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Posted October 1, 2007
Ragged and unfocused
There is a definite lack of focus in this book, to the point that it reminds me of reading the experiences of junkees. Open the book and start reading the chapter called, 'The Devouring', and you may sense what I mean. Earlier in the book we are told that, 'The Devouring' is the Gypsy's term for the Nazi Holocaust. Instead, the chapter starts as a very brief mention of Holocaust memorials, then goes into great length about a funeral, then . . . man, I don't know where it goes. Try reading 300 pages of that, which you may do by checking this book out of the library. I really wouldn't bother to buy it.
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Posted December 17, 2011
Author provides "a front row seat" to gypsy life and history.
The author extensively traveled throughout European countries (particularly Eastern bloc countries and Germany) and lived with Gypsy families. Generally each chapter tends to focus on a particular gypsy tribe and within this context she shares history, local culture, and gypsy personalities. In many respects the author is an investigative reporter trying to interview government officials and police to determine how crimes against contemporaray gypsies (burning of houses, lynchings, harrassment) go unprosecuted. She incorporates government policies (as far back as the 15th century) that have marginalized gypsies and created a "non-species". On the other hand, she gives an honest appraisal of the gypsies -- knivers, beggars, illiterate, etc. I found this book to be very informative and engrossing.
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Posted May 23, 2012