Start reading How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.
Read for Free
with Kindle Unlimited

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Add Audible Narration
How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide Narrated by Kevin Killavey $19.95 $1.99
Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

How to Fail: The Self-Hurt Guide [Kindle Edition]

Aaron Goldfarb
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99
Kindle Unlimited Read this title for free and get unlimited access to over 700,000 titles. Learn More

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Audible Narration

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration with Whispersync for Voice. Add narration for a reduced price of $1.99 when you buy the Kindle book.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $4.99  
Paperback --  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $0.00 Free with Audible trial
The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes
The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes
A glittering, uproarious, sharply drawn story filled with thinly veiled fashion personalities, The Knockoff is an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of fashion and a fabulous romp for our Internet-addicted age. Learn more | See similar books

Book Description

Now with over 100,000 copies sold, How to Fail is the cult book more and more people are joining the cult of every single day.

Let's be honest:  self-help guides SUCK.

How to Fail is the world's FIRST Self-Hurt Guide, the polar opposite of a self-help guide.

How to Fail follows the misadventures, misgivings, and massive mistakes of Stu Fish as he tries to find success in New York City.  This satirical novel and guide includes such hilarious chapters as:

Chapter One:  How to Fail to Write a Cohesive Introduction

Chapter Two:  How to Fail to Not Get Mistaken For a Bum
Footchapter Two:  How to Go Insane and Garner Voices in Your Head

Chapter Three:  How to Fail to Make Your Parents Proud of You
Footchapter Three:  How to Fail to Write Commercial Material

Chapter Four:  How to Fail to Do Something Productive All Day
Footchapter Four-A:  How to Develop an Addiction
Footchapter Four-B:  How to Masturbate at Work

Chapter Five:  How To Fail to Live in a Healthy Environment
Footchapter Five-A:  How to Locate and Find Yourself Paying Rent to a Slumlord
Footchapter Five-B:  How to Have Fucked-Up Neighbors

Chapter Six:  How to Fail in Love
Footchapter Six-A:  How to Get Usurped By Your Girlfriend's Ex
Footchapter Six-B:  How to Have a Sordid Past

Chapter Seven:  How to Fail All the Way to Rock Bottom

Chapter Eight:  How to Live on a Couch
Footchapter Eight:  How to Avoid Your Ex in a Small Town

Chapter Nine:  How to Fail to Extend Your Family Tree
Footchapter Nine:  How to Fail in Bed

Chapter Ten:  How to Get Laid on a Couch
Footchapter Ten:  How to Acquire the STD That's Right for You

Chapter Eleven:   How to Be Haunted by Demons
Footchapter Eleven-A:  How to Be Aimless and Uninspired
Footchapter Eleven-B:  How to Piss People Off, Alienate Yourself, and End Up Alone

Chapter Twelve:  How to Have a Negative Net and Self-Worth
Footchapter Twelve:  How to Network

Chapter Thirteen:  How to Fail to Be Normal
Footchapter Thirteen-A:  How to Be a Hypochondriac Without Health Care
Footchapter Thirteen-B:  How to Grow Apart From Your Friends

Chapter Fourteen:  How to Fail to Fail

Epilogue:  How to Write a Successful Book and Become Rich

There's not an aspect of life that How to Fail doesn't tackle and offer a terrific non-solution for!  All delivered in perfect single serving-size chapters for a modern A.D.D. culture more used to reading blog entries on their phones while riding the subway than in carefully reading a book.

There's other people out there just like you.  Stu Fish is one of them.

Editorial Reviews


"How to Fail is reminiscent of a classic that raised eyebrows sixty years ago: J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye." --Len Edgerly, The Kindle Chronicles

"Goldfarb's satire turns the genre on its ear...warps it like a fun-house mirror, to hysterical effect. Piss-yourself funny." --The Philadelphia Lawyer, Happy Hour is for Amateurs

"This is like the Bible for screwing up, except a little more awesome. Would that make Aaron Goldfarb a prophet for failures? We'd like to think so." --Jason Diamond, editor, Jewcy

"I was so deep into How to Fail one night, that I missed my subway stop on the way home. It's THAT good." --Murphguide

"A sharp little satire." --Three Guys One Book

"[Makes you feel] like the author is your new best friend." --NY Press

About the Author

Aaron Goldfarb is the author of the satirical novel How to Fail:  The Self-Hurt Guide, the world's first self-hurt guide, the opposite of a self-help guide. He also has a short story collection about the sexes, sex, and sexiness in New York, The Cheat Sheet, and a collection of essays called Drunk Drinking.

