Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Gypsy Boy: my life in the secret world of the Romany Gypsies

by Mikey Walsh

Sometimes you read a memoir in which the writing is so good that it doesn't matter if nothing momentous happens; sometimes you read a memoir in which the story is so compelling that the writing just needs to be not terrible. This book is the second kind. Not to say the writing is less than okay, because it's fine, very readable, but it's not the strong point.

I have to admit the idea of a gay Gypsy gave me an inappropriate tickle, much like thoughts of gay Mormons or gay Amish. Very privilege-y and ethnocentric of me, I know, but in any case nothing titillating occurs in this book. The author is sexually assaulted by a relative, and he does have a romantic relationship at the end, but no fun sexy bits.

Still, a really interesting look and insider perspective on Romany culture, and a first-person chronicle of a difficult personal journey. Quick, gripping read. A sequel has been written, but I don't feel all that motivated to read it.

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