Romance, Riches, and Restrooms (Paperback)

A Cautionary Tale of Ambitious Dreams and Irritable Bowels

By Tim Phelan

iUniverse, 9781583480182, 272pp.

Publication Date: August 17, 2007

List Price: 14.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Tim Phelan is a confident, twenty-one-year-old college graduate who is determined to build his future on two solid pillars: meeting the woman of his dreams, and earning a financial fortune. Three months after he lands a job that promises to put him on the fast track to luxury-home ownership and country-club living, Phelan's plans begin to unravel: his brain and digestive tract seem to have entered into a diabolical conspiracy, and they appear hell-bent on destroying his ambitious plans, his confidence, and so much more. Set amid the rigid expectations of a polite society where mentioning bodily functions is taboo, this tragically hilarious memoir chronicles one man's desperate quest to conceal and conquer irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Follow the offbeat odyssey of this buttoned-down bachelor as he struggles to navigate the high-pressure world of investment banking and the image-conscious San Francisco dating scene before he becomes a penniless hermit.

This slightly fictionalized memoir of life with irritable bowel syndrome is engrossing in every sense. You've probably been there--trapped in a confined space or an inescapable social event, with nary a bathroom in sight, clenching ever more desperately to contain the building pressure in the colon. But for Phelan, an IBS sufferer since his college days, such crises of "explosive diarrhea" were a daily--sometimes hourly--occurrence. Inevitably, they happened in the most inopportune settings...It's hard to think of a more distasteful subject, but the author brings an engaging prose style and a hilarious self-deprecating humor to what is, after all, the very lowest of all common denominators of the human condition. With its slapstick social faux pas, goofball charm and thunderous flatulence, somebody in Hollywood ought to be calling. --Kirkus Discoveries