It's still a very much alive subculture over here too, though 'travellers' in Britain are slightly different to what we think of when we see gypsies in fantasy (there's a couple of settled families in our village; while they retain slightly different customs and values to the majority population - they can be particularly conservative when it comes to attitudes towards women - they are not outwardly distinguishable so I only realised I had a traveller co-worker when I actively started getting to know her). Awkwardly enough, I was told a number of years ago by someone I can trust to be sensitive - she's now a university professor and has the deep commitment to social justice of, say, Something Else - that it was OK to use the word 'Gypsy' as a descriptor, but understand it's also used as a slur, and things could have changed in the mean time (in fact in my case moving to a very rural community - I was more used to suburbia when growing up - was when I first became more aware of the issues).For myself, I didn't realize that "Gypsies" still existed in the modern world until sometime in the mid 90's. Up until college, I had no conception that they continued to exist outside of old movies and ren-faire shtick.
It is a really touchy subject in society at the moment, with antagonisms on both sides of the fence and the existence of New Age travellers (essentially, people who have dropped out of society of their own accord rather than been part of a specific 'ethnicity') also confusing the picture. Theoretically designated sites for those still nomadic should be available but they never are, which creates the big problems that cause most of the friction.
As for the current book - enjoying DDG's review, particularly because I'm playing a thief with the Spy kit while my friend was on holiday (it was my turn to play someone else's character as well as my own, and a second-level mage can't exactly do an awful lot in combat). Unfortunately I took a gamble and shot into melee...and hit the fighter in the back with IIRC a critical hit. (Hey! I thought I could do it!)
Of course, now the thief is having to earn back the respect and trust of his comrades, including sacrificing treasure that could have been useful to him. He's not quite James Bond...yet.