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Good Advice from Bad People: Selected Wisdom from Murderers, Stock Swindlers, and Lance Armstrong Paperback – April 29, 2014


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Frequently Bought Together

Good Advice from Bad People: Selected Wisdom from Murderers, Stock Swindlers, and Lance Armstrong + How to Be Richer, Smarter, and Better-Looking Than Your Parents + Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off My Parents
Price for all three: $35.36

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Trade (April 29, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591846897
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591846895
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #228,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[A] witty collection . . . The book tells us something important about advice in general. From the issuer's point of view, admonitions are not meant to be followed at all. In fact, they are positioning statements that tell the world about the values the issuer would like it to think they hold." -- The Financial Times

"[T]he subject matter and the author are both funny as hell." -- CBS Local

About the Author

Zac Bissonnette is the author of Debt-Free U. and How to Be Richer, Smarter, and Better-Looking Than Your Parents. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Mental Floss, and Boston Globe Magazine. In August 2013, he was blocked on Twitter by Donald Trump.

More About the Author

Zac Bissonnette is a personal finance writer. His first book, Debt-Free U, landed him on The Today Show, Sean Hannity, The Dave Ramsey Show, The 700 Club, and the Fox News Channel. The Washington Post called Debt-Free U "the best and most troubling book ever about the college admissions process."

It has been featured by The BBC, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Bloomberg, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, The Suze Orman Show, The Boston Globe, ABC News, and many others.

His second book "How to Be Richer, Smarter, and Better-Looking Than Your Parents" was a New York Times Bestseller. He was also the editor of the Warman's Guide to Antiques & Collectibles and he is a contributing editor with Antique Trader.

He has written for various media outlets including GLAMOUR, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times Online, The Boston Globe, and The Daily Beast. His is currently working on his next book, the story of the Beanie Babies bubble of the 1990s.

Customer Reviews

Some are really funny.
Magda Dream
In a nutshell, I loved this book and finished it in one sitting.
Kim L
This book is certainly amusing.
Aaron C. Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Aaron C. Brown TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is certainly amusing. The writing is crisp and stylish, with a keen ironic edge and plenty of wit. The best entries are thought-provoking as well. Without ever becoming didactic, the author skillfully suggests interesting questions. Is the problem with us for celebrating fraudulent or shallow people? Or with them for hypocrisy? Or is the problem that we don't really know what good advice is, accepting easy platitudes over useful wisdom that real people can apply?

Unfortunately, the book was ruined for me by tabloid-quality reporting, a.k.a. "smears." Some of the bad people are really bad, but most are better described as "tainted" or "controversial"--in some cases just "unfortunate." Particularly in cases where a subject's problems had nothing to do with their published advice I find this irresponsible and offensive. A tabloid has the excuse of deadline pressure, and people know it's a tabloid. Accused subjects are given at least a nominal opportunity to respond. Asserting the same dubious charges in a book, and one without references, is much worse.

For one example, Victoria Osteen is a bad person because a flight attendant accused her of assault. I think it's fair to say that the case against Ms. Osteen disintegrated in court, and the jury awarded no damages. The foreman called the case "a waste of time." The event did result in a $3,000 FAA fine, but this was based on the attendant's allegations, not an investigation. I have no idea if Victoria Osteen is a good or bad person (or somewhere in between like the rest of us), or whether she or the flight attendant told the truth. You might suspect that she would have contested the FAA case if she were completely innocent, or you might put more weight on the unanimous jury finding. Anyway, Mr.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Zac Bissonnette rounds up Swindlers, Liars and general B.S. Peddlers into an enjoyable eyeopening read.

I was aware of some of them. I have always enjoyed when religious hypocrites show who they really are. When marriage counselors can't stay married to the same spouse, (repeatedly) isn't that a flag?

THANK YOU Zac for including G.W. and Rumsfeld.

There is a quote from each person and then Bissonnette proves how they lived the opposite. Some are really funny. Some are pathetic and some are infuriating.

When I was young, there was a saying "Do As I Say - Not as I Do". I think THAT is the Mantra of the "Bad People" Bissonnette writes about.
Everyone should read this book and learn its lessons!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shafer on May 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is much more than the typical advice or self-help book you would find anywhere else. As with a good novel, the author is able to let the characters (in this case real people), tell the story themselves. By reading this book, the reader is able to get an insight into a deeper understanding of the human condition. Good advice is good adive regardless of the source; and people who can give wise advice can be the most flawed and awful among us, and most of these people are pretty terrible.

Reading Good Advice From Bad People is something eeveryone should read. I just bought three more copies so that I could make sure my friends and family are able to read this for themselves. It's too good not to.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Karen Tiede VINE VOICE on May 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Some of the time, cute little "nugget" books can be irritating; not enough meat, trivial, superficial. Even when I flipped through the pages of Good Advice from Bad People, I caught myself thinking, "reading enough of this to review it is going to be a drag." It simply looked like a lot of stop-and-start chugging through.

Could. Not. Put. It. Down.

Really.

Even more, sometimes when you read "nugget" books straight through, they get draining because they are meant to be consumed like single-serving yogurt, not single-serving-big-bag-from-Sam's-Club size.

Not so here.

I simply kept turning pages, eager to see what train wreck was coming next. And Bissonnette supplied one after another after another.

It's not surprising to me that much of the "good advice" is somewhat trivial; in reality, most advice is trivial (the really good stuff is simply hard), and these are, after all, bad people. Lots of people received advice about being ethical and trustworthy from Bernie Maddoff...

From a longer point of view, the book also has a take-away effect. I didn't know that the Men are From Mars guy was a walking relationship disaster, for example. Confirmation and affirmation that if I have any suspicions at all about advice books, I will do well to listen to my instincts.

Honestly? Put this book in a waiting room and it will get stolen. It's simply too engaging to leave around where it can be slipped into a pocket.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lynne E. TOP 50 REVIEWER on May 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The book's title is priceless. The advice is a little disappointing--just your usual motivational platitudes, none of the quotes particularly memorable. But each quote is accompanied by a mini-bio of the person quoted that gives the context, and also exposes the person's shallow, narrow-minded, or downright duplicitous nature.

The Lance Armstrong quote doesn't disappoint, but quoting it here would give away too much. (Isn't the subtitle the reason you're reading these reviews?) A fairly typical quote is this one from someone else: "Southern charm is real. It works . . . . I want people to feel good about bein' with me, and bein' nice to them makes it happen." --Paula Deen

The quotes are grouped in chapters: Money Secrets (e.g., the People Who Wrote These Books Have No Money); Integrity!; the Complete Idiot's Guide to Leadership; Time Well Spent and a Life Well Lived; Relationships Until Death (or Domestic Violence or Crystal Meth and Gay Hookers Do Us Part); and Keep the Faith (Out of Wedlock), Baby. The persons quoted include Bernie Madoff, Tiger Woods, Rush Limbaugh, Richard Nixon, Oscar Pistorius, and many others.

GOOD ADVICE FROM BAD PEOPLE is a great book for bedtime, bathroom, or waiting-room reading--the mini-bios are quick and fun to read. I rate this book at 4 stars ("I like it" on the official Amazon scale).
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