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 two hundred 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.
In Poor Advice and Other Stories, Lou Gaglia puts the entertainment back in literary fiction.
Lou Gaglia has a knack for taking mundane, everyday tasks—like pumping gas, selling pools, and getting your car repaired—and turning them into the funniest and most damn profound stories you’ve ever read. Don’t let the title fool you. Gaglia’s stories are full of good advice. Just don’t take any of them too seriously or you may find your life in shambles.
─ NATHANIEL TOWER, author of Jealous Wives, Foolish Husbands
In Poor Advice and Other Stories, Lou Gaglia puts the entertainment back in literary fiction. Many of his characters seem laughable and misguided in their fumbling ways, especially with regard to their attempts at approaching the opposite sex, but the reader 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.
— MITCHELL WALDMAN—author of Petty Offenses and Crimes of the Heart
The downtrodden characters that populate Poor Advice chisel away at their blue-collar circumstances and by stories end, without your consent, there’s a fissure splintering your heart. Lou Gaglia is a spellbinding writer who gathers material from the underbelly gutter-stuff and conjures up a bit of hope for the hopeless, a place to call home from the homeless, and a fighter’s chance at love for the lonely strangers who are, after all, a lot like us.
— JASON OCKERT—author of Wasp Box
His readers will find in Lou Gaglia’s Poor Advice a new voice in contemporary short fiction, a voice mad memorable by its sensitivity to language as it is spoken today, yet expressing the old verities of the human heart.
—EARL INGERSOLL, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of English, State University of New York at Brockport.
“Shake yourself free from the restraints of the ordinary—enter the clever and oh-so-quirky mind of Lou Gaglia and his oddly so, strangely so, poignant cast of characters.”
— KATHRYN MAGENDIE—author of SWEETIE
“What I like best about the people and places that populate Lou Gaglia’s Poor Advice is that they’re all familiar to me. But this is no mean familiarity. Anything but, in fact. These are the people that you meet in your dreams and the places you’ve visited only in your imagination: people whose correspondence fail to see the big picture, obsess over one random-seeming detail of their daily routine, are occasionally an orca. It’s nice to get to know them better
— MATT ROWAN, author of Big Venerable
Although, many of these stories are satirical and/or humorous, such as “Orca (A Madcap Thriller)”, a satire of Jaws, and “Days of Wine and Pratfalls,” about a waitress who infects her boyfriend with her clumsiness as she learns to be graceful by practicing yoga, some stories such as “Little Leagues” and “This Is My Montauk” delve into serious subjects such as the long-term effects of bullying and drugs in their narrators’ neighbourhoods. Both of these stories, due to their realism and candor, are worth the sum of all the humour and entertainment in this book. Poor Advice is a fine, well-balanced, collection of short stories and comes with “A Reader’s Guide” that could facilitate discussion of this book in secondary and tertiary educational settings. It is certainly one that will not disappoint either recreational and/or academic readers.
― AMSTERDAM QUARTERLY REVIEW
Poor Advice and Other Stories is a fantastic book of short stories written by Lou Gaglia. I would call these stories “short shorts”, as most of them are only a few pages long, making them very easy to read. The stories run the gamut from funny to sweet to weird to complex, and the cast of characters is delightful. From the carpet cleaner with a grudge to a young man making a trek to Rome to forget a lost love, to a Russian spy and an American priest, these stories and their characters will keep readers entertained.
Although I enjoy short stories I do prefer novels, so I generally read short stories by Stephen King or some other author whose work I know I’ll enjoy. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up Poor Advice and Other Stories by Lou Gaglia, but the title was so intriguing, I had to give it a chance. As soon as I started reading Hands, which is a letter to a cashier by her long-suffering secret admirer, I was hooked. The writing is beautiful, the characters are complex – something that is difficult for an author to achieve with only a few pages – and best of all, the voice in each story is unique.
So often, a book of short stories ends up sounding like the same story over and over again. Not here. Lou Gaglia is really an excellent story teller. There were one or two stories that I did not care for, but that’s to be expected when the stories are so varied, and so many. I would certainly suggest Poor Advice and Other Stories to others, and I will be looking for more of Lou Gaglia’s work.
–REVIEWED BY BOBBIE GROB FOR READERS’ FAVORITE