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Praise for The Last Queen of the Gypsies

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William Cobb's new book will break your heart and make you laugh at the same time. With a large and lively cast of characters that includes, no fooling, a dwarf named Virgin Mary Duck, The Last Queen of the Gypsies will enthrall you with its clear prose, its precise detail, its insight into human nature—Gypsy or not. One of my favorite things about the book is its unwinding landscape, both North and South, showing a world as richly imagined as any I've seen in recent fiction. Mr. Cobb's A Walk Through Fire and subsequent novels established him as one of the South's premier voices, and here he is with a new book that is as strong as ever. Stronger.
The yellow brick road meets Tobacco Road in this brave, carnivalesque journey into the South of our dreams and nightmares.
The Last Queen of the Gypsies is William Cobb's most compelling novel. While the action throughout is fast-paced, Cobb skillfully develops a number of complex characters, starting with an abandoned little girl whose courage and determination to survive will win any reader's heart. Hilarious, poignant, brutal by turns, the novel opens a window on the fascinating world of North American Romany Gypsies and on authentic, small town southern life in the thirties and sixties. This was a novel I could not put down.
The Last Queen provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives of North American Romany Gypsies. William Cobb masterfully parallels the stories of Minnie and Lester Ray, and the various colorful characters they meet along the way. . . in a story of love and loss, hope and despair, and the resilience of the human spirit. Readers interested in the early and mid-twentieth-century South and character-driven novels will enjoy Cobb's moving story of two lonely people searching for their roots.
William Cobb’s latest novel, The Last Queen of the Gypsies, is a terrific story about two wanderers . . . The novel is hilariously funny yet sometimes very sad, raunchy at times yet wholesome in its search for family and community, about love but also about cruelty and murder, full of delicious detail yet fast-paced and impossible to put down. The Last Queen of the Gypsies is a wonderfully complex novel about life in all its richness.
The Last Queen of the Gypsies is a wonderful read. Word for word, chapter by chapter, this book will draw you in and keep you reading until the very end.
An engaging book that explores the largely unknown Gypsy culture.
The Last Queen of the Gypsies is memorable because, at heart, the writer's bizarre, endearing characters exemplify the best of humanity.
In 2007, Cobb won the Harper Lee Award for Distinguished Fiction Writing, and like many Southern writers who came before him your brain is pounded by his imagery. [Characters Minnie and Lester Ray] are very human with all the frailty and faults that we either inherit from our blood parents or learn through experience. [Cobb’s] novel replicates much of the gypsy familia and language, which reflects great instincts for research before writing such a demanding novel.
The novel is fresh and original while still conveying an air of classic Southern literature that transcends its region.