Shantaram

Shantaram

Book rating: 05 Paperback St. Martin's Press

By (author) Gregory David Roberts

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  • Publisher: St Martin's Press
  • Format: Paperback | 944 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 211mm x 46mm | 748g
  • Publication date: 1 November 2005
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0312330537
  • ISBN 13: 9780312330538
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 1,060

Product description

""It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured.""So begins this epic, mesmerizing first novel set in the underworld of contemporary Bombay. "Shantaram" is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear.Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, the two enter Bombay's hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere.As a hunted man without a home, family, or identity, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums, and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The search leads him to war, prison torture, murder, and a series of enigmatic and bloody betrayals. The keys to unlock the mysteries and intrigues that bind Lin are held by two people. The first is Khader Khan: mafia godfather, criminal-philosopher-saint, and mentor to Lin in the underworld of the Golden City. The second is Karla: elusive, dangerous, and beautiful, whose passions are driven by secrets that torment her and yet give her a terrible power.Burning slums and five-star hotels, romantic love and prison agonies, criminal wars and Bollywood films, spiritual gurus and mujaheddin guerrillas---this huge novel has the world of human experience in its reach, and a passionate love for India at its heart. Based on the life of the author, it is by any measure the debut of an extraordinary voice in literature.

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Author information

Gregory David Roberts, the author of "Shantaram" and its sequel, "The Mountain Shadow," was born in Melbourne, Australia. Sentenced to nineteen years in prison for a series of armed robberies, he escaped and spent ten of his fugitive years in Bombay--where he established a free medical clinic for slum-dwellers, and worked as a counterfeiter, smuggler, gunrunner, and street soldier for a branch of the Bombay mafia. Recaptured, he served out his sentence, and established a successful multimedia company upon his release. Roberts is now a full-time writer and lives in Bombay.

Customer reviews

By Lauren Ixer 02 Feb 2012 5

I absolutely loved this book and really didn't want it to end. It was elaborate, colourful, heart wrenching and hilarious. I was completely drawn into the exciting, fast-paced world of Bombay and felt deeply for the characters. I wish I could read it for the first time again and again!! I can not recommend it enough (its only downside is the size - carrying it around in my handbag was a struggle, but definitely worth it!!)

By Sarah E Wheatley 07 Jan 2012 5

Shantaram is in my "Top 20 Books I've Ever Read (So Far)" list. It's a book I've shared again and again. It's a book I always come back to and a book I was sad to see end.

Review quote

"Shantaram" has provided me with the richest reading experience to date and I don't expect anybody to unseat its all-round performance for a long time. It is seductive, powerful, complex, and blessed with a perfect voice. Like a voodoo ghost snatcher, Gregory David Roberts has captured the spirits of the likes of Henri Charriere, Rohinton Mistry, Tom Wolfe, and Mario Vargas Llosa, fused them with his own unique magic, and built the most gripping monument in print. The land of the god Ganesh has unchained the elephant, and with the monster running amok, I tremble for the brave soul dreaming of writing a novel about India. Gregory David Roberts is a suitable giant, a dazzling guru, and a genius in full.--Moses Isegawa, author of Abyssinian Chronicles and Snakepit"