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Gypsy Boy: My Life in the Secret World of the Romany Gypsies

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Overview

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 ...

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Gypsy Boy: My Life in the Secret World of the Romany Gypsies

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A poignant memoir that bears comparison to the bestselling Running With Scissors—but better written and far darker."—Kirkus Reviews

"This is a wonderfully readable tale of love, abuse, and eventual escape—all lived in the heart of an English Gypsy family.  The father is one of the most frightening figures I've encountered in years."Edmund White, author of A Boy’s Own Story

"Reading Gypsy Boy, I felt invited into a secret society. I've always found Gypsies mysterious and even slightly dangerous, and Mikey Walsh does an excellent job describing the cloistered lifestyle and fascinating traditions of the Romany people. Moreover, Mikey's personal story of being a misfit among misfits is both compelling and universal. I cheered for him every step of the way."—Julia Scheeres, author of Jesus Land

“A revelation. Moving, terrifying, funny and brilliant. I shall never forget it—an amazing achievement.”Stephen Fry

“Touching, insightful, funny, and incredibly shocking.”Heat magazine (UK)

“Best memoir since Running with Scissors.”—Attitude

Gypsy Boy sits somewhere between the grittiness of Irvine Welsh and the charming warmth of Frank

McCourt.”Dermot O’Leary, television and radio presenter, The X Factor

 

"Mikey Walsh provides an unsentimental and compelling look at the louche and brutal culture of Romany Gypsies in the U.K. ... Walsh analyzes the grotesqueries of Gypsy life in painful detail—garish trailers, stifling family ties, crime and crudeness, and the constricted options for women who are considered old maids at 21. Yet despite his gruesome experiences, he also praises the fierce loyalty and cultural continuity that have allowed Gypsies to maintain their dignity in the face of hatred for centuries."—Publishers Weekly

 

"A gripping and heartfelt page-turner."—Booklist (starred review)

 

"From family violence to the horrors of cockfighting, from stealing bikes from the local sports center to squeezing juice out of slugs as a remedy for warts, Mikey makes the gaudy world of Romany Gypsies in the U.K. erupt into life, interspersing these scenes with moments of tenderness and goofy comedy."—Shelf Awareness 

 

"Fantastic."—Bookpage

 

