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   The Band of Gypsies

The Band of Gypsies
by Enrico Antiporda

Category: Fiction / General
202 pages; ISBN: 0967279305

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harry


It`s hard to find a book that has never been done before but this is one of them. I found it at Amazon while surfing. The Band of Gypsies by Enrico Antiporda does not follow the usual format or storyline which is what makes it special. It is a series of mystifying stories within an overarching story of a love affair between two people of different cultures.

A multicultural group of university students go on an internship to Spain hoping to find fulfillment and learning. Instead, they find themselves in an explosive situation in a Basque city where bombings and assassinations seem an everyday occurrence. While the book introduces colorful characters, namely Bjorn from Sweden, Simone from France, Elena from Brazil, Jaime from Manila, and Allison from California, the story clearly centers on the mismatched relationshipof the last two: Jaime and Allison. Jaime is forced to flee his beloved Manila after a series of family mishaps. He ends up in Bilbao, Spain where he meets his roommates and love interest Allison. No sooner had he unpacked his bags when violence erupts around him. One moment he is walking along the river fantasizing about his new love Allison, the next second he is in the fringes of a huge explosion that rocks the city square.

Throughout their adventures, Jaime and Allison encounter a host of fascinating individuals from a mysterious Gypsy King and his ragtag caravan to an eccentric Basque patriach each of whom has a magical story to tell. From these people, Jaime and Allison learn about life and Spanish culture.

The Band of Gypsies is an odd mix of magical realism, mystery and intrigue with a dash of romance and adventure thrown in. Interactions between the foreign flatmates in the boarding house while few, seem real, and are quite humorous. What makes this book special is its candid narration, rich characters, and vibrant stories which I cannot get enough of. It is an escape into fantasy. The only complaint I have is that at times, the violence may have been a little overdone. Also, while Jaime and Allison is the backbone of the story, I wish there were more scenes involving the other roommates. But this is a definite nine or even ten rating.Not to be missed.


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