Shantaram : Now a major Apple TV series starring Charlie Hunnam

4.27 (200,943 ratings by Goodreads)
4.27 (200,943 ratings by Goodreads)

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A novel of high adventure, great storytelling and moral purpose, based on an extraordinary true story of eight years in the Bombay underworld

'A literary masterpiece... at once erudite and intimate, reflective and funny... it has the grit and pace of a thriller' Daily Telegraph
'A publishing phenomenon' Sunday Times
'A gigantic, jaw-dropping, grittily authentic saga' Daily Mail

'In the early 80s, Gregory David Roberts, an armed robber and heroin addict, escaped from an Australian prison to India, where he lived in a Bombay slum. There, he established a free health clinic and also joined the mafia, working as a money launderer, forger and street soldier. He found time to learn Hindi and Marathi, fall in love, and spend time being worked over in an Indian jail. Then, in case anyone thought he was slacking, he acted in Bollywood and fought with the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan... Amazingly, Roberts wrote Shantaram three times after prison guards trashed the first two versions. It's a profound tribute to his willpower... At once a high-kicking, eye-gouging adventure, a love saga and a savage yet tenderly lyrical fugitive vision.' Time Out
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Product details

  • Paperback | 944 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 44mm | 644g
  • Abacus
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 40th ed.
  • 0
  • 9780349117546
  • 1,246

Review Text

A literary masterpiece ... at once erudite and intimate, reflective and funny ... it has the grit and pace of a thriller DAILY TELEGRAPH
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Review quote

A literary masterpiece... at once erudite and intimate, reflective and funny... it has the grit and pace of a thriller * Daily Telegraph * Powerful and original... a remarkable achievement * Sunday Telegraph * A publishing phenomenon * Sunday Times * Extraordinarily vivid... a gigantic, jaw-dropping, grittily authentic saga * Daily Mail * Utterly unique, absolutely audacious and wonderfully wild, Shantaram is sure to catch even the most fantastic of imaginations off guard * Elle * [A] sprawling, intelligent novel... full of vibrant characters... the exuberance of his prose is refreshing * Washington Post * Vivid, entertaining... Its visceral, cinematic descriptive beauty truly impresses * USA Today * Few stand out quite like Shantaram... nothing if not entertaining... Sometimes a big story is its own reward * New York Times * Very good... vast of vision and breadth * Time Out * It has a heartfelt, cinemascope feel... A sensational read * Publishers Weekly * [A] jaw-dropping, grittily authentic saga of lives laid bare * Ireland on Sunday * A curious mixture of adventure story and travelogue... [a] vivid and compassionate panorama of the places and people he encounters * Guardian * [An] elegantly written, page-turning blockbuster... splendidly evoking an India few outsiders know * Kirkus *
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About Gregory David Roberts

Gregory David Roberts is an author, songwriter, composer and artist. He's best known for his bestselling novel Shantaram, which has sold over 7 million copies and was hailed as a masterpiece by critics. It has been translated into 44 languages, sold in over 116 countries and been adapted into an Apple TV series. Roberts retired from public life in 2014 to devote time to his family and new writing projects.
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Rating details

4.27 out of 5 stars
- 200,943 ratings
5 53% (106,250)
4 29% (58,909)
3 12% (23,491)
2 4% (7,928)
1 2% (4,365)

Our customer reviews

I happened upon this book by chance and opened the first page and was hooked. It's not subject matter (escaped prisoner, crime, drugs) which I seek out but I couldn't put it down. The writer's style is descriptive, flowing and personal with quite a philosophical lean to it, while not taking anything away from the story. I found myself enthralled with his engagement of life in India, especially the slums. Gregory David Roberts' next novel is out at the end of 2013 and I've already ordered a copy. Think I'll re-read this one first though!show more
by Sharon Moloney
This book was a gift to me from my daughter-in-law Nondita. Usually I do not read books which are thick and so decided to browse a few chapters and put it aside. BUT after reading this few chapters, I just couldn't part with it. I actually felt I was at Bombay, at the slums, coffee corners and also the trip to Afghanistan. The author is so vivid that you would live through every episode. It is just plain brilliant, skilfully written and relates closely with the reader. I would strongly recommend this book to all reades. Thomas Dasshow more
by Thomas Das
This is absolutely the most impressive book I've ever read! The way Gregory David Roberts tells his fantastic story is just breathtaking. The book is full of inspiring life lessons and filled with beautiful quotes. Don't let the 900 pages scare you, you truly wishes there were another 900 to go at the end. I absolutely loved the book, read it twice already, and seriously hope you will read it as well. Spread the word! Shantaram is a more
by Hans van Dijk
Based on true events during the 1980s, Shantaram recounts the experiences of a man who settles in India after escaping an Australian prison. Roberts tells us his story, from his escape, through to making a life for himself in a slum town in the heart of Bombay, now called Mumbai, to his rise through the ranks as a foreigner among Bombay's notorious organised crime syndicate. Roberts' story tells of adventure, betrayal, new friendships, love and loss all within the context of the extremities of life in India. Shantaram is an undertaking for the reader. Despite offering a rich narrative filled with classic tales of adventure checkered with artistically written explorations of deep aspects of the human psyche, the novel overall lacks a clear direction, rather presenting itself as a chronology of events over a vast period of time which at times feel detached from one another, rendering it somewhat difficult to read making hard to maintain interest. I often felt as though there was simply too much going on at different times and that small events were not often linked to the core story well enough. I do fell this book could have benefited from some heavier editing and a slight reorganisation of events. That said, Shantaram offers a rich and unmitigated account of life in twenty year old India, complete with its corruption, bribery and criminal undertakings, featuring stark contrasts between the hardship of its poor and the booming economic prosperity of its wealthy. It depicts tales of adventure and stories of unbelievable torture and human endurance on the part of its author. Shantaram is an epic work of artistic, literary more
by Richard Brandt
Really, this is a book that shook my life and changed my way of thinking. The storyline is amazing, and so is the lenght of it! But it doesen�?�´t get boring at any point, and the best thing about it is that it actually happened. I am truly grateful for the man that wrote the book, it really made me think about the world that we live in, and about the world that others live in. This really is a masterpiece, and I recommend it to everyone who likes interesting stories of adventure and life!show more
by Laura Ylitalo
"Fabulous read. Don't be put off by the door stop size that it is. Favourite book for this year to date, and had I read it last year, it would have been my favourite for 2007 as well. Extremely hard to summarise, just too much happening,(in a good way). If it was a hamburger, it would be upgraded from one with the lot to a tradesmans special (double all the good stuff )."show more
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