The New York Times Book Review
The miracle of this abject chronicle is its effervescence: page for page, Walsh's extended family and their interactions with the "Gorgia" (non-Gypsies) supply enough eccentricity and charming criminality to counter the relent­less rhythm of abuse…[Walsh's] an irresistible guide through this secret world, and the tour is strongly recommended.
—Paul Festa
The New York Times
…brash and frightening and funny—tonally, think of Frank McCourt meeting Axl Rose…This memoir can be grim…But Gypsy Boy is more buoyant than you might expect. The author is proud of his Gypsy heritage, and he is an unsentimental but affectionate observer of his people's ways.
—Dwight Garner
Publishers Weekly
First-time author Mikey Walsh provides an unsentimental and compelling look at the louche and brutal culture of Romany Gypsies in the U.K. Walsh’s education began at age four with training as a bare-knuckle boxer, a family tradition. “Training” meant a decade’s worth of his father beating him up. Walsh’s sensitivity left him open to further abuse, both sexual and otherwise. His sole escape was the company of other semiferal Gypsy children and in school; unfortunately, Gypsies frown on school, and he was put to work at age 12 in his father’s scams. Walsh’s realization of his homosexuality drove him to escape a world where he would always be a pariah. Walsh analyzes the grotesqueries of Gypsy life in painful detail—garish trailers, stifling family ties, crime and crudeness, and the constricted options for women who are considered old maids at 21. Yet despite his gruesome experiences, he also praises the fierce loyalty and cultural continuity that have allowed Gypsies to maintain their dignity in the face of hatred for centuries. (Feb.)
Library Journal
A best seller in the U.K., this stunning childhood memoir takes readers into the insular culture of Romany Gypsies. The pseudonymous Walsh was born in Britain to a third-generation champion of bare-knuckle fighting and a supportive but undemonstrative mother. His family moved frequently between camps, along with others in their tight-knit community. Forced to box from age four, Walsh lacked both the will and the talent to inherit his father's title. Disappointed and ashamed, Walsh's father, who had a hair-trigger temper, beat him severely throughout his childhood. At seven, Walsh was raped by an uncle, whose sexual abuse of his nephew soon became as routine as the father's physical abuse. As a teenager, gay and closeted, Walsh turned his attention to navigating (and escaping) his intolerant society, but his intriguing adolescence reads almost as an afterthought to his fascinating, appalling childhood. VERDICT It is astounding that Walsh survived such brutality, without emotional support or formal education, to pen this unflinching but oddly generous memoir, demonstrating a respectful attitude toward Romany culture and affection toward his family. A sure bet for fans of dysfunction memoir and for armchair anthropologists; the hopeful coming-out story also recommends this for readers of LGBTQ themes.—Janet Ingraham Dwyer, State Lib. of Ohio, Columbus
Kirkus Reviews
Grim, well-told memoir of a boyhood among the much-maligned Romany Gypsy "travelers" of Britain. The pseudonymous Walsh begins by debunking some well-known myths that have contributed to a pervasive historical bias against Gypsies: "contrary to popular belief, they don't believe in magic, and the Gypsy ‘curse' is no more than an age-old way of scaring non-Gypsies into buying something." Unfortunately, the biographical reality he reveals is more disturbing than the old prejudices. Walsh explains that in the decades following World War II, many Gypsy families prospered and bought land and businesses such as scrapyards, while still maintaining elaborate vehicular "caravans." He also asserts that within this closed society remain a number of unsavory traditions, like the persistence of elaborate cons to rip off non-Gypsies. The author portrays the men as devious, crude and angry, exemplified by another tradition that caused Walsh much misery: bare-knuckle fighting. This tradition was especially important for Walsh because his father was a third-generation champion; their relationship turned monstrously abusive when Walsh's father realized his first-born did not display the necessary aggression. Years of torment and beatings followed, along with grisly sexual abuse at the hands of an uncle. By adolescence, Walsh's realization that he was actually gay made matters worse. He ultimately realized he must escape the confinement of his culture, which inherently necessitated fleeing his family. Despite this framework of personal misery, Walsh writes thoughtfully about his connection to this heritage, focusing on his tangled but less-vicious relationships with his mother, sister, younger brothers and extended family. Walsh tries to end on an uplifting note, but this portrait of violence and ignorance cloaked in cultural tradition may prove hard for readers to shake off. A poignant memoir that bears comparison to the bestselling Running With Scissors--but better written and far darker.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250022028
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 1/15/2013
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 284,376
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

MIKEY WALSH left the Gypsy community and moved to London. It is the longest he’s ever stayed in one place. He taught himself to read and write and now works at a primary school as a teaching aid and also picks up the formal education he missed out on as a child.

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Read an Excerpt

Gypsy Boy

1

The Birth of a Pig Boy

They were travelling through Berkshire with the rest of their convoy when my granny Ivy's water broke in the back of a van. Most Gypsy women in those post-war days would give birth at home with the help of other women but, being less than four feet tall and easily mistaken for a pygmy in a cardigan, Ivy, despite having the temperament of an ogre, was in no condition to have a home birth without the aid of a real nurse and a couple of doctors.

The nearest hospital was the Royal Berkshire, and Ivy had no choice but to go there for the birth of her child. She successfully popped out a strapping boy, Tory, and within a couple of years she was back there, this time producing twins: my father Frank and his sister Prissy. Ivy's youngest and most precious, Joseph, arrived another two years after that.

Ivy and my grandfather, Old Noah, were Gypsy royalty and the dedication that the Royal Berks bestowed on one of the Gypsies' best-known elders was not forgotten. By the time Joseph arrived, just about every new baby in the Gypsy community was being born there.

Reading is a sprawling town just outside London with no major landmarks or attractions, but its status as home to the Royal Berks made it the most popular Gypsy destination in the country. Wherever they were, when the timeto give birth drew near, travelling families would flock to one of the many campsites surrounding the town.

