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Shantaram

Paperback
Language: English
Length: 944 Pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
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Shantaram (Paperback) Price: Rs.503

Shantaram tells the story of an escaped Australian convict who takes refuge in the slums of Mumbai.

Summary Of The Book

Lindsay arrives in Mumbai with a fake passport. He is an escaped Australian convict who was in the middle of a long term in prison for armed robbery. Lindsay does not plan to stay in India. He has carefully planned to proceed on to Germany. While he is taking in the sights of Mumbai, he befriends a guide named Prabaker. Lindsay then decides to stay on in Mumbai. Prabaker takes Lin to his home in a nearby village. Prabaker’s mother likes the quiet guest and she gives him the name Shantaram, which means A Man of Peace.

Lin and Prabaker return to the city, but are robbed on the way. With no money left, Lin decides to settle down in the slums of Mumbai. He discovers the sleazy areas of the city with Prabaker as his guide, and discovers the hidden face of Mumbai, which is inhabited by a confusing milieu of gangsters, holy men, prostitutes, beggars, actors, and soldiers. He opens an illegal medical clinic to help the slum inhabitants get medical supplies. He lands small parts in Bollywood movies and also starts working for the Mumbai underworld. His gangster boss, Abdel Khader Khan, becomes a sort of mentor and protector for Lin. He escapes a long term in prison because of Khader Khan’s protection, and goes to Africa and Afghanistan on missions for him.

He falls in love with an attractive Swiss-American expatriate Karla, who is enigmatic and does not allow him to get close. After the death of Khader Khan, Lin realises that his real identity is lost. He settles down in his new home and tries to find the meaning and purpose of life and love in the strange melting pot of Mumbai.Shantaram is the story of a man who tries to escape his past, only to get more deeply pulled into the world of crime and violence that he sought to escape.

About Gregory David Roberts

Gregory David Roberts is an Australian writer. Shantaram is his first novel.

Gregory David Roberts, like the main character in his first novel, is a convicted criminal and a former drug addict. He escaped from an Australian prison and ended up in India. He spent around ten years in Mumbai. In fact, his book Shantaram draws a lot of inspiration from his own life. After being caught and imprisoned again, he served his full sentence and was then reunited with his family. He has returned to Mumbai to help set up a foundation for providing healthcare to the city's poor. He is engaged to Francoise Sturdza.

Specifications of Shantaram (Paperback)

Book Details
Publisher Little, Brown Book Group
Imprint Abacus
Publication Year 2005
ISBN-13 9780349117546
ISBN-10 0349117543
Language English
Edition 1stEdition
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 944 Pages
Dimensions
Width 44.0 inch
Height 197.0 inch
Depth 46 inch
Weight 670.0 g
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Book Reviews of Shantaram

4.6
Average Rating
Based on 217 ratings
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Most Helpful Reviews (5 of 55)

25 January 11
must read

A Modern classic! Only a classic can make you feel humble as you read it. This book does this to make you realize the possibilities of human experience.
Read it if you belong to Mumbai. Read it if you don't belong to Mumbai.
Either way this book will transform you.

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83% of 12 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
03 February 12
933 pg, 42 chapters long masterpiece!

The experience of reading Shantaram is like that of drinking a fine scotch. With every chapter, you get a new high. The last few chapters create an incredible levels of curiosity and shock simultaneuosly. And then, the last chapter, in a clever way, lays the basis for the sequel to Shantaram. It leaves you wanting for more. It is rumoured that Gregory Roberts has been working on the sequel for the past 4 years. I have to say that I find it difficult to wait for the sequel. You just fall in love with this character and wish him a happy ending. But that doesn't happen. It isn't a bad ending either. It is an incomplete end and therefore leaves you asking for more. Without an iota of doubt, this is one of the most incredible fiction out there. Gregory needed to write it thrice because his captors in jail destroyed the first two versions when they found out. Last but not the least, Mumbai rocks!!

Warning: Shantaram is a 933 page and 42 chapter long masterpiece. Some people, like me, will find it boring at some points...but u need to be patient to enjoy this. Compared to The Godfather, this novel moves at a slower pace and is more philosophical.

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4 of 4 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
04 January 12
Gregory David Roberts : Take a bow !

Written by Gregory David Roberts, this novel is an account of the author’s life spanning over a decade. Gregory Roberts, an Australian was a heroin addict and to satiate his need for heroin, he indulged in many crimes in Australia and then was sentenced to nineteen years of imprisonment. After serving two years in jail, he along with another escaped form the prison and thus became Australia’s one of the most wanted men.

His journey after he escaped from jail took him to many countries and continents. Finally he lands in India and India becomes his home for many years. Soon after he enters India, he assumes a fake name (Lindsay a.k.a Linbaba) and identity. He develops a deep friendship with his guide in Bombay, Prabhakar who is not well educated but very lively and honest person. After a few days Prabhakar takes Lin to his native and his parents name Lin as Shantaram (that is where the title of the novel comes from) In the meantime Lin falls in love with an American, Karla.

