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Summary

Mikey's family were Gypsies. They live in a closed community and little is known about their way of life. As he didn't go to school, the caravan became his world. But although Mikey inherited a vibrant culture, his family had a dark hidden history. Eventually Mikey was forced to make a decision – to stay and keep secrets, or escape and find somewhere to belong.

©2009 Mikey Walsh (P)2010 WF Howes Ltd

What listeners say about Gypsy Boy

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An Incredible Story of Strength and Love

I heard about this Audiobook when it was recommended by Stephen Fry on a TV show. I thought I would 'give it a go' as something different to listen to.

When I had reached the end, I sat in silence for over an hour with tears streaming down my face.

Not only is this a riveting insight into the World of a Gypsy, it's the most gut-wrenching, inspiring and beautiful story of one man's journey to happiness.

This is an absolute MUST listen.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A really inspirational book

This must be one of the best books listened to this year. The author has an engaging style that is provocative, shocking, funny and educational. It is horrifying to hear how a young boy can be so cruelly abused by his family in the 1980s while at the same time slipping through the educational net. There appeared to be no support network available to support children like Mikey. His characterisations are wonderful. I really felt that I knew his mother who he loves dearly, his 'tough imaginative older sister Frankie and his Aunt Audrey. The pressures of growing up as a sensitive young boy in a gypsy community that equates masculinity with aggression is described in amazing detail as is the impact of repressed sexuality on many of the gypsy community at that time. The books takes the reader up to the present day and what really stands out is the enormous intelligence and resilience of the author. This is a must read/listen to book.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Gypsy Boy

This is an amazing book with a fascinating insight into life as a gypsy and I would thoroughly recommend this book.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Grim!

While it was interesting to hear about the way of life and traditions of some gypsies/travelling people, I hadn't expected such a grim tale of domestic violence and child abuse. Gave up listening after the first few chapters as I found it too disturbing.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • KS
  • 11-01-11

excellent listening

A marvellous listen. It gives a real insight into the gypsy life, both the good and the not so good. It is a very moving book

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

What an insight

This book made me angry, cry, shout and turned my stomach but what a great story, not to be forgotten that it's real. Loved the fact the author narrates as well. Would recommend.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Insightful for Gorgers

This story certainly makes you appreciate you didn't have his upbringing. For someone who knew nothing about gypsy life I learnt a little, not all thieves but not saints either. I wonder how the lifestyle would work if they had to do honest work to earn an income, be accountable and pay their way in society. It's not exactly an independent existence when infrastructure is used, needed but not contributed to.
The sorrowful narration got a bit annoying at times but the story was compelling enough to keep going.
Overall it was ok but not one I'll be listening to a second time.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Gypsy Boy (Unabridged) Mikey Walsh

this story has every emotion you could imagine, laughter and sorrow, the style of story telling doesnt sugar coat anything, it describes it as Mikey lived, very cruel at times,

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

first time in my life I finished a book.

very gripping story. although extremely sad I loved it. Mikey and his struggles through gypsy life and trying to live up to that stereo type male traveller. look forward to the nxt book and apparently the film.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

HEARTBREAKING

Listening to the book made me laugh and cry. The narrative by Mikey really brought the book alive and made it feel even more real and the emotional. Couldn't not turn this off, listened to over a 24 hour period and cannot wait to read Gypsy Boy on the Run. Although due to my personal experience found it very hard.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Bel
  • 10-06-21

Beaten up

This is not an easy read. There is so much violence and abuse -- both physical and emotional, it breaks your heart. It makes you wonder how people can live outside society like this, with no one to help those poor children.
Kudos to the author for surviving it all and making peace with his past -- with very little help from the outside.
Kudos to those who overcame their prejudices and went out of their way to help Mikey.
I remember when I was a child, at times my mum would say:"the gypsies are coming", and then we were called into the house, all doors were locked, and the curtains drawn, and we had to be silent until they were gone again. None of us children knew why, it was just something the whole neighbourhood did when that white Mercedes pulled into our little street.
I still don't know what exactly my mum was so afraid of -- that they would rob her home, or us children? I'll never find out.
This book was a revelation in so many ways -- not that I had given the gypsies much thought before, though. I never knew or even met any, was only vaguely aware of their reputation.

So, if you're interested in the Romani and their culture, read this book, but beware -- what Mikey goes through as a child is sickening and very hard to take in.
The author himself narrates this book, and he did a great job! It is a very emotional book, and he narrates it perfectly.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kenneth Schofield
  • 25-05-20

Such a raw, emotional, and gripping tale!

I highly enjoyed this book! I listened to it everyday for a week, almost couldn’t stop! It was such an emotional and heartbreaking story of a little boy’s struggle to grow up different and not ever feeling like he fit in amongst his family or people. I learned so much about Gypsies that I was always so curious about and the author presented all the facts in such a fun narrative style. The fact that this story was narrated by its author was even more powerful and moving; I could feel his emotion through his voice. I highly recommend this book.

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  • Carole Tonks
  • 30-01-19

A moving read

This book touched me ..I laughed, I cried ... it starts a little slow, but keep reading.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tanuki
  • 18-10-18

Gritty and REAL

This book has really left an impact on me.
It is intense to listen to his voice recounting the often horrible situations and abuse he suffered BUT he has also provided a generous helping of comic relief and anecdotes that really help you get to know his family and himself. I felt so angry at times for the little boy he was I often found my self cussing out loud in my car as I listened and then just a moment later he’d have me laughing.
He survived so much and accomplished something incredible.
It’s definitely not your typical autobiography, I loved it.
I enjoy works of James Patterson, Michael Crichton, Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, Stieg Larsson. If you do as well, I highly recommend this piece.
His narration is fantastic and I never had any difficulty recognizing which person was speaking.

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  • Elsa
  • 12-09-17

Love!

gripping, emotional, real and raw. one of the best memoirs I've ever read. but it, read it and fall in love.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Deano
  • 26-06-15

Gripping

Amazing story, I was drawn in, emotional roller coaster, very well narrated, I loved this book