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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 November 2014
This is a selection of short stories which are simultaneously funny, perceptive, crude, drunk, noisy and sometimes quite poignant. Many of the characters could be graduates from the Irvine Welsh finishing school for young gentlemen, so will not be to everyone's taste, but if you enjoyed Trainspotting, Glue, and Filth you will probably enjoy this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 September 2014
I not sure i was meant to laugh at some of the stuff in this book....but i did, i couldn't help it!
A mish mash of life's absurdities and observations written by someone who apparently doesn't give a fukc! Loved it.. give it a try.. it's damn funny.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I really loved this book of short stories. It will make you laugh and cringe at the same time. Might be a bit strong for some readers but for me it was an excellent read I loved it so much I've downloaded the rest of Ryan Bracha's books
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on 4 October 2014
A collection of short stories with a difference. A lot of the time short stories leave me unsatisfied, like there's a bit of can't be arsedness about them. Here however, the stream of consciousness writing style crams enormous detail, energy, and emotional intensity into its short bursts. It's not for the faint hearted. If profanity, grit or just plain weirdness offends, it's not for you. If you like to laugh, and don’t mind what at, it is. But pick underneath the scab and the writer treats his characters with enough empathy to avoid creating clichéd cartoons worthy of only derision or contempt. Human beings of all psychological shades. Anyway, like all good quickies they'll leave you drained and satisfied. I hope it's good for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2014
Ryan Bracha is one of my favourite writers. Encapsulating everything that is 'wrong' with modern society, his quick fire observational humour leaves you wanting more. Imaginative, witty, quirky and pulls no punches.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
You know a collection of stories are good when your wife bluntly asks you at midnight, "You have to work in the morning. Are you still reading that book?" An hour later she looks at you like you have lost your mind and ask you what in the hell you are laughing about. Mr. Bracha, not only did you make me late for work, you also scarred me for life.
I won't elaborate on every story, although they are all great in my opinion. I will touch on a few that hit me the hardest.
The Bad Day and The Short Version both involve a masterful orchestration of players to pull off. The author does this beautifully on both counts. Instead of one or two main characters following the standard format of conflict/ turning-point/ climax scenario, Bracha shuffles them all in to complete a jagged cycle of circumstance. Brilliant!
The Banjo String Snapped is an old favorite from previous works that ties together some loose ends while teaching me names for parts of my body that I never knew existed.
Finally, The Happiest Days of Your Lives was by far the funniest $#!@ that I heave read in years. All in all this collection has my sincere stamp of approval. Just read it when you have the following day to recover.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 March 2014
Whether or not short stories are your thing, this collection from Ryan Bracha is a must have. Cynical, dead-on observational humour drives each of these stories at pace. Each is a carefully carved bullet of fiction shot from the twisted mind of a great story teller. Bogies Is a triumph of minimal words employed for maximum storytelling. If you’ve never read Bracha sorry before, this is a great place to get a wee taste of his wares, but like every peddler of addictive substances, you ‘ll get the first hit cheap, but he’ll have you hooked for good and searching for a larger hit.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 February 2014
After reading Irvine Welsh' s 'Skagboys' Amazon recommended this, so when I saw it was under £2 I thought it would be worth a punt. I wasn't disappointed; a wonderful set of twisted tales set around South Yorkshire which although pretty disgusting frequently made me laugh out loud. Will definitely be checking out some more of Ryan's stuff - thoroughly entertaining :)
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on 13 November 2014
Fun book, good holiday read.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 December 2013
A collection of eleven stories of varying length, some previously published but now deleted and reissued in this single volume.

Ryan Bracha is like Marmite (a yeast based foodstuff that provokes widely spread reactions of the taste buds) you'll either love or hate his work. This collection of stories aptly portrays the wide range of Bracha's subject matter and a writing style that is best termed ambitious and challenging.

Personally I place myself in the former Marmite camp (both liking Bracha and the yeast based foodstuff). I've previously reviewed Strangers... and Tomorrow's Chip Paper. Both proved unusual and challenging reads. Bogies, as you can probably tell from the title, is no different. All of the stories are provocative, most are funny.

The book opens with Baron Catastrophe and the King of the Jackals. It comprises two story arcs that subsequently combine - a first person character who has a powerful OCD tendency and his sandwich man neighbor, a hard working member of society who makes a simple spelling mistake on his sign that sets off the whole episode.

The third installment is The Bad Day. This is an interesting diversion from the `norm'. The author's stories typically have a hard Northern seam running through them, but are balanced with a heavy lacing of humour. Not this one, it's grim from beginning to end. That being said it is well written and the multiple plot strands are cleverly built and concluded in such a short space.

Call Me Doctor **** Knuckles is previously unpublished. The main character is meeting his girlfriend's parents for the first time. He's working class, they're all wealthy, and with a very strange set of behaviours. The title is the name the prospective father in law insists he be called throughout dinner. It's a funny (as in haha) read accompanied with a quite a bit of wincing.

Written in the first person Tha Dunt... tracks a short episode in Fintan's bored life. He had a terrible upbringing, living constantly on a porn set (his mother the star) and he's now totally skewed by his experiences. He has no real friends and spends his time trying to entertain himself. He's a seriously damaged character. Then someone has an idea, pretend to be a secret millionaire. The trouble is Fintan hates people, has no regard for them at all, himself included, and he ends up putting the one person close to him in an embarrassing situation.

The final story is the longest of them all, The Banjo String Snapped... It's a rude and lewd read, the story of a group of lads on a stag do in Leeds. Full of swearing, drugs, drinking and dodgy happenings, this is a blast, thoroughly enjoyable but with a lot more to it than just recounting a particularly dubious drinking session. Seen from multiple viewpoints it unfolds in an interesting fashion.

Overall the writing is free and highly engaging, but if you have any sensitivity at all to plenty of strong language and adult situations then this is not the book for you - and vice versa. The author deliberately challenges the reader in style, language and content. If you like a wild ride with the occasional hairpin corner then Bracha is an author you should seek out.

I think the best place to finish this review is with the author's dedication to his wife which is right at the start of the book `For Rebecca, who just wishes I would write something normal for once.'

Please don't.

**Originally reviewed for Books & Pals blog. May have received free review copy.**
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