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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 28 June 2012
Before almost everyone had a credit card (or three), there apparently existed an alternative for someone strapped for cash to get that new TV or "radiogram." (I wasn't familiar with the term radiogram. It was used in the UK to describe a small piece of furniture that combined a radio and a record player - not unlike a smaller version of the console stereos popular in the US in the 1950s.) If you couldn't buy that radiogram outright, there were companies (the author worked for several) that had door to door salesmen who would sell you many products on credit. After making the sale, the salesman would visit each week to collect your payment in person. If you kept up with your payments he would, of course, try to sell you something else as your initial debt was getting paid down.

I found Can You Come Back Next Week? to be an interesting look at a time and place that is foreign to me and a practice I didn't realize existed. Possibly this practice existed in the US at that time - door to door salesmen of various stripes were certainly much more prevalent -but if it did, it isn't something of which I was aware.

Imagine your grandfather (or even great-grandfather) sitting in the recliner telling you a series of stories about his work life forty or fifty years ago and you'll have a reasonable idea of what to expect from Can You Come Back Next Week? It has more polish than your grandfather's stories probably would and there is a good chance Reilly is a better storyteller. Reilly avoids going off on an unrelated tangent in the middle of a story, something Grandpa almost certainly would, but the chronology of everything that happened is going to be unclear, although not important to understanding.

I did have one problem with Can You Come Back Next Week?, and it was a big one for me. This was one of word choice, using slang and words that are non-standard, at least to a North American. I've read many books by authors from all over the world using every imaginable flavor of English, and normally don't have problems understanding what is being said through a combination of context, experience, and occasional reference to my trusty Kindle dictionary. That didn't work nearly as well as normal. Sometimes a word was explained, although not always before it had already been used several times.

**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. **
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on 22 April 2011
If you remember Glasgow in the 50's this is a must read. Although lighthearted in parts, it's a stark reminder of the hand to mouth poverty and of the religious intolerance that was always present in everyday life. Sam Reilly paints a vivid picture of one young "tally man" in the mean streets of post war Glasgow. Good read!
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on 5 August 2012
not as i expected. i thought it was rather dull & boring - sorry.! i think i was going to read about some, maybe funny and real life stories..
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on 20 July 2013
Loved this book from beginning to end. It's a good clean read and a trip down memory lane.
Would highly recommend this book to everyone.
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on 8 August 2015
A delightful story about a 'tick' mans adventures in Glasgow, I really enjoyed this book, full of nostalgia for people of my era who used the very useful services of the tally man at a time when there were no computers and money was tight. Our man was also a friend who told us many of the stories related in this book, he also played piano and since I was a budding musician at the time I looked forward to his weekly visits. A lovely story all based on fact, a lovely read!
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on 18 May 2013
these items were satisfactoty except for the long bridge ,still trying to get through it.
its a bit on the heavy side
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on 9 January 2014
I REALLY ENJOYED THIS BOOK A VERY PLEASANT READ
SOME FUNNY STORIES OF THE PEOPLE HE MET
WE USED TO HAVE A AGENT COME ROUND EVERY SATURDAY TEA TIME HE WOULD GET PAID HAVE A CUP OF TEA AND WATCH FOOTBALL RESULTS
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on 5 November 2014
An enjoyable read taking the reader back to the post war years when money was short and almost everyone at one
time or another bought something on tick/provident cheque or similar in working class Glasgow.
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on 9 February 2015
Just reminds me of my dad as he was a collected sales man for a company called lawsons and Stevens warehouse and I use to go on his round. Great memories of a kid bring them back any day
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on 20 September 2014
A very funny and true example of life I remember as a wee girl, it took me back to a much nicer time in life when people were much nicer to their fellow man.
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