The man who tried any number of jobs and failed at them all, a jailbird to boot - who went on to write one of the world's most famous books.

The milkshake machine salesman whose business was heading for the rocks - until the day he noticed one customer was just buying too many milkshake machines.

The ordinary fisherman, sentenced to death after a coup and escaping abroad to life as a pirate and a mercenary - who returned to re-unify his country.

The housewife who became one of the world’s great photographers.

The Yale professor who lost his job - only to resurface as, of all things, a film star.

The commercial lawyer transformed by war into a top espionage agent.

The farmer’s wife whose years of fame didn’t even begin until she was 80!