When my own turn came, the moment was witnessed by my father, Granddad Noah, Granny Ivy, my other granny, Bettie, my mum's sister, Aunt Minnie and her husband Uncle Jaybus. Births, like weddings and funerals, were a shared event in the Gypsy world, and this one all the more so, not only because my mother had a heart murmur and there were fears for her health, but because the family were fiercely determined that she would deliver them a boy.

My parents already had a daughter, my sister Frankie, so this baby simply had to be my father's longed-for first son.

As I was laid in my mother's arms, Granny Ivy, with her dyed black bouffant hair, mouthful of gold teeth and the physique of that of a child said 'That is the fattest child I have ever seen in my life, Bettie! A little pig boy.'

The heads around the bed cackled, nodding and stroking their chins in unanimous agreement.

I have no idea what I weighed - or what I looked like - but the night Bettie Walsh gave birth to a pig has gone down in family folklore.

For years my mother would brag that I near killed her. I spent my childhood listening to Gypsy women cluck and howl about the day Bettie brought her oversized piglet home. If there had been a prize for the biggest, ugliest, fattest baby, I would have been awarded the biggest, ugliest, fattest trophy. And, after the number of times I had to sit and politely listen to the story of how horrified they were at the sight of me, I felt I deserved one.

The first thing my father did, in the minutes after I arrived, was to place around my neck a gold chain with a tiny pair of gold boxing gloves on it. It had been made before they even knew what sex I would be; a symbol of my future glory, and my father's highest hopes.

In each country, there is one man that wears the crown in the sport most favoured by Gypsy culture: bare-knuckle fighting. This crown is the Holy Grail amongst Gypsy men, but whether they go for the crown or not, all Gypsy men will have to fight as part of their day-to-day life. It would be impossible for any Gypsy man, no matter how much he might wish for a quiet life, to be in the company of other Gypsy men without being asked to put his hands up. And when he is asked, that is what he must do. No matter how little chance he has of winning, he must defend his honour, even if he will simply end up a bloody and battered notch on the belt of an aspiring fighting man or, more often, a two-bob bully.

Any man who aims for the crown has to fight - and beat - a host of others to get there. And the life of a true Gypsy champion is a tough one. The price that comes with the title is that he must spend his whole life fighting to retain it, for there is always a new, eager and younger contender waiting to take his place.

That's why our family was considered special. The bare-knuckle crown had been in our family since my great-grandfather, Mikey, first won it.

He had moved to Britain from Eastern Europe during the Blitz, poverty stricken and homeless, with his wife and their children: three sons and two daughters. The war had almost finished off the Gypsies, who were loathed andpersecuted by the Nazis. Many in Europe were convinced that we had been wiped out, and would survive only as a mere footnote among the other cultures that had fallen prey to the Holocaust. But some defied the odds, and in the years after the war, they regrouped and built up their communities once again.

When my great-grandparents moved to Britain, Mikey and his wife Ada did whatever they could to make a living. She hawked good-luck charms and told fortunes, while he fought for money, putting up his fists for anyone who would throw in a few pounds. The two of them prospered, and Mikey's reputation as a champion fighter grew.

They earned enough to buy a piece of land. And they turned that land into a home; a camp for Gypsies, to take them off of the roadsides, farmers' fields and lay-bys. They offered affordable rents, good company, a place to keep animals and shelter from the prejudices of the outside world. Gypsies flocked to live on their site.

The need to fight for money had gone, but the lust for blood and the thrill of victory had not. And so, it became Mikey's fate to fight on. Every bold young Gypsy man in the country, thirsty for glory, came to try his luck against the champion. And he beat them all until, after years of undefeated bliss, he finally became too old to compete with younger, stronger men and was beaten. His son Noah, still only a boy and too young to fight, swore to earn his birthright back. And at the age of sixteen, he did just that, grinding the man who had defeated his father into the ground.

Determined to keep the crown in his family, Noah brought his sons up to be gladiators amongst Gypsies.From the earliest age he forced his boys to fight grown men and even each other, until they learned to be fearless and ferocious.