Visit him at, chat with him at, or follow him on

Product Details

  • File Size: 654 KB
  • Print Length: 383 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0982941102
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,286 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprised How Much I Enjoyed This! December 2, 2010
Goldfarb's book is one of the most pleasant surprises I've read in a while - I'm so glad a friend put it in my hands. I couldn't put it down! I read it in two days and then a week later decided to read it again.

The last "dude" book I was convinced to read was Tucker Max's "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell," which I admittedly enjoyed (though I might deny that in person). While this book does fall into the same category based on the narrator's playboy attitude and acerbic tone, "How To Fail" is funnier, sweeter and actually a bit insightful. Also, I loved that it was one narrative as opposed to a compilation of vignettes. The protaganist in "How to Fail" is a somewhat lovable/somewhat hatable character, but his story and experiences are relatable and shockingly honest.

For girls, if you like Chelsea Handler's kind of humor, you'll really dig this too. Guys, you either know this guy or you are this guy, and either way will find the story hilarious to read. Highly recommended. (That is, recommended for those who are comfortable with swearing and explicitly detailed romantic encounters - don't give it to your grandma.)
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sexy comedy! January 8, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I got this book for Christmas and I was like, "WTF?" It looked kind of stupid and childish, and, you know what? It was. But it was also hilarious. One of the funniest books I've ever read. I'd finished it before my vacation weekend was over. I've read and enjoyed other "fratire" books by Tucker Max, Aaron Karo, and Maddox, but "How to Fail" is my favorite so far. It had a sweet core that the other lacked. And it's smart too. So I'd recommend it to any one looking for a good, smart laugh that's a quick read too.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There Are No Vampires in This Book December 16, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My wife reads about a hundred books a year. They're all basically the same book- vampires eating warewolves or witches
trying to find love or something like that. Even the covers look the same. Sometimes she even reads a book she's already read by accident. Maybe she's crazy. Or maybe the bulk of books out there are bland, unmemorable bowls of oatmeal. How to Fail is NOT a book you'll forget you read.

I was first introduced to the author through his blog ( as I was searching for beer reviews. Most beer review sites consisted of a pretentious dude who tasted 20-30 different things in every beer. They were all the same- 'cept for The Vice Blog- it had a crazy way of mixing a beer review with some real life anecdote. It was original and I spent about three hours one night (after a few fine ales, natch) browsing the "Best Of" page. How to Fail is the same thing- Original. It has a feel to it like your buddy is telling you hilarious stories over beers at the local watering hole. But beyond the humor and cynicism is some really good observations about life and human nature. It actually gives you some things to think about.

If you want to read a book that's exactly like the last one you read maybe How to Fail isn't for you. But if you want something that's memorable and different, pick up a copy.
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Hilarious, yet intelligent, ... a must read satire on life

I have not read a book quite like this one, and was pleasantly surprised at how different, yet funny and intelligent a book "How to Fail" is, inspite of all it's foul language. I did not want to put it down even when I finished it. It's as if Goldfarb is taking possible real life situations of his own life, and putting the narrating main character, Stu, even deeper into those hilarious circumstances. Having lived in New York City many years, and being in a professional job, yet struggling to live a good life, I particularly enjoyed his detailing explicit lists of what neighbors, landlords, and apartments in New York are often like for many. Again, I found myself thoroughly enjoying Stu's humorous take on living in the big city. I also found the chapter on how to fail your parents quite enlightening and incredibly funny. I could go on and on, and talk about the many other hilarious chapters about Stu's work and love life; just get the book. You will love it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Still not sure.... October 10, 2012
By gmt
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
wavered between two and three stars for this book. I finished it, but was not sure after reading the ending, if I should have. Another book that I am very glad was a free download. Don't know if I would have wanted to pay for it. It had some very funny parts, but most of it jumped around too much. The sexual descriptions and language were quite vulgar. If you don't like crudeness, don't ready this book!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very funny January 10, 2011
By Brian
I'll admit that I rarely read fiction. So I was pleasantly surprised when I picked up this book. We live in a world inundated by "self help" books trying to sell you shortcuts to lose weight, make more money, meet new friends, etc. As if the "magic pill" exists among these pages for only $19.95!

