I bought this book in May or June and read it then. I enjoyed it so much that I got the audio version to listen to on a recent trip, and at the end, I kept driving around after reaching home so I could hear the last stories.
The early stories are good and connect via theme/character. To me, they just keep getting better and had me still thinking about them after I’d read them. Then comes “Orca” which is crazy/bizarre and cracks me up listening to Bud Abbott and Boris Karloff and jealousy of the whale (he ate Ann Margaret). By the time I listened to “Tony the Mustache” I was laughing out loud.
At first, it was the humor that drew me in. The author is very talented and has a very funny way of telling stories that become engaging from the first sentence. But after listening to stories like “Squeezing The Boots”, “Little Leagues”, or “This Is My Montauk,” it’s clear the author can weave very poignant and emotional threads into the mix without seeming out of place or out of sync with the entire collection. It made me laugh out loud in places and I even got a little teary in the car on the way to work listening. Great, thought-provoking stuff.
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 mustache 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!
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