The ZONE genre worldwide books movies
the science fiction
fantasy horror &
mystery website
 
 
home  articles  profiles  interviews  essays  books  movies  competitions  guidelines  issues  links  archives  contributors  email

The Gypsy
Steven Brust and Megan Lindholm
Orb paperback $13.95

review by David Hebblethwaite

Mike Stepovich is not having the best time of it, to say the least. He's divorced, and saddled with Durand, a partner who has an annoying propensity for doing things by the book. And now Cigány, the gypsy he arrested for the murder of a liquor store clerk, has somehow escaped from custody; what's more, Stepovich is carrying the gypsy's knife - the one used to kill the clerk. Meanwhile, the gypsy himself is drifting in and out of various states of remembering, Stepovich's daughter Laurie is falling in with a bad crowd and, somewhere else entirely, the evil Fair Lady is plotting something...

There are two different worlds jostling for primacy in this book (originally published in 1992), and two different styles of storytelling to go with them. There is Stepovich's world of hard reality and snappy writing; and there is Cigány's dream-like world of magic and symbolism. Brust and Lindholm portray both of these contrasting worlds vividly through their prose; and their characters are skilfully drawn. I don't want to say too much about what actually happens, since some of The Gypsy's best effects come from its refusal to give up its secrets easily; but it becomes clear that the characters are players in a wider drama, and the stakes are much higher than a single death. It looks set to be a top-notch read.

However, although there are many good things to say about The Gypsy, it proves to be an unsatisfactory read. Part of the problem may be that the wider story seems to be based on folklore that may be unfamiliar to many readers; there is nothing wrong with this in itself, of course, but it prevents the novel from attaining the resonance that it strives for. The greatest disappointment for me, though, was the ending: a final confrontation that hasn't been properly foreshadowed and feels like a standard-issue fight with the bad guys, dressed up in mystical clothes. I couldn't help feeling somewhat cheated after reading The Gypsy; the journey was enjoyable, but the destination left much to be desired.
The Gypsy

Please support this
website - buy stuff
using these links:
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.com
Send it
W.H. Smith

home  articles  profiles  interviews  essays  books  movies  competitions  guidelines  issues  links  archives  contributors  email
copyright © 2001 - 2005 Pigasus Press