'Hit 'em so they'll never get back up. One. Good. Hit. Put out your man like a candle,' he would repeat. It became his sons' mantra.

By the time my father had reached his teenage years he had beaten just about every man worthy of fighting in the whole country. He longed for the title and the respect and praise from his father that would come with it. But the crown my father was desperate for had already been won by Tory, his older brother; not only the best fighting man amongst Gypsies, but also richer and more handsome than my father and the unshakeable favourite of their father. So successful was he that he went on to become a boxing champion in the non-Gypsy world too.

My father stood no chance against his brother and, with his own hopes frustrated, he pinned them on his son, determined that I would be the fighting man to beat all others, including Tory's two strapping boys, young Tory and young Noah, who, though little more than toddlers themselves, were already shaping up to be prize specimens.

My impressive size and ugliness at birth only served to fire my father's enthusiasm. And once the chain, with its golden gloves was around my neck, he wanted a fitting name for me.

My mother didn't fancy the popular Gypsy names like Levoy, John, Jimmy, or Tyrone. Hooked on the eighties glamour of her favourite TV show, Dynasty, she was stuck on naming me Blake. My father and his family were not, especially Old Noah.

'That's a fucking ugly bastard of a boy that is,' he told my parents. 'You can't call him Blake.'

My mother was quite accustomed to the harsh bluntness of her father-in-law, but that was a step too far. She remained adamant that my name should be Blake - until my father stepped in and insisted I be named after his grandfather, the grand old prizefighter, Mikey.

So Mikey became my official name. But to my mother, I was always, and always will be, Blake.

 

With the name sorted, or at least compromised on, they took me home. My mother had brought a wicker basket, in which she placed me, but it wasn't up to the job of holding such a bruiser of a baby. As she carried me out of the hospital, I ripped through the bottom of the thing and bounced down the front steps to the pavement below.

'You didn't make a sound,' my mother said, as she recounted the incident to me some years later. 'I ran down the steps, screaming after you and you had your face flat into the ground, totally silent. I thought you were dead. But when I turned you around, you looked as if I'd just woken you from a deep sleep.'

I was rushed back in, and checked over, but found to have only a few grazes. I was considered very lucky. But by the time my mother and father had got into the car to take me home, they had begun to get concerned.

'He's not made a sound, Frank.'

'He's a mute. I bet on my mother's life, I've got myself a mute child,' my father said.

Home was a caravan park just a few miles outside Reading. Ours was one of a circle of trailers, all with smallgardens and a shed behind. The central area, where the trailers faced one another, had been intended as a play area for children, but over the years had become a dumping ground for old cars with most of their engines and insides ripped out. The little garden areas behind the trailers were the same - heaped with car parts, old cars, rubbish and scrap. Most of the men made their money from putting cars together from the assorted bits scattered about or selling the spare parts. By the time I arrived the place was so heaped with scrap that there was barely enough room for us to drive through the gate, negotiate the car through the mountains of rubble, and park behind our trailer.

This was not the land my great-grandparents had bought. That had been sold to buy Tory a grand house, a second-hand car dealership and a scrapyard, which he ran with his youngest brother Joseph.

The inside of our trailer was typical of an early eighties caravan - chocolate brown mixed with a slap of bright, Halloween orange. The couch was embroidered with different shades of autumnal flowers, the walls, although they looked wooden, were actually cheap fibreglass panels that were easily broken and bore testament to my father's temper. There were several jagged portholes the size of his fist, and one huge head-sized one in the wall between the kitchen and the lounge, which looked like a jagged diner window. Around the walls there were family pictures and plenty of the gilt-edged mirrors so beloved of Gypsy women. My mother was never a sovereign-earrings kind of Gypsy and she wasn't keen on the gilt, but she did find that the mirrors were useful for disguising the 'architectural flaws'.

