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Shantaram: A Novel by Gregory David Roberts
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Shantaram: A Novel (original 2003; edition 2005)

by Gregory David Roberts

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,737170991 (4.19)1 / 226
Member:chapeauchin
Title:Shantaram: A Novel
Authors:Gregory David Roberts
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2005), Paperback, 944 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:India, contemporary, crime, sabbatical

Work details

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (2003)

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English (154)  Italian (4)  German (3)  Swedish (3)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (170)
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
I simply wonder if all this can really happen to a man! ( )
  bookandink | Aug 19, 2015 |
I simply wonder if all this can really happen to a man! ( )
  bookandink | Aug 19, 2015 |
If you've ever wanted to visit India, this is the book to start with. After reading it, you may not even need to actually visit, as the author has a way of describing people, places and foods that instantly make you forget that you are not there.

I enjoyed Parts I & II, but was lost with Part III. ( )
  Sovranty | Aug 7, 2015 |
A 2003 semi-autobiographical fictional book, Santaram is loosely based upon some of the authors real life experiences. The narrator is Lin, a fugitive from an Australian prison who fled to Bombay in the 1980’s. His wide range of experiences there including living in a Bombay slum and a small rural village, joining the Indian mafia, fighting in Afghanistan against the Russians, and acting in Bollywood movies. Along the way he searches for love and meaning. I really enjoyed the story, but was a little disappointed when I realised that it was mainly fictional. Still worth reading though. ( )
  boppisces | Feb 7, 2015 |
Roberts won me over, and despite a few rolls of my eyes from time to time, was compelled to finish this 900+ page autobiographical novel. I enjoyed the wild, wild stories he tells, however ham-fisted their telling may be. The first 150 pages form an ebullient and exciting description of Bombay and his enjoyable bewilderment during his arrival there. That said, Roberts is certainly not the best writer in the world. When he is moving toward a bit of philosophy, he tends to take a heavy-handed on-the-nose approach, and the sprawling book is full of conversations and narrative whose deletion would have actually enhanced the storytelling. At its best, Roberts describes India itself in a wonderful and inspiring way, and he had me wondering how he would get out of each jam he found himself in. But at its worst, it's an unfiltered diary of naive, vaguely philosophical conversations and pointless narrative. ( )
  flexatone | Feb 6, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
The book is full of vibrant characters.
 
'Shantaram': Bombay or Bust
 
En gedigen lesefest. Dersom du syntes Papillon var bra, vil du elske «Shantaram», en røverhistorie som makter å gjøre de sjelelige prosesser hovedpersonen gjennomgår, til en integrert del av helheten.
 
Vanvittig røverhistorie. Rått, vakkert og røverromanaktig om livet og døden i Bombay.
 

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gregory David Robertsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bützow, HeleneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frydenlund, John ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guglielmina, PierreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mazan, MaciejkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mingiardi, VincenzoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palomas, AlejandroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schmidt, SibylleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sjöström, Hans O.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my mother
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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.
Quotations
At first, when we truly love someone, our greatest fear is that the loved one will stop loving us. What we should fear and dread, of course, is that we won't stop loving them, even after they're dead and gone.
They'd lied to me and betrayed me, leaving jagged edges where all my trust had been, and I didn't like or respect or admire them any more, but still I loved them. I had no choice. I understood that, perfectly, standing in the white wilderness of snow. You can't kill love. You can't even kill it with hate. You can kill in-love, and loving, and even loveliness. You can kill them all, or numb them into dense, leaden regret, but you can't kill love itself. Love is the passionate search for a truth other than your own; and once you feel it, honestly and completely, love is forever. Every act of love, every moment of the heart reaching out, is a part of the universal good: it's a part of God, or what we call God, and it can never die.
And I'd learned, the hard way, that sometimes, even with the purest of intentions, we make things worse when we do our best to make things better. (p.81)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312330537, Paperback)

Crime and punishment, passion and loyalty, betrayal and redemption are only a few of the ingredients in Shantaram, a massive, over-the-top, mostly autobiographical novel. Shantaram is the name given Mr. Lindsay, or Linbaba, the larger-than-life hero. It means "man of God's peace," which is what the Indian people know of Lin. What they do not know is that prior to his arrival in Bombay he escaped from an Australian prison where he had begun serving a 19-year sentence. He served two years and leaped over the wall. He was imprisoned for a string of armed robberies peformed to support his heroin addiction, which started when his marriage fell apart and he lost custody of his daughter. All of that is enough for several lifetimes, but for Greg Roberts, that's only the beginning.

He arrives in Bombay with little money, an assumed name, false papers, an untellable past, and no plans for the future. Fortunately, he meets Prabaker right away, a sweet, smiling man who is a street guide. He takes to Lin immediately, eventually introducing him to his home village, where they end up living for six months. When they return to Bombay, they take up residence in a sprawling illegal slum of 25,000 people and Linbaba becomes the resident "doctor." With a prison knowledge of first aid and whatever medicines he can cadge from doing trades with the local Mafia, he sets up a practice and is regarded as heaven-sent by these poor people who have nothing but illness, rat bites, dysentery, and anemia. He also meets Karla, an enigmatic Swiss-American woman, with whom he falls in love. Theirs is a complicated relationship, and Karla’s connections are murky from the outset.

Roberts is not reluctant to wax poetic; in fact, some of his prose is downright embarrassing. Throughought the novel, however, all 944 pages of it, every single sentence rings true. He is a tough guy with a tender heart, one capable of what is judged criminal behavior, but a basically decent, intelligent man who would never intentionally hurt anyone, especially anyone he knew. He is a magnet for trouble, a soldier of fortune, a picaresque hero: the rascal who lives by his wits in a corrupt society. His story is irresistible. Stay tuned for the prequel and the sequel. --Valerie Ryan

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:34 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The story of a man who escapes from a maximum security facility in Australia and arrives in Bombay, crossroads of the underworld, where he works in an aid station and smuggles drugs and guns.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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