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Publisher's Summary

Ireland, 1959. Young Christopher Hurley is a tinker, a Pavee gypsy, who roams with his father and extended family from town to town, carrying all their worldly possessions in their wagons. Christy carries with him a burden of guilt as well: his mother's death in childbirth. 

The wandering life is the only one Christy has ever known, but when his grandfather dies, everything changes. His father decides to settle briefly, in a town, where Christy and his cousin can receive proper schooling. But still, always, they are treated as outsiders. 

As Christy struggles with his new classmates, he starts to question who he is and where he belongs. But then the discovery of an old newspaper photograph, and a long-buried secret, changes his life for ever. 

©2010 Jeanine Cummins (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"A full-throated song of praise. I loved it." (Sherman Alexie)

What listeners say about The Outside Boy

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  • kim
  • 10-24-20

Brilliant

Really loved this, the story the narration everything about it I have nothing negative to say, a wonderful book

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • SR
  • 09-29-20

Superb

I loved everything about this book. Jeanine Cummins writes so well that one can get into the heart of the character. There's lots of humour in the way he describes things, so I smiled a lot. The narration completed it and made it the heart-warming story it is . I doubt I would have enjoyed the book as much had I read it on pages. Congratulations on a very well done piece of work!

8 people found this helpful

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  • Claire Gilbert
  • 01-17-21

Great Book

Absolutely loved this story and also the narrator. The best narrator I've listened to so far on audible by a country mile.

7 people found this helpful

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  • KAREN
  • 01-07-21

Captivating

Oh my, I haven’t enjoyed a book as much as this one in a long time. The narrative pace is just right, the narrator is perfect and the story is magical, funny, tragic and entirely believable. I wish it were longer.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Susan Cooper
  • 03-17-21

Excellent book, so impressed and surprised..

This author is amazing - I didnt look her up after listening to my first Audible listen by her (American Dirt) and tbh didnt realise for a while The Outside Boy WAS the same author, she is so talented and versatile!! .. this story is so well told and so well narrated I was totally entranced, i found it entirely engaging, right from the very start - it is lovely and funny and sensitive and sad and, did I say funny... Loved it, didnt feel like it was long enough a book which is always a good sign👍👍👍.. Enjoy!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sigrin
  • 02-12-21

The romany boy Christy

After listening to the outstanding book American dirt by the same author, I thought I would try something else by Jeannine Cummins.
This book does not disappoint, beautiful and descriptive prose and the narrator with his soft spoken Irish accent bought this to full life so it was almost palpable.
The summary says it all so I will not try and tell you anything else, without spoiling it.
Highly recommend.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Karen Dearnaley
  • 02-13-21

Very enjoyable!

A very interesting story and excellent narration. Funny in some parts and sad in others. My only slight criticism is that some of the chapters were a bit drawn out with too much description. Highly recommended

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-06-22

Excellent audio book

This was a great story made even better by the fabulous narration. Beautiful words beautifully read.

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  • Bookthrower
  • 07-22-22

Improbable ending

I really enjoyed the first two thirds of this novel. Interesting characters, interesting insight into travellers' culture and lifestyle, mystery and suspense. The problem for me was that the unfolding of the mystery was too long-drawn-out, over-romantic and improbable, especially the behaviour of one of the key characters, so it was disappointing in the end.
The narrator was excellent.

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  • Alpha
  • 06-30-22

Excellent

Another great book from this author. Excellent narration couldn’t put it down. Will seek other books by her

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  • Skinnies
  • 07-12-22

Awesome performance, entertaining story

The story was performed brilliantly. I loved hearing the jaunty accents and the narrator’s timing was perfection.

Surprisingly I found some of the direct and plain dialogue between characters confronting, knowing what Ireland can be like, and it was definitely sentimental.

Well written, it made me laugh out loud a number of times and well up at others.

Loved the story, a great escape and an entertaining listen!

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  • McNutsy
  • 07-02-22

Second time listening

Will be go back to this book again and again, no doubt. So beautifully read by Alan Devally.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-19-22

Gorgeous Irish yarn

Just beautiful. I loved the boy, the story-telling, the glorious tapestry of detail woven in with skill. And the narration, which was just the perfect lilting song.

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  • Nicola
  • 05-05-22

Love, love, loved this book!

This book was so easy to listen to whilst evoking every emotion possible! Sadness, humour, anger and just pure joy. Christy is a beautiful character with so many facets. I was so sad when I finished this. Kudos to the narrator, he was 100% on point.

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  • Marcia Abboud
  • 02-17-22

Another New Classic

And another visually stunning story by Jeanine Cummins. Not quite up there with American Dirt, but I loved it just the same. A beautiful book about a 'motherless' boy who searches for answers about his life which has been shrouded in secrets for 12 years. Imaginative, creative storytelling, and brilliant narration by Alan Devally. I always love a story set in Ireland, and this one is in the 1940s and 50s about the lives and struggles of 'gypsies' / travellers. A great read that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy.

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  • sally cantrill
  • 06-07-21

Enlightening

I found this fascinating - such an insight into the lives of those born on the move - beautiful story and exceptional narrator