My sister Frankie, then almost two years old, was delighted to find she had been brought a new toy. But as my silence continued over the following weeks my parents became increasingly concerned. I didn't cry, gurgle or make any baby noises at all; I just lay there wide-eyed, looking up at the ceiling. They began to wonder what on earth could be wrong. Unable to tell when I was tired, hungry, or just plain agitated, Mum and Dad took turns watching my cot.

By the time I had learned to sit up on my own, at six months, apparently I still hadn't made a sound. But everything changed the day my mother brought home a colossal crab. They were her favourite snack, and once a week she would bring home a good, brick-sized one, complete with face, from her regular Friday shopping trip. One day she propped me up on some pillows and placed one of the - thankfully dead - beasts in front of me while she finished her cleaning. At first, I just stared, mystified. But eventually I became a little braver, I reached out and poked it; then rolled it over, and finally picked it up. After that the little sea monsters fascinated me so much that, to my mother's joy and relief, they caused me to grunt and squeal with excitement every time she placed one on my lap. I never lost my fascination for them, and by the time I was two I had learned to dissect the body and even to work the mechanism for its pincers.

By the time I was two or three and old enough to play, Frankie had become my best friend and heroine. We looked like twins. The only real difference was in the colour of our eyes; Frankie's were near black in colour, just like our mother's, while mine were bright green, like GrandfatherNoah's. Both of us had olive skin - though hers was a little darker - and thick dark hair. Mine, was styled into the typical helmet look of an eighties street kid, while Frankie's bounced in thick black curls like a Latino Shirley Temple.

Granny Bettie hated Frankie's hair. She thought a proper Gypsy girl's hair should be straight as a poker and long enough to sit on.

One day, when she was looking after us, after telling her that her hair made her look ugly, she handed Frankie a pair of scissors and left her alone in her bedroom. She knew full well what would happen, and by the time our mother came home, Frankie had lopped off every curly ringlet.

After that she had to wear a hat for a while, which suited her tomboyish nature, and meant that the adults in our camp would often mistake her for me.

There were a few other children on the campsite that we played with, but mostly it was just Frankie and me, and we liked it that way.

We did hang out on occasion with a pair of real twins, Wisdom and Mikey. They were cousins of ours. Although they were twins, Wisdom and Mikey looked absolutely nothing like one another. Mikey, who was also named after our great-grandfather in the hope that he would inherit some of the legendary fighting spirit, had a permanent squint and the grimace of an old lady with a smoker's mouth, while Wisdom had an extremely narrow head and was constantly picking off the slab of snot that crusted around his upper lip.

We played He-Man together, using sticks and dustbin lids, but the twins were eventually banned from playingwith us because Frankie would always get too rough. She even killed their pet rabbit by beating it to death with a broom handle. She didn't mean to - like me, she loved animals - but unfortunately she got overexcited and was never able to comprehend how much pain she was causing.

When Frankie and I played together she was always in charge. Her favourite pastime was dressing me up as her Aunt 'Sadly'. We were both fans of Worzel Gummidge, but neither one of us could pronounce Sally properly. Aunt Sadly ran a shop that sold lovely clothes, make-up and babies. I would dress up in Frankie's night gowns and set up shop in our room, with Frankie's army of Cabbage Patch dolls - all provided by Old Noah, who bought her a new one every week - as the babies.

Frankie would get dressed up, plaster herself with the various shades of brown and orange make-up that she would steal from Granny Bettie, pop into Aunt Sadly's shop to hang around for a gossip before choosing a child to take home.

Frankie liked to make meals for her Aunt Sadly too, and invite her over to eat. Her specialty was a raw egg, mud and Play-Doh pie, which I dutifully did my best to eat without vomiting over the front of my dress.

We loved these games and played happily for hours, though never when my father was around. He was not keen on Aunt Sadly at all. And he wasn't alone in disapproving. In Gypsy culture boys and girls are kept apart. Frankie was always dressed like a china doll: little dresses, ringlets and diamond earrings, which she hated, while I was in a miniature version of an old man's togs; a flat cap, dungarees and, of course, the chain with the gold boxing gloves thatI could never take off, not even in the bath. Right from the start, boys and girls are expected to inhabit different worlds, and I soon learned that, even by the age of two or three, already my path had been chosen for me.

