Sonya Feher's Reviews > The Great Failure: A Bartender, A Monk, and My Unlikely Path to Truth

The Great Failure by Natalie Goldberg
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May 11, 09

bookshelves: memoir, writing, spirituality
Recommended for: spiritual seekers, fans of Natalie Goldberg,
Read in April, 2009

I read this after hearing Goldberg speak at a book signing recently. Someone said they'd read all of her books and she asked if the woman had read The Great Failure. The woman hadn't heard of it and neither had I, so I picked it up. It explores Goldberg's coming to terms with her father's mistreatment of her, revelations about her spiritual teacher Katagiri Roshi that come up after his death, and her continuing quest to find herself in the midst of the 10,000 things. She's honest without being cruel and though the book does share an understanding about human behavior and faults, the personal processing in The Great Failure did not quite have the objectivity or the insight that made The Long Quiet Highway, her last memoir about her experiences with Roshi, so powerful.
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message 1: by Diane (new)

Diane I read it too - thought it was kind of dull, given her hype about it. I lost interest about halfway through. And I loved Long Quiet Highway.


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