Read The Gypsy's Curse by Harry Crews Online

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Title : The Gypsy's Curse
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780394491967
Format Type : Unknown Binding
Number of Pages : 207 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Gypsy's Curse Reviews

  • Brian
    2019-01-12 19:24

    I'm one of those strange fiction fans that feels some level of satisfaction reading a middling offering from an author I really like. Schadenfreude? Not particularly - I just appreciate the struggles of penning anything worth reading, and if a particular work doesn't hit the heights of other novels by the same author it creates a rounding out of their talent. I'm not sure I'm coming through here on this point, but it is like all of those Vonnegut short stories published posthumously in While Mortals Sleep- they were never considered "good enough" to publish (or, re-publish) but I loved them all for their imperfections. This is a very important part of the writing craft, me-thinks.The Gypsy's Curse had several things going for that I found wonderful: the communication struggles between mutes, deaf mutes and those that have all of their faculties. Crews does so much in what is not said, what is misunderstood between all of the characters - had he amped this particular theme this book would have been a BURIED classic. But Crews chose instead to play around the edges of Grits, and the racist side-show freaks of the narrative took center stage. There was nowhere to go but to follow the familiar track towards the denouement I see that Crews employs in the novels I've read so far.

  • Cody
    2019-01-17 18:15

    Writing negative reviews is no fun, especially when you like the author. It could be, were one inclined to be pernicious and expend the energy in lambasting something that lambasts itself. As this last attribute of a shit book is self-fulfilling, I see it as a waste of energy in two ways: 1) good ink spilled over bad; and 2) even further energy expended when enough has already been spent reading the thing. So I will say this: The Gypsy’s Curse is a lamentable exercise in ‘one-step forward, two-steps back’ by Crews, though, really, ‘two steps’ is being kind. It would be more apt to say that he turned 180-degrees away from the majesty of The Hawk is Dying and broke into an open-field run at top fucking speed. Midgets, strong men, deaf mutes, and various strata of the deformed/impaired compose the gallery, and I just don’t care at all by this point. The good news is that it is hemmed on either side by what are inarguably his greatest novels. Sticking to his yearly book—this was his seventh in seven years—maybe he needed the cash. Having read Childhood, I understand that Marvin is an extension of Crews’ residual physical trauma from his sick youth. Guess what? I still don’t care; it reads like a headache and offers cheap jokes at expensive prices (thanks, booksellers). Oh, and the three-page stunt ending is a facile attempt to add gravity to the preceding that fails due to the triteness of the same. Its inverse deus ex machina is a cheap grab for a rug-pull of The Gospel Singer’s stature, and its failure is the only spectacular thing about it. Oh, and the cover art is completely shitty. Other than that, go ahead and enjoy the book.

  • Stephen
    2018-12-27 14:24

    It's hard to pin down just who Harry Crews reminds me of; quite possibly nobody. There seem to be faint echoes of Hemingway, Bukowski, Burroughs, even Algren - but I think it's fair to say I've never read anything quite like The Gypsy's Curse.It's freakish, bleak, purposefully un-PC (written well before there ever was PC, to be fair, but still - this is around the bend). The cast of characters is unforgettable, yet as soon as you meet a new one you kind of wish you hadn't.That's as much as I'm going to give away, but if you track down a copy (it is long out of print and pretty hard to find) it is well worth the read. Just so you can check the cover after you've finished it to make sure you weren't involved in its creation.

  • Brandon
    2019-01-07 16:20

    This book will forever have a special place in my heart as it was the book I was reading when Harry Crews died. I still can't believe it. One minute I'm laughing, forcing my wife to listen to brilliant passages from the book, then the next minute my Google notifications was telling me that Harry had died. Surreal! I think the news made the second half of the book a lot more deeper for me than it may have otherwise been. I had even been envisioning Al, the 70-something year-old owner of the gym, as Harry himself. So it was even more crazy what happens to Al toward the end.This was classic Crews. The characters have such major flaws and disfigurements but somehow Harry make them seem normal and you're the weird one.You will be missed, Mr. Crews.

  • Rayroy
    2019-01-12 20:31

    Another classic crews ending.

  • Julius
    2019-01-21 14:23

    ¿Alguna vez tuviste esa pesadilla en la que te pones a gritar y no eres capaz de emitir ni el más mínimo sonido? Imagina que no es una pesadilla y que además eres sordo y deforme, vaya putada eh? Bueno, Marvin Molar, nuestro héroe, sabe que hay cosas peores, la peor de todas ellas: ¡la maldición gitana!Te partes con esta novela. Divertida e inteligente, Crews dibuja unos personajes muy potentes con muy pocas palabras, no se anda por las ramas.Si disfrutaste con cosas como "La conjura de los necios" o "El guardián entre el centeno", ficha aquí.¿Y cómo haces para cagar?

  • Rachel
    2019-01-14 17:34

    (written 12-03)"Que encuentras un con~o a tu medida."The curse which caused Marvin to do so many things for Hester, especially the one big thing. Talk about being caught in your life - Marvin has no use of his legs, and is deaf and dumb. Crews points out the irony in people saying what an amazing thing it is that Marvin overcame his adversity to really accomplish something. No legs... deaf and dumb... prisoner of a fantastic lap... Marvin overcame nothing. He is caught in a life with limited options, leading to the final act of murder that he had no other choice but to commit. And don't forget Al and the other men - they are just as caught, as is Hester, in her own way.