GYPSY BOY. Copyright © 2009 by Mikey Walsh.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2012

    This is an exceptional book. I bought it on a whim several week

    This is an exceptional book. I bought it on a whim several weeks ago and just picked it up to read a few days ago. To my surprise, it was absolutely engrossing and very hard to put down. It is very well written and will stay with me for a long, long time. It was so sad in many ways, but very enlightening about the gypsy culture. The subject of the book is absolutely inspirational. I highly recommend it.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 5, 2012

    Great Read! Not exactly what I expected.

    This book was a really good book. I've always had had an interest in the Gypsy lifestyle, and with the new shows on TV, it has really caught my eye. This book, however, was nothing like the gypsy wedding shows on TV. It really opened my eyes into what it is like for this culture. I really recommend reading it if you are interested in other cultures and/or memoirs.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2012

    recomended-great book

    I would give gypsy boy a 3 out of five stars. I honestly couldnt put the book down from start to finish. The story of a young boy who is struggling because he doesnt fit in with most people and doesnt conform is really captivating. Mikey is a boy who is desperatly trying to become the boy his father always wanted him to be, which is a typical rough gypsy boy who likes to punch anything that moves. The only problem is Mikey is the complete opposite. Another aspect of this book tht cought my attention werethe mor cruel parts such as when Mikeys father was being abbusive to his family. This book was really great the only reason I gave it three stars was because I thought the author took to long to get to the point even on small details. But other than that I reall enjoyed reading it. I would definitly recomend Gypsy boy to anyone and everyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2012

    Never trust a gyspy

    I have never seen a bio about a real gyspy before and since my big fat gyspy wedding came out i was interested to hear the real story. Number one thing I learned was never trust a gyspy. The book talked about how uneducated the gyspys were,only a few of them could barely read or write. The women do all the housework and cooking and raising the children while they worship the husband. I don't even know how to descibe these people without saying something bad about them. Seems to me like a bunch of banchees who because of the way the culture is they will always be that way. I'm glad Mikey ran away from that camp and educated himself and then became a writer! Good for him.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2012

    Excellent Read!!

    If you ever wondered about the gypsy culture then this book is a must read! I couldn't put it down. It is touching and extremely interesting! I highly recommend this read to everyone!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    An eye-opener.

    Couldn't put it down. Insightful and sad look into a way of life that didn't offer much hope of escape.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014

    Anonymous

    Very interesting and informative. Good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2012

    Is any1 a gypsy?

    Are any of you gypsys

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2012

    Amazing story of a harsh life and the man who survives it. Fasc

    Amazing story of a harsh life and the man who survives it. Fascinating!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2012

    Wonderful

    Every sentence is a new adventure;)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2012

    Gypsy boy

    Great at times although writer deems tofeel a bit sorry for himself throughout book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2012

    Blaze

    Bye

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2012

    Silvermoonstar

    "Becuz this costed me my bestfriend."

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012

    GREAT BOOK

    I recently purchased this book and it is absolutely engrossing. Very sad in parts because of author's brutal abusive upbringing. In places it made me want to cry over how abusive author's father was. It is an eye-opening account of gypsy life. It shows a side to gypsy life that is not shown on the TV show . Would recommend this book to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    Laughter, tears, happiness, sadness, anger, fear, and every other emotion you can come up with!

    I recommend this book to anybody that had a less than perfect childhood, had a perfect childhood or thought you did, and were able to move on to live your life. This story could also help so many people that are struggling to believe that you can get to the otherside.
    Mikey! This book is amazingly awesome! I feel like I was living your life and watching through the window. The descriptions were so vivid that I could picture the punches and the bruises. I am so proud of you Mikey for standing up and surviving a life that at times was nearly impossible. You are a hero and an awesome example to so many people that come from varied childhoods that you can get out, you don't have to follow in the footsteps of those from your past, AND you can live YOUR life and be happy!
    THANK YOU MIKEY!!!! I wish you nothing but the best and most amazing life. Congratulations on your wedding!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

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