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Life Arts    H3'ed 8/9/11

Book Review: The Foley Follies -- Today's Most Un-Political, Un-Productive, and Totally Hilarious Self-Help Book

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If you happen to be one of those hopeful people who believe that the next "how-to" book you buy will be your silver bullet, do not read this column.

You will not only be disappointed. It will cost you. And you could end up broke and homeless.

I'm not clear on whether these were Brian Foley's goals when he wrote his latest (actually his first) book, "A New Financial You in 28 Days - a 37-day plan." I should have known that this was the most un-Kosher self-help book ever conceived when I read its "Lifetime Guarantee," to wit:

If at the end of the life of the purchaser of A New Financial You in 28 Days! A 37-Day Plan! ("purchaser"), purchaser has not achieved a "new financial you,"

purchaser is entitled to a full refund. This guarantee does not apply to purchaser's successors, heirs, or assigns. This guarantee may be void in the State of Minnesota and in North Korea.

I should have known that author Foley was a lawyer, in fact a Law Professor. I should also have guessed he was a comedian, a stand-up comic to be precise.

Only a lawyer would know how to write such a totally unenforceable Lifetime Guarantee. And only a Stand-Up Comic would know how to con us into buying this e-book by stringing together the world's funniest non-sequiturs and laying them end to end around the globe.

It is only rumor, but I hear on pretty good authority that the last guy to actually get through this modest volume threw himself off a bridge when he failed to find logic in any single sentence of the book.

The note he left behind, written on a bunch of shriveled-up Confederate banknotes, said he now knew how it felt to be James Joyce on steroids. He noted that Finnegan's Wake was also considered a work of comic fiction based on free association.

If you're determined to associate yourself with Brian Foley, here is a sampling of some of the comic fiction you will find in "A New Financial You in 28 Days - a 37-day plan:"

Foley starts off Day One with a poem (a very versatile scribe, he):


The roaches aren't dead.
The violets are through.
From this dank one-bedroom
Sprouts A New Financial You.

"Look around! What you see is Your Financial You. If you want A New Financial You, you have to do something different. But you can't do that until you know what you are doing now. Are there roaches in your apartment? Are they dead? Is your apartment a dank, one-bedroom apartment? If so, then you are ... probably living in my apartment. Get out! Now! This is MY apartment!

"Now you are homeless. I have allowed you to put some things in a trash bag and leave. I have called the police, so you are racing against time. If you are caught, you will have a home in a jail cell, because I will press charges. I have let you into my life in this book, sure, but I did not let you into my apartment. So please leave. The

police are on their way. I don't like uncomfortable scenes, and I don't like handcuffs and Tasers.

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William Fisher has managed economic development programs in the Middle East and elsewhere for the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development. He served in the international affairs area in the Kennedy Administration and now (more...)
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