Failure is an Option

H. Jon Benjamin, Failure Is An Option: An Attempted Memoir (New York: Penguin Random House), 2018.

I frequently comment that I don't watch television. It is mostly true. However, I do watch videos on my computer and sometimes watch complete television shows. However, there are some popular shows that I simply have not seen. As I read this book, however, I sort of wished that I had watched at least one episode of Bob's Burgers or Archer. Both are animated sitcoms in which a major character is voiced by H. Jon Benjamin. This book seems to almost ask for one's imagination about how his voice sounds. From the book, I have gathered that he has a slightly nasal and somewhat whiny voice with perhaps a bit of a Yiddish accent, though I don't know about any of that.

In a very humorous way, Benjamin makes the case that failure is not the end of the world. In many situations failure can be a strong way to shape character. It also contributes to humility and grace in dealing with others who make mistakes and, yes, who on occasion fail. Benjamin adds to this the simple joy of telling a story in his own self-deprecating style. There are a few somewhat risqué situations, but nothing too extreme and on the whole the book is a delight and a very easy read.

I picked it up as I was making a transition from a very busy phase of my life to a more leisurely season and it was just right to get me into the mood of recreation and rest. It isn't the kind of memoir that one will read over and over again, but it is the kind of book that you won't mind passing on to a friend.