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About this book
”No one should ever work at a gas station long enough to get good at it.”
Brendan, the narrator of the debut novel from Sean Trinder.
Brendan is twenty years old. He’s been pumping gas for three of those years, working the evening shift at the CountryGas station just outside of Winnipeg. He’s gotten good at it. Which is sad. And Brendan knows that unless something happens fast, he’ll be caught in this rut forever, inhaling gas fumes and quietly seething at the idiot customers endlessly parading past him. Will the writing course he’s signed up for at the local university—and the older woman he meets there—be enough to get Brendan’s life back on track?
In The Guy Who Pumps Your Gas Hates You, debut author Sean Trinder has crafted a big-hearted story of a young man (finally) coming of age. With small-town Prairie humour and a classic sense of Canadian charm, Brendan’s hard-won journey away from the gas station and into adulthood is impossible not to root for.
Excerpt from CHAPTER 01
I’ve been pumping gas for three years. I’m good at it, which is sad. No one should ever work at a gas station long enough to get good at it. You should work there for only a few months in high school, then move the fuck on. I didn’t. I started when I was seventeen at a Shell station on Dakota, across from St. Vital Mall. Our proximity to the mall and to the Perimeter Highway, and the fact that we were the only place for miles that sold diesel, ensured that we were busy as fuck all the fucking time. I quickly learned that being fast was an asset. I worked there until, when I was eighteen, I was arrested for drinking and driving and I lost my licence. I was forced to find a job closer to home in Oakbank that I could walk to, and since my only experience was pumping gas, the only job I could find was at a gas station/hardware store on Oakbank’s main drag. My bosses there were a middle-aged couple. They were both schizophrenic. Not clinically, but they acted like it. One day they’d be your best friend, and the next they’d be bitching you out for something stupid for no reason at all. You can only take so much of that kind of instability, so eventually I applied at the CountryGas gas station across the street and got hired on there. Quitting the hardware store was one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done.
Fast forward one year and I’m twenty years old and still at the CountryGas station, and my total work experience is still just pumping liquefied dinosaur bones into the tanks of people’s shitty cars. It’s not my fault I’m in this rut. Staying at this gas station is just too easy. The customers suck, sure, but my boss, Jane, is a sweetheart and for the most part the people I work with are pretty great. So, other than this powerful feeling that my future is getting bleaker and bleaker with every day I unintentionally huff gas fumes, I’m content.
More or less.
“Sean Trinder writes so well I want to punch him in the face. The Guy Who Pumps Your Gas Hates You is full of beer, cigarettes, joints, music, driving, dead-end jobs, relationships, friendships, emotions, dreams, and broken hearts. I don’t know that I’ve ever read the suburban working Canadian life I grew up in written about so well.”
“An incisive evocation of your average aimless twenty-something Winnipeg male’s unfocused yearning for, well, anything beyond the next cheap beer. Sean Trinder’s sharp-witted depiction of the vast psychological mindscape between juvenile apathy and adult identity hit me like a gust of February wind at Portage and Main.”
"An unusual story about romantic, familial, and self love. Reality Bites redefined for the Twitter generation."
"This is a fun and entertaining tale."