English Yarns and Beyond: A Collection of Short Stories and memoirs (The Ray Dennis Series Book 2)
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First Published on Nov 01 2013
Anyone who has ever done building work for brutal wage slavery and wondered if they were going mad, will recognise the life of Ray Dennis, (Troia's alter ego) which evokes a vision of mind-numbing, soul-destroying workplaces and workmates. His is the voice of discord for the marginally employed, the creatively frustrated working Joe, who turns to a life of drink and drugs to elevate the monotony of life.
Few have brought this world to life with such despair, black humour and indifference as Gary Troia. He paints a beautifully sad portrait of a truly messed up person with potential, struggling to keep his messed up mind from drowning in cheap wine and self-loathing. Ray's spirit is trapped in a world of endless grey mundanity.
English Yarns and Beyond is the ultimate "I hate this job" story, written in short stories and memoirs, each one containing a snapshot of the life of Ray. Troia captures the tedium of working in a low paid, menial job and living hand to mouth. This short story book is book is sad and questions the reader to ask questions about their own life. This book of short stories and memoirs achieves clarity without trying.
Ray has three expensive hobbies: drinking, drugs, and running away. Without the income that Bricklaying provides, he would not be able to maintain his chosen lifestyle, so he compromises his principles and continues with his trade.
A collection of short stories that include:
The Cuckoo's Egg- Boyhood antics lead to tragedy.No Comb on the Cock- Gypsies, champion fighting cocks, and career choices.
My Best Mates Head- Did a weekend of boozing save Ray from certain death?
The Shetland Isles- A trip to sunny Benidorm, a chance meeting with some Glaswegians, and a cold, miserable job in Lerwick.
Pointing a House in Islington- Too much alcohol and cocaine don't mix well on building sites!
When I Joined a Cult- Sober dating as Ray discovers religion.
A Week in the Life of Ray Dennis- With the prospect of no money for food or alcohol this Christmas, Ray has to find work quickly.
Teaching Other People- The grass is always greener-the escape from bricklaying.
Steak, Egg and Intensive Care- A harmless dinner leads to hospitalisation.
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