Gypsy Boy

Gypsy Boy

My Life in the Secret World of the Romany Gypsies

Book - 2012 | 1st U.S. ed
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An Eye-Opening Memoir of Growing Up Gypsy

Mikey Walsh was born into a Romany Gypsy family. They live in a secluded community, and little is known about their way of life. After centuries of persecution, Gypsies are wary of outsiders, and if you choose to leave you can never come back.

This is something Mikey knows only too well.

Growing up, he didn't go to school, he seldom mixed with non-Gypsies, and the caravan became his world. It was a rich and unusual upbringing, but although Mikey inherited a vibrant and loyal culture his family's legacy was bittersweet, with a hidden history of violence and grief. Eventually Mikey was forced to make an agonizing decision--to stay and keep secrets, or escape and find somewhere to belong.

Gypsy Boy shows, for the first time, what life is really like among the Romany Gypsies. A surprise #1 bestseller in Great Britain, this is a one-of-a-kind memoir of a little-seen world, one both fascinating and heartbreaking.

Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2012
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780312622084
Branch Call Number: 305.8 WAL 2012
Characteristics: 278p


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Aug 18, 2018

interesting story

May 24, 2018

This is a very tough, brutal, novel about a Romany boy growing up in a macho society where he is forced to fight against his abusive father and all comers to prove his manhood as he is realizing that he is gay. It reminds me a little of Jeanette Walls' Glass Castle in it shows the resilience and eventual triumph of youth in dire life circumstances. He rejects the extreme macho culture of his community while still showing affection for the life he was born into.

Mar 06, 2018

A brutal, unsentimental look into one young man's harrowing experience growing up in a Romany gypsy enclave in Britain during the 1980s: a testosterone-fueled world where violence, deceitfulness, and blindly-held tradition are all just part of daily life. Born to a family legendary for producing fierce champion fighters, sweet, sensitive Mikey becomes the bane of his furious father's existence, regularly beaten and forced to fight to try and turn him into the clan's vicious version of what a real man should be. This is a tough read, filled with appallingly barbarous situations, fascinating and horrible characters, and engrossing detailed description of what life was like for the Romany of that period.

bandblair Mar 25, 2013

A very interesting story.

Jun 10, 2012

This autobiographical novel provides a gripping and often shocking no-holds-barred insight into 21st century British gypsy life. At times it can be quite ironic and humourous.

That this highly traumatic autobiographical story was ever written, given the level of violent child abuse the author suffered at the hands of his father, is something of a miracle.

Highly recommended for those interested in contemporary Britain and contemporary British gypsy life.

It's also a wonderful model for young people struggling to transcend childhood rejection by, and repeated brutal abuse from their families, and for children struggling to escape from their family's cyclical history of very unhealthy co-dependant parental relationships.

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Jun 16, 2018

blue_cheetah_7026 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over


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