Gypsy Boy: My Life in the Secret World of the Romany Gypsies
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 didnâ€™t go to school, he
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Warwick said in the comments on his review of The Fringe Dwellers about attitudes towards the aborigines of Australia: "[I]t seems a bit like that to me too, it ...more
When I picked up Gypsy Boy, with its no-nonsense title in block lettering and cheery cover image of a grinning boy, I did not know what I was in for. Gypsy Boy is, in fact, the ultimate Mis-Mem. Ostensibly a colourful memoir about growi ...more
It didn't take me long to read this harrowing tale of survival. I was shocked at just exactly how violent the life of a young gypsy man could be and how un ...more
As a Gypsy Mikey is expected to be able to fight at a young age, when he fails to do this, he is beaten by his dad pretty much everyday. He then has to watch his mum get beaten when she tried to intervene. He is raped by his uncle repeatedly growing up. All in all he has a awful childhood. When he finally becomes a teenager, he becomes more alienated in the Gypsy community when he discovers he is gay.
Any child abuse story yo ...more
Mikey starts his tale with his wedding day, looking back on his life up until that moment. He recounts his father's bullying ways as he wants to make his son into a great bare-knuckle boxer like so many of the other men in the family. He reco ...more
Reading this book, though, I thought of it less and l ...more
Mikey Walsh has an amazing story to tell of his childhood among an English Roma family. His story is full of colorful characters, adventures, and horrific physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. It was fascinating to me to read an insider's view of a lifestyle so very different from my own. I very much enjoyed reading the book.
But there were also some serious flaws. I think the worst of these is ...more
Mikey Walsh takes us into his startlingly violent and tradition-driven life. From his earliest memories of realizing he wasn't going to be the prize fighter his father envisioned to his first gay love with a gorgia (non-gypsy) man and all the hea ...more
Then I found out it's possibly fiction, and we have all been fooled.
It's the blog of one of Mikey's ex-boyfriends, one who would be portrayed in a negative light in the sequel, "Gypsy Boy on the Run." He points out the falsehoods in both books. In particular, look at part 7.
Now, I have to add the disclaimer that I don't know for sure what the real truth is, and I don't know either the ...more
As if suffering from daily beatings from his father, and run of the mill bullies ...more
I found a stack of British magazines on the Arts, Culture, Fashion scenes at a thrift shop recently, and they introduced me to quite a few books and movies that I would otherwise not have come across, plus a large number of London West End plays that I had seen.
The book that most interested me was Gypsy Boy on the Run by Mikey Walsh (a name taken from a character in Goonies). He had to keep his name secret, as he was under a death threat from his father and other members of his ...more
I don't know a lot about Gypsies (and I thought Roma was the now-preferred term, but Walsh uses Gypsy throughout the memoir), other than what I have picked up via popular culture. As I write this, I am remember ...more
I have Roma blood running in my family and through my veins, so thought I should read this. It is an anguished story and part of it [though nothing so bad, I'm pleased to say, ever happened to me] resonated with my experiences in a personal and emotional way. Certainly, the requirement to be physically strong and and punchy was something I experienced as a lad. Also my father hated the I idea that I might grow up into a “poof” [his words.]
This story is often humourless and gloomy ... and remind ...more
The characters can be fun .. and funny in their often cheerful scofflaw ways. Aunt Minnie's periodic shopping trips in her ankle length coat are my ...more
He had no resources from which to seek help and ...more
An absolutely flawless book describing the tragic life of a young modern day gypsy. I never knew much about gypsies, but after reading this I am fascinated with the legacy of their culture, and just how deep their roots run.
The plot of the main character not fitting in to the gypsy lifestyle that was forced upon him was well played out. It started out not so bad and you thought maybe he could make it (when ...more
The ending seemed especially rushed and rather vague.
I don't regret reading (or rather listening to) this one - although it has cured me o ...more
I found the book hard to read because the negative portrayal of the gypsy/Roma culture was so one-dimensional that I gained no insight into the complexities that must exist. I felt increasingly uncomfortable in this imbalance - would there be no redeeming features? Well, no - and I was relieved to get to the end.
The book is primarily about how the author coped in an abusive family wit ...more