An awful poet, dumped by his girlfriend, roams through Italy, where he clearly doesn't belong; an oil delivery man falls in love with a clumsy woman and becomes even clumsier than she is; and a six-year-old and his father kill over 200 flies at a horse farm while the father wonders about life and death. Poor Advice and Other Stories, with its mix of the serious and the absurd, reveals Lou Gaglia's humor, imagination, and range. A man avoids paying a World Series bet to a dying old woman; a vindictive whale chases after movie stars; and a man is jealous of his brother-in-law's ventriloquist dummy. Find these stories and many others in Mr. Gaglia's debut book.
Lou Gaglia puts the entertainment back in literary fiction. Many of his characters seem laughable and misguided in their fumbling ways, but the listener will come to love them for their heart-warming innocence. You will laugh, you will cry, but mostly you will go away remembering his vivid characters, his spot-on dialogue, and his varying modes of conveying the stories in this unique collection, all of which reflect the talents of an outstanding fiction writer.
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It's not 'Poor Advice' at all!
A mix of funny, quirky offbeat tales and more introspective stories about life and love made this a very engaging listen. The use of character voices really helped make the stories come alive, and made you feel like these were people you knew.
The Russian character Ivan from The Spy and the Priest was my favorite. The dialogue was ridiculous and hilarious, and he took himself so seriously with the thick Russian accent - I cracked up and had to replay some passages over and over.
See above - Ivan was really the standout among several extremely likable characters
It's hard to pick one because there are 2 stories that I found very moving personally. "Squeezing the Boots" seems like an odd title, but it's a very emotional story about adulthood's responsibilities, starting one's own family and missing the guidance of a father who recently passed away at an all too early age. It brought tears to my eyes as I could relate to missing my own dad during pivotal parts of my adulthood, longing for his advice and mourning the fact the he missed out on so much of my children's lives.
"This is My Montauk" is also a very moving story about friendship, family, the fragility of life, and the ties that keep us rooted to our sense of "place." One of the main characters gets an unexpected life lesson and in a way it's a cautionary tale reminding us to be kind to our fellow man and appreciate our lives while we're here.
The mix of stories was very well balanced and made for a very entertaining listen. Mr. Gaglia's talent for writing comedic characters and dialogue as well as describing heart-wrenching emotions is the basis for the success of this audiobook, and the narrator's ability to adapt the stories and convey those emotions is spot-on.
- Paige Turner
Check out Lou Gaglia's Poor Advice!!
Where can you expect to go through the wildly imaginative mind of Lou Gaglia in “Poor Advice and Other Stories?” Take “Orca (A Madcap Thriller)” for example, as seen through the eyes of a not-so-sinister yet still murderous whale. Adopting the personas of Ann Margaret, Boris Karloff, and Bud Abbott in their oceanic set, you’re taken on a uniquely twisted anthropomorphic ride. It’s great fun, though probably not recommended if consuming hallucinogens. Otherwise, all aboard!
Of a more serious, poignant nature, “Little Leagues” captures the reminiscences of childhood around communal baseball diamonds and bocce ball courts, blending a sense of Italian-Americana with pranking kids who, perhaps, see their own futures in an older generation. This naturally moving transgression will no doubt evoke certain memories and/or emotions with many readers, and inspire such brain-teasing pictures with the rest.
Need a laugh? “The Ventriloquist” tells the story of a man whose embarrassing moments in life become the subject matter of his bro-in-law Sal’s bowling alley ventriloquist act. Sal’s initial struggle to resonate with his audience turns to popular acceptance...with all but the resentful narrator. And when the dummy gets left behind in a taxi? Sorry, no spoiler here.
Colorful yet flawed characters populate Gaglia’s “Poor Advice” no matter what form they take...even from the perspective of a moustache doomed to shaving, lamenting missed opportunities to savor a romantic interlude and one last taste of spaghetti sauce. Gaglia’s nicely turned, artistic phrases lend themselves just as well to the ear as the eye. And that makes “Poor Advice” easily recommended in audio form as well as a terrific page-turner!
- Amazon Customer