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3.9 out of 5 stars
On The Cobbles: Jimmy Stockin: The Life Of A Bare Knuckled Gypsy Warrior
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2007
This book was 'dictated' by the author who (quite proudly it seems) cannot read or write himself. There is even a 'I swear that all that is in this book is true...' type of preamble to the book which, I have to say, made me suspicious from the start.

However the stories told by Mr Cobbles are entertaining and you do get an insight into the 'travelling' life. However hypocrisy is obviously something this man is not aware of as while on one hand he berates us 'gorgeis' (those who live in houses) for unfairly tarring him and his fellow 'mushes/tinkers/gypsies etc' (all used in the book) as criminals or ne'er-do-wells, the next page he is winking and nudging all the way through his story how he and one of his pals 'aquired' a Truck and some paint so that no one would be able to track the stolen vehicle down. This is just one example of double-standards.

At the point he and his family were all 'forced' into a house and the subsequent pictures of him and his family all stood proudly smiling outside their nice semi in some suburban area next to the picture of his 'dear ol mum' getting into a hired strecth limo resplendent with Tiara, I stopped caring.

What this book needed was a good editing (what was the point of a picture of him drinking a cup of 'rosie' again?), but I feel that would have made the book too small. It was a diverting read, but fails about half way through to keep one's attention and you stop caring about the author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2008
I did read it cover to cover non stop (but then again I had nothing better to do at the time). It was a frank and insightful look at the life of travellers through the eyes of one of their own, and the descriptions of the bare-knuckle fights were rather better than some I've read.

On the other hand, Stockin gleefully describes property damage, theft and GBH and then with the same breath, moans about how he can't understand why gypsies are despised and mistrusted by non-gypsies, which becomes irritating after a while.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 September 2011
Anyone who is in the know will tell u jimmy stockins was hardly a "champ". Its well known he was destroyed by henry francis. No doubt hes a little scrapper, but dont take any of this book as gospel.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2002
Like the co-author Martin Night (obviously not Jimmy Stokins, he moves) I grew up in Epsom, Surrey. Gypsies or pikies were a common sight round our way, but like Santa all we knew of them as kids was the stuff of over exaggerated playground stories. This book changed all that and made me realsie that they are as much a suppressed minority as any other ethnic group. Infact, they're the one minority that the new P.C drive seems to have left out. But as this book soon shows you, they're proud of the fact that they can look after themslves. It is a well crafted book that explains they relevance of everything in the travellers' lives, especially bare-nuckle fighting. They don't fight for fun but for honour, family and occationally money. Their fights are always conducted with 'fair play' in mind. But the book is not only about fighting but about the adventure of being on the road and fending for youself. Adventures that piles and piles of today's legislation has killed off. Strangly enough I've just come from reading 'Lord of the Rings' and found comparisons between the two books. That is to say that while reading them I felt sad about how our modern society has killed off the sence that the world is a big place full of adventure. The only bad taste I had from the book is that I didn't always think Jimmy was as innocent as he liked to make out. But, as an honourable man, I'm sure he would be the first to admit this and because of the persecution he endured I think we could let him off. That and he's a real good character to read about. In all this is a cool book, easy to read and full of things you only thought you knew about. Definatly for anyone who enjoyed 'Snatch'. And there's fights too.
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on 14 May 2014
Tbh I like to read these sort of books, I'm not a gypsy but I like real life stories be it hard men books or fighting books as there life is so far away from mine, but this book is very good and hard to put down.
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on 9 February 2013
its readable but not a patch on bartleys book. someone needs to get henry francis to tell his story, the bits i have read on him he comes across as someone who would have a real interesting story to tell.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 December 2000
Undoubtedly an important book. Jimmy's voice comes through honestly even though it is made clear from the off he can neither read nor write. The book owes more to The Grapes of Wrath than the Lenny Maclean genre as has been suggested elsewhere. It is a story of hardship, unquestioned destiny and acceptance of violence as we follow Jimmy and his brother through their difficult and eventful life. Whilst not without its lighter moments it is a gruelling story and gypsies and 'gorgias' alike should find it an indictment of their entrenched attitudes towards one another.
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on 14 August 2013
Entertaining book and very interesting, I am quite faciniated by the gypsy's but like to keep them at arms length so this book is perfect.
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on 14 June 2014
Brellint book Very good and intresting. Couldnt put it down. Once you start reading you want to carry on to find out the next bit
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on 13 October 2013
The book of a gypsy warrior was a good read .the book arrived on Time and in good condition. Could not stop reading it
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