really enjoyed

Really liked it. found it entertaining and always been big a fan of H.J. Benjamean

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  • Jake Gardner
  • 03-09-2018

Thoroughly enjoyable.

Enjoyed every word from start to finish, and having H. Jon Benjamin narrate it himself only adds to the enjoyment.

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  • Lord
  • 01-08-2018

A few great laughs but mostly talking rubbish

Could have done better. Put more effort into the next one, please!!
Some very funny bits and some good stories, a LOT of pointless rambling.

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  • SKOTCH
  • 01-06-2018

Great book albeit some waffle/filler

Really funny book several moments are laugh out loud funny. I did find some of the filler to get a bit tedious and boring for example the failed inventions section but overall was really funny and definitely recommend

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  • James Owen
  • 12-05-2018

Great book

This an excellent book for any H J fan. Having him read it really adds to it. I continually kept saying back to the radio “you can just call it New York”.

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  • nathaniel bowers
  • 10-05-2018

Wait... I had something for this

Amazing! 5+hours of H. Jon Benjamin's voice was even better than I expected. Danger Zone!