What's great about HTF is its counter-intuitive commentary on the social issues and status quos many of us hold so sacred. HTF pokes fun at them and examines them in a completely new way. Goldfarb is an excellent writer and extremely funny.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncommon Perspective- Worth Reading! January 3, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is actually one of the first books I've read in a while. I'm fully literate and all, but most of my reading is limited to news/magazines/Joe Lundardi's latest Bracketology Blog. I got sucked in by the anti-self help concept and gave it a try. I'm really glad I did. The thing I enjoyed most about the book was the uncommon and hilarious perspectives offered by the author. It takes a perceptive/witty/demented mind to offer a lot of these points of view. I will definitely look at some things differently after reading the (mis)adventures of Stuart Fish, and am strongly leaning toward treating any future children I have like garbage (you'll understand if you read the book). Speaking of children, this book is about as child friendly as a Christmas subscription to Hustler, a fact which I enormously enjoyed as I looked over my shoulder to make sure that nobody could see exactly what I was laughing at while I read it. I also have a suspicion that you may think twice about reading this book if you are an ex-girlfriend of the author.

I definitely recommend this book if you're up for some smart laughs and graphic detail of topics that you won't find in many adopted by your wife's book club. I suspect that you'll probably end up stealing some of the observations Stuart makes and claim them as your own at the next wine and cheese party to which you are dragged. Finally, this is my first book read on the iPad version of Kindle. What a pleasure! Nice work on the readability and formatting. After this experience, I might have to take up reading on a more regular basis...
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
Couldn't put it down. Self deprecating humor with sincerity. An oblique commentary on modern life. Made me think about my own life. Looking forward to reading more from him.
Published 23 days ago by Flax man
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 2 months ago by Falnhalo
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a failed book
Overall this was a good book. It had a nice voice to it that helps add to the humor. I only say 4 stars though because there were a few parts that were pretty slow. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Owlwithaplan
3.0 out of 5 stars Talented Writer
I am still very undecided about this book, but have gone for a three star review. I found Stu to be incredibly annoying and not actually a failure. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sharon Joan-Figuerola
2.0 out of 5 stars porn
Started out great. 1st third was hilarious then it descended into pornography, why I don't know.
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't quit too early!
A couple of chapters in, I wanted to delete this book and wish its snarky doofus of a narrator an unfond farewell. But I'm glad I didn't. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Ray Anselmo
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a How to, but nice book
I was expecting a satirical How to book, but instead got a good comedy. Would recommend to people who want a light and fun read.
Published 14 months ago by Gustavo Pires
4.0 out of 5 stars a slap to the face
this book is for people who buy 'self help' books over and over and then do nothing with them. i enjoyed his cander and 'this is what i did go the other way' type style
Published 15 months ago by Lisa J. Morgan
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a very good book
It was not a good book.
I was a little bit desapointed.
Maybe i will give it a second look.
Published 16 months ago by Rui Farinha
1.0 out of 5 stars DNF
I very rarely give up on a book before finishing it, but I only made it through a few chapters of this one before I just couldn't take it anymore. Read more
Published 17 months ago by momster
Search Customer Reviews

More About the Author

Aaron Goldfarb is the author of the satirical novel HOW TO FAIL: THE SELF-HURT GUIDE, the world's first self-hurt guide, the opposite of a self-help guide and the "equal" novels THE GUIDE FOR A SINGLE MAN and THE GUIDE FOR A SINGLE WOMAN. He also has a short story collection about the sexes, sex, and sexiness in New York, THE CHEAT SHEET, and a collection of essays called DRUNK DRINKING. He writes frequently for Esquire and is also a screenwriter for television and film.

Visit him at, chat with him at, or follow him on

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category