A Bricklayer's Tales - Gary Troia
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 Bront�����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. The pointlessness of living this kind of existence are demonstrated in such graphic detail yet without a single cry for sympathy. Troia writes it as it is.

This is a low life book written with such honesty that one day ��� once he finds his voice ��� we may well see Gary Troia sitting besides Bukowski and Harry Crews. And I for one can���t wait to read more from this author.