Friendship. Love. Lust. Betrayal. Freedom. An often excruciating cycle we all must pass through at least once in our lives…
Thomas William Simpson, the acclaimed author of This Way Madness Lies, follows his impressive debut novel with an extraordinary work of pure storytelling magic. The Gypsy Storyteller tells the tale of two young men whose lives, from the time of their births, are fatefully linked. It is also the story of a devastating lovers’ triangle spinning wildly out of control.
Growing up in an affluent suburb of New York City, Matthew Chandler and Daniel Hawthorn have much in common. But they are, in fact, polar opposites, emotionally and psychologically. Matthew descends from solid English stock, pure white Angle Saxon Protestant stuff right down to his core. Daniel’s mother, a direct descendent of Nathaniel Hawthorne, has managed to cast off her Puritan cloak, marrying a full-blooded Eastern European Gypsy whose family was annihilated during the Holocaust.
Matthew is preternaturally cautious. Daniel is relentlessly daring. Matthew plays by the rules, Daniel breaks them with gusto. Through a boyhood of wild, uproarious adventures that include jumping boxcars, a fatal stabbing, and an eye-opening but terrifying trip to Czechoslovakia in the company of Daniel’s father, the boys’ unlikely friendship endures.
Until Matthew, herded off to boarding school by his uptight parents, meets the beautiful and mysterious Rachel Ann Fredericks. Almost immediately, the straight line that has held Matthew and Daniel together for so many years transforms itself into a triangle.
Gifted, free-spirited, and wildly independent, Rachel forces a whole new dimension upon the young men’s lives, forcing them to confront the reality they can be enemies as well as allies.
In The Gypsy Storyteller Simpson deftly explores the connections between friendship, love, and betrayal. And through the sheer power of his prose he makes us believe that freedom, even the dream of freedom, is what ultimately holds our lives in the balance.
Full of the spirit of adventure–physical, spiritual, and sexual–this constantly surprising novel pushes back the horizons of contemporary fiction. The Gypsy Storyteller pulses with flesh and blood vitality, humor, and above all, with a keen sensitivity for the painful struggles of the human heart.
In the finest traditions of Mark Twain, John Fowles, and John Irving, this exceptional and generous novel takes us places we have not visited before.