After a few months, Lin shifts his location to the slum and begins to stay there. With a preliminary medicine training he had, he serves in the slum as their doctor and rescues many during the break of cholera epidemic. Lin gets accustomed to the way of life of the slum and earns respect and love of the people of the slum. Lin is jailed for an unknown reason (which he later finds out) and is tortured for a few months. The person who gets him out of jail is Khader Khan, a mafia don.

After he gets back from jail he joins the mafia of Khaderbhai and learns many tricks like black money trading, drug trafficking, making of fake passports and begins to earn a decent income form the mafia. The brotherhood of mafia is stronger and he begins to see Khader as a father figure and Khader sees Lin as his own son. The mafia had people from many nations like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Egypt etc.

In the meantime Khader, an Afghanistani decides to fight the soviets who have intruded his country. So, they decide to take part in the war and all including Lin leave for Afghanistan. What happens in the war, how Lin comes to know about the betrayal from his lover and the man he revered, what he does after returning to Bombay forms the later part of the story.

The way in which the author has expressed himself is simply brilliant. The narration is witty, humorous, poetic at times, philosophical, replete with witty one-liners. Unlike many foreign authors, he is able to see the Indian life without any prejudices. The author has more or less succeeded in capturing the essence of India and Indians. His immense love for India, Bombay in particular is expressed in many ways. The book is huge of over 900 pages but it's worth every page.The sad thing is that this is the only novel he’s written so far. I wish he’d written more.

This provides a brilliant material for a potential Hollywood blockbuster. It has all the qualities of being made into a great movie. Someone should seriously try this. This book is easily one of the best novels I’ve ever read, a recommended read indeed.

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3 of 4 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
Sudhir Krishnan
13 April 12
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Great Crime fiction

Gregory David Roberts aka Shantaram is one of the Greatest writers I've come across.Shantaram is a semi autobiographical of the life of GDR.He writes with perfection.He's a born writer and I must say Shantaram is one of the 100 books an Indian must read in a lifetime.It has elements of a travelogue,historical novel,a crime fiction book.Its long and took me time to read.But you'll be hooked on to it once you start..The book is also very controversial account of his life and exposes corruption in police system and the criminal-police-politician nexus in a very interesting manner and the essence of crime in Indian society.Its also a book about the old world Bombay,slums,about Karla saraneen and his life in South Bombay,Cafe Leopold,cafe Mondegar and every bit of south Bombay.Its like knowing everything about south Bombay without even being there.It renewed my interest in South Bombay.He talks of Love,Heroin addiction and foreigners with brilliance yet with aesthetic sense which is what makes it so rich and yet humane.Shantaram is a Fugitive and yet so intelligent.Its too addictive.

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2 of 2 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
22 July 12
My favourite.

I have never been remotely patriotic or even two minded about it. My friends argue over the country all the time. They talk and complain about all the things that bother the country but seem to have this well cemented integrity towards INDIA. I am lacking of any such sentiment and would say for most of my life I have been a very cynical very vociferous fellows who wonders why his country is so doomed and seems to have answers too.

As far as I am concerned Shantaram was the first time in my life that I fell truly patriotic. Imagine an Aussie on a wild life chase in India weathered the tide and evoked patriotism of me.

At the end of chapters I would look at my white walls for support, more often that not I'd be making notes b/c the author is just another dedicated word assassin, sometimes I'd cry to give meaning and significance to what I had just read but all in all it was not since FOUNTAINHEAD that I read something that moved me so completely.

The description of Bombay, heroine, Indians, slums, drugs, counterfeit passports, the war, gangsters, mafia is lucid. You will feel alive and awake. Shantaram is on the money. Outstanding book.

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Most Recent Reviews

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★★★★★
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Much ado for nothing

Contains minor spoilers.
In nutshell its a story of a fugitive from Australia who comes to the unknown land (India) makes...

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30 March 14
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Shantaram

It is a beautiful masterpiece. the book slowly wraps the story around you and leaves you mesmerized in the end and after you re...

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13 February 14
★★★★★
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Must read if you Love Bombay!

Book will take you through all the lanes of Bombay you always heard of but never could visit.

Absolute delight an...

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27 January 14
★★★★★
★★★★★
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A lengthy account of different stories crossing each other in the inner lanes of Mumbai

This book will entice people who are curious of how life is lived in the Mumbai slums, how the underworld rules etc. For someon...

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26 December 13
★★★★★
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go get it

the story is about an autralian armed roberrer who is on the run... he reaches india in mumbai and falls in love with the count...

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15 November 13
    Book: Shantaram by
    ISBN Number: 0349117543, 9780349117546, 978-0349117546

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