The Book of Heroic Failures, written by Stephen Pile in 1979, is a book written in celebration of human inadequacy in all its forms. Entries include William McGonagall, a notoriously bad poet, and Teruo Nakamura, a soldier of the Imperial Japanese Army who fought for Japan in World War II until 1974.

The original edition included an application to become a member of the Not Terribly Good Club of Great Britain; however, this was taken out in later editions because the club received over 20,000 applications and closed in 1979 on the grounds that, Even as failures, we failed but not before Pile himself had been expelled from it for publishing a bestseller. The American version of the book was misprinted by the publishers, who left out half the introduction. As a consequence, later versions of the book came out with an erratum slip longer than the entire introduction. In his second book The Return of Heroic Failures, published in 1988, Stephen Pile reports that Taiwanese pirates were not aware of this and did not include the erratum slip. The second book was published in the USA under the title Cannibals in the Cafeteria.