  • Carla Remy
    2018-12-23 20:34

    Early on I thought I probably wouldn't really like The Gypsy's Curse because the subject matter was unpleasant: it's about boxers and strongmen and has a protagonist who is deaf and dumb and has no legs to speak of so he walks everywhere on his hands. But I kept reading and it quickly gripped me and I loved it. Strange and dark, it reminded me of Jim Thompson in tone through the whole book and then certainly the end. But a little more 70s than Thompson (this is from 1974).

  • Djrmel
    2018-12-30 14:16

    Dark, twisted, funny, imperfect ending.... everything I like in a story! This book is a perfect example of the southern-gothic sub genre, southern-grotesque. Not only is no one perfect in the world of this book, no one has a flaw too small to be examined and exploited by the other characters. Most of them, however, for all their imperfections, show a surprising amount of heart when you look beyond the surface, and that's what this book is about - going beyond appearances.

  • Frank Roberts
    2018-12-29 19:30

    I discovered Harry Crews in my teens. He writes Southern grotesque like Faulkner on acid. He really knows how to create characters and how to turn a phrase. I also recommend Karate is a Thing of the Spirit, The Gospel Singer, and Feast of Snakes.

  • Marcus
    2019-01-08 18:27

    fantastically twisted southern humor with some truly unforgettable moments.

  • Deborah
    2019-01-01 21:21

    Harry was my mentor when I was a young woman. I took classes from him for a number of years, and became a part of his entourage. I loved his intensity. This, for my money, is his best work.

  • Eric Stone
    2019-01-15 16:31

    One of the greatest of the Crews novels. Some utterly brilliant passages. A fantastic read.

  • Stan Lanier
    2019-01-01 16:11

    "Who cares if something's the best if you can't stand it?" (p.31)

  • Graham P
    2019-01-19 18:27

    Reading a Harry Crews book is like drinking rot-gut whiskey with an old friend who just got out of jail, but will no doubt be back in the slammer come sun-up. Only Crews could write a novel about freaks, gym rats and scumbags with such honesty and heart, make you laugh hard and then simmer in a sharp melancholia. You get a true sense that he cares for his characters and never does he piss on them just for the sake of it. Of course, cruel and savage things unfold. As with 'Feast of Snakes', this one has a sudden burst of violence that (even though expected) shatters the nerve. With each page, Crews pours salt in your wounds and then gives you a brotherly hug to make the pain go away. He's a madman but one full of grace. 'The Gypsy's Curse' is about a ragtag group of punch-drunk fighters, body builders and sideshow freaks whose world of routine & iron gets scattered when a woman comes to the gym to live with them. A short novel full of horrible beauties and lines worth rereading aloud, again and again.'Leroy was looking at me in a way I have never seen him look before, like a man might look at a favorite dog that had just bit him for no reason.''"I've had more balls in my hands than Willie Mays," she said, making a great show of being casual.''He still had that awful mechanical smile fastened to his face. It looked like somebody had told him to smile, and he was doing it but he didn't know why.'God bless you, Crews, you crazy son of a bitch.

  • JesúsJátiva
    2018-12-26 18:16

    Con esta, Crews se coloca como uno de mis escritores favoritos. Tiene la dureza y la originalidad que puedes encontrar en las novelas de Edward Bunker, y sus personajes son tan únicos y están tan bien trazados que es imposible no amarlos al mismo tiempo que te dan asco. Me encanta.

  • wally
    2019-01-19 16:24

    crazy...now i know my "reviews" are disappearing...i do know that i wrote about this one...i know because i took a course or two under the man...and i stood in his office at one time and he told me of a doctorate student whose thesis was wrong...in that the student made a point of discussing the midget's 22" arms....length, the student spoke about...not girth. the man had biceps that measured 22" in circumference and this student had sent the thesis, the paper to crews and the student had it wrong......and the advisor, phd, did not catch it. makes you wonder about education in america today, hey...where the one thing an american is willing to pay for...and hope she don't get...is an education. how misandristic is that?

  • Michael
    2019-01-12 16:08

    You gotta wonder where he comes up with this stuff. A great book- weird, but it makes sense. The narrator is a professional "balancer", as in he makes his living balancing on two fingers, all sorts of stuff. He is also deaf, can't talk, and has no legs. He walks around and does all these amazing things on his hands. Lives in a gym with a bunch of other misfits. He's in love with a woman that is his "Gypsy's Curse". Most men have had one of these, I guess. Though when it happens you think you must be the first. Ha ha! It says a lot about the quality of this story that I felt so bad for the narrator, and knew where it had to be going, even though he and I are not much alike at all?

  • David
    2018-12-21 20:28

    Delightfully offbeat and the language is fresh. Great metaphors and similes. Lines like "A little zing of feeling went through me like somebody had me from asshole to mouth on an electric wire and had just plugged me in."

  • Richard Burke
    2018-12-22 18:19

    Another bizarre and great Crew's book. One of his earlier books and includes Russel the Muscle from Body.

  • Leonard Jacobs
    2018-12-28 15:04

    Weird and compelling novel -- quick to read -- impossible to forget.

  • Neven
    2018-12-31 14:11

    The second Crews books I've read (after Feast of Snakes) and wow, it's even wilder. Dealing with supposedly grotesque subject matter, it manages to be both outrageous and deeply humanistic.

  • Stephen Hawks
    2019-01-01 19:26

    This too me is one of the most disturbing novels I know of. It is like watching the movie Freaks.

  • Ike
    2019-01-21 18:13

    One word - BizarreQuote, pg. 179 "He was in a tight, fake leopardskin bathing suit that had a strap over the left shoulder. You couldn't have bought such a thing."

  • Rick Sanders
    2019-01-17 19:20

    Great story. Full of chuckles, laughs and cringes. The cringes were filtered; I didn't feel the pain I might have expected. Certain mental disorders are nicely depicted.