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Shantaram

Paperback
Language: English
Length: 944 Pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Rs. 599
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Shantaram By Gregory David Roberts
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Shantaram (Paperback) Price: Rs.599

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)

Contributors
Author Gregory David Roberts
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

TOP REVIEWS View All Top Reviews (52)

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★★★★★
★★★★★
03 Feb 2012
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... ()

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...
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.

4 of 4 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
Sudhir Krishnan
13 Apr 2012
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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 essen... ()

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 essen...
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.

3 of 3 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
04 Jan 2012
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 en...
()

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 en...
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.

3 of 4 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
30 Mar 2014
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 it big in the city of dreams Mumbai.
Transformation of Lin from confused foreigner whose skeptic about his own future to a slum dweller to being a part of big Mafia gang is smooth and effortless.Book gives artless description of life in underbelly of Bombay as well as rich sophisticated upper class neighborhood with equal fineness. Book is really heavy on philosophical discussions and author tries to shed some light on human behavior, human emotions and explaining why we...
()

Contains minor spoilers.
In nutshell its a story of a fugitive from Australia who comes to the unknown land (India) makes it big in the city of dreams Mumbai.
Transformation of Lin from confused foreigner whose skeptic about his own future to a slum dweller to being a part of big Mafia gang is smooth and effortless.Book gives artless description of life in underbelly of Bombay as well as rich sophisticated upper class neighborhood with equal fineness. Book is really heavy on philosophical discussions and author tries to shed some light on human behavior, human emotions and explaining why we...
Contains minor spoilers.
In nutshell its a story of a fugitive from Australia who comes to the unknown land (India) makes it big in the city of dreams Mumbai.
Transformation of Lin from confused foreigner whose skeptic about his own future to a slum dweller to being a part of big Mafia gang is smooth and effortless.Book gives artless description of life in underbelly of Bombay as well as rich sophisticated upper class neighborhood with equal fineness. Book is really heavy on philosophical discussions and author tries to shed some light on human behavior, human emotions and explaining why we do what we do. Some thoughts author has put down are so profound that it really inspires you to try and look at life from his perspective.This book has definitely given me some of my most favorite quotes.

Having said that I have to admit this book is excruciatingly long and has overabundance of details about everything. 200-300 pages from the book could have easily have been omitted without affecting much of a story line. after 700 pages of reading into Lin establishing himself as a bombayite, falling in love, his torment in prison and his little adventures in the city you finally think that book is coming towards its conclusion but it takes a major plot twist with him going on afghan war for the man he adores the most Abdul Khader and what follows is nerve wrecking description of guns, horses, donkeys and what not.I reached a point where it felt like author is playing a practical joke on his readers by making them read about bunch of crap which by no means is related to plot of the book.

Book starts to depreciate steadily hence forward and fails to pick up at any point later. Characters introduced in post afghan war part of the book are under developed and fail to leave any mark on you.

All in all it was a good read.I thoroughly enjoyed some parts while equally detested other few.

1 of 1 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
22 Jul 2012
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...
()

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...
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.

0 of 0 users found this review helpful.

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★★★★★
★★★★★
10 Jul 2014
One of the Best books I have read

A Masterpiece - Though a big and heavy one but once you start its difficult to put it down.Never seen the life of slum in mumbai so closely. Desperately waiting for a sequel... (View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
10 Jun 2014
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Shataram - One of the best reads ever!

Shantaram is an unbelievable story of an Australian writer staying in Mumbai in exile. His description of the Mumbai slums would make you want to live in a slum! I have never fell in love with a book more than I did with Shantaram. Many would think its too thick, but after I started reading it, I... (View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
03 May 2014
A masterpiece

This book is one of my all time favorites. It will make you cry, make you smile, make you imagine yourself as various characters portrayed in the book. I lent this book from a library and read for the first time. I loved so much that later I wished to own it and bought one for me. After that I h... (View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
19 Apr 2014
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Shantaram : A good read

The way the author has narrated the story appealed to me. The chronology of events in the story keeps a reader glued to the seat and maintain the excitement momentum to finish the reading. The characters are well portrayed and equally well orchestrated in the backdrop of Mumbai city. A good read. (View complete review)

    Book: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
    ISBN Number: 0349117543, 9780349117546, 978-0349117546

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