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A Bricklayer's Tales: A Collection of Short Stories and memoirs (The Ray Dennis Series Book 1) by [Troia, Gary]
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A Bricklayer's Tales: A Collection of Short Stories and memoirs (The Ray Dennis Series Book 1) Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Length: 110 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

About the Author

Gary Troia was born in South-East London and studied Spanish and Philosophy at Middlesex University and the Universidad de Deusto. In 2010, he left behind a career in education and moved to a small Spanish village, where he began his lifelong dream of writing. His first book, Spanish Yarns and Beyond, is a collection of short stories that are humorous accounts of his time in Spain. ‘A great play on words, witty and well written,’ was how one reviewer described the book. A Bricklayer’s Tales, published in 2013, is a collection of ten short stories and memoirs, including: Angel Dust, the peculiar story of a man whose new life in America leads to conversations with Ancient Greek philosophers. Mrs. McClintock, an absurd farce in which a Glaswegian couple retire to Spain, and A Bricklayer's Tale, the story of a disillusioned, alcoholic bricklayer. Coming soon, Gary’s début novel. Gary now lives in Winchester, with his partner Marina where he continues to write.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 283 KB
  • Print Length: 110 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1489598715
  • Publisher: New Dawn Publications; Second Edition edition (15 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DYQWIVG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #315,025 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Gary Troia writes with dark, gallows humour about the life of the pisshead, the druggie and, of course, the bricklayer, grafting away at a job he hates with work mates he hates in weather he hates and eating food he hates and … did I mention he hates his job?

I really, really enjoyed this book, yet I note one reviewer has written that he finds the world of “alcoholics, drug addicts and chain smokers really depressing,” Well why download the book then? For me, this book gives you exactly what it says on the tin. Troia himself describes Ray as having “three expensive hobbies: drinking, drugs, and running away” and also as “a truly messed up person with potential, struggling to keep his messed up mind from drowning in cheap wine and self-loathing.”

So if he finds that depressing, perhaps this particular reviewer would be better off reading Brontë’s Wuthering Heights or Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind or Forster’s Room with a View where an unexpected kiss in a field of violets would perhaps lift his spirits.

I loved Bricklayer’s Tales. Troia captures the feelings of the British construction worker as day after day he climbs up the ladder to just one more shaky scaffold platform and reflects on an empty space that by the end of the day will be magically transformed to a wall of brick. He hates his co-workers and doesn’t want to join in their banal conversations. In fact he doesn’t even want to be there. But he knows it’s the only way to ensure he has the wine and drugs he requires to get him through the next weekend.

The book takes us on a few substance-induced trips, which are catalogued with such skill that the reader truly feels the dark edge of this man’s life.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I worked on quite a few building sites before going to University to study architecture. I knew so many of these guys. We called them "Weekend Millionaires" as soon as they were paid it was straight to the pub. By Wednesday they were asking for a sub to tie them over to the weekend. One guy managed to rise above it and became a multimillionaire building houses etc - My Brother. I decided to have a glance at the first story and eventually set it down when I finished them all. Great read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Gary,the title of your book caught my eye ,being, unfortunately,a Bricklayer for too many years now.
A true account of the realities of Bricklaying,I know exactly where your coming from,at first I didn't realise you had done Bricklaying,and thought it was fiction,but as I read more I could tell you had first hand experience ,especially the part with the Foreman with the "top hoddy" and the other Brickie all hanging on to his every word,seen too many of them over the years!Written with some black humour that a construction worker would understand!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent reflective story, the author brings to life the characters he is describing, the stories are well written and are a pleasure to read. A nice book to read on a quiet Sunday afternoon with a nice glass of red wine.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent collection of short stories incorporating humour, thoughtful observations/reflections and interesting anecdotes. I think whoever said it was 'street humour and honesty' was spot on, with a little bit of rebelliousness to boot. Gritty (A Bricklayer's Tale and Peyote), touching (My Grandfather's shed) and darkly funny (Angle dust). The stories leave you wanting to read the next tale. Vicarious enjoyment of things I wish I'd done.
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Format: Kindle Edition
A Bricklayer's Tales depicts the life of a lonely, depressed but functioning alcoholic and drug user. An educated man whose need for the "medicine" meant he couldn't escape from the trade that paid for his addiction to drink and drugs. The "medicine" that pretty much obliterated most of his adult life and squashed the opportunities he had of working successfully abroad. A good book to pick up and put down.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Though some of the stories were interesting, others felt rushed and lacking in detail. I think it would have worked better as a novel, that way we could have got to know the character better and put some flesh on his bones. It was a sad look at a wasted life. Ray hated his job as a bricklayer so much, but ultimately it paid for his drink and drugs. This begs the question though, would he have needed his drugs of choice if he'd had a job that he loved? A sad look at life with a very poignant ending.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me a little of the Raymond Carver short stories in that it gives a perfect glimpse into someones world. For anyone who enjoys delving into other peoples experiences, feeling their sense of despair at life and its many missed opportunities, this book is a must.
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