2000, Tammi

Phuro is an extensive epic novel about the Roma, which tells a tale of the community through that of the relatives. The story of two families in post-war Europe is built around the theme of forbidden love and blood-revenge, which drives close relatives against one another. The story takes place in a city by the sea, which is ruled by the aged Roma patriot Mofal and his brother Marfalo. The Roma have lived through the Second World War and persecution, and still remember what happened in the gas chambers.

By means of its wide gallery of characters, the novel introduces the whole spectrum of Roma culture with its multiple levels and hierarchies. Phuro concentrates in describing the process of change that takes place when new and old culture meet. When the relationship to one’s own tradition falls apart, greediness and envy take over. Phuro is a mighty family saga, which draws a powerful picture of the life of modern nomads.
“Best qualities in the novel are its visual style, rhythm and the characters' poignant style of speaking."

Irja Sinivaara, Kymen Sanomat

“Baltzar has succeeded in capturing in this book something universal for the Gypsies. He has packed in one book the incredible feeling, the deepest essence of Gypsy culture which is very hard for a non-Gypsy to experience. (…) All the soulfulness and temperament is so strongly present in the book that its feeling does not freeze on its pages but it rises up in the air almost as sprinkles of gold.”

Anette Ĺkerlund, Keski-Uusimaa

“The story of Phuro has not been tied to any historical time or place. This gives the book a fairytale like, almost lyrical mood. (…) The best and most interesting part of Phuro is the vivid description of the modern nomads.”

Sanna Kajander-Ruuth, Ilta-Sanomat