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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

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5,037186895 (4.17)1 / 264
Member:clsnyder
Title:Shantaram: A Novel
Authors:Gregory David Roberts
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2005), Paperback, 944 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

Work details

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (2003)

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English (170)  Italian (4)  German (3)  Swedish (3)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (186)
Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
Took me a while to get through it is long.
Having said that the writing is wonderful and highly vivid and trippy. India is so full of colors and smells and Roberts captures this like few others. It really is an epic book. ( )
  Gary_Power | Jul 10, 2016 |
"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 being tortured"
  MerrittGibsonLibrary | Jul 9, 2016 |
Review: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

There is no validations or justification I can give this book that hasn’t already been written. I found it an exceptionable magnificent book. It was well written. The author covered every aspect of the story and left no point unfinished. The story flowed with organization, adventure, humor, madness, crimes, murders, friendships and deaths. I don’t believe I can place one single genre label on this book. It was everything and more.

The story started with one character. A convicted armed robber sentenced to nineteen years in prison and managed to only serve out two years of his confinement. He became an escapee from an Australian prison spending his fugitive days in Bombay. In those days he managed to live and established a free medical clinic in the slum-dwellers area which consisted of four different levels of slum labeled areas together with as many as 25,000 people. He lived among these love felt caring people on a dirt floor of a small hut for half of his years in Bombay.

Then he moved on and worked as a counterfeiter, smuggler, gunrunner, and street soldier for a branch of the Bombay Mafia. The story was so captivating not just because of him but because of all the different people of Bombay. So many different characters and stories within stories throughout the novel that kept me reading on. The Author used many descriptive words and explained out so many scenario’s that I couldn’t put the book down.

What I liked most about the way it was written the Author did not leave one event, adventure, or a person life unfinished. Near the end of the book every aspect of the novel had an ending. He left no questions unanswered. No matter where an issue started and not finished within the novel Gregory D Roberts made sure the conclusions were put to closer before he ended the book.
I know my review doesn’t have big words or top-notch grammar to explain how I felt reading this book but it really is one of a kind. The only con is the book is 1000 pages but well worth the read. Yes, the Author could have used less words to make a smaller version of his works but it worth the two and a half weeks it took me to read it. I just melted into every single page as I read the novel…….
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
There were aspects of this book that I absolutely loved. The imagery of Bombay, from the posh hotels and restaurants filled with tourists to the slums, this book is packed with such an intense description of a buzzing community. I think I'm one of those people who would have been overwhelmed in a place like Bombay just by the sheer number of people and the noise. But Roberts does an excellent job of peeling back the grime and dirt of the city to show the vibrancy and personality of the locals, and now, I definitely want to visit India sometime in my lifetime. And the story of Lin's life - from his start as a addict and convict to his life on both sides of the law in Bombay - is fascinating. But, what I didn't like about this book is that the author felt compelled to pack too much into this novel. There are long parts about Lin's mission with rebels in Afghanistan, and although these parts were fascinating, it detracted from his stories about India. This would have made two fantastic novels, but combined together it became one good novel that seemed to meander and lose it's thread occasionally.

The other thing that bothered me about this novel is the tendency to be a little preachy. There were definitely some tough moral choices throughout this book, and I loved the dilemmas and the whole thought process of 'what would I do' in a similar situation, but the author makes these choices too obvious and the delineation between good and evil seemed too distinct.

But still an enjoyable book that will keep anyone entertained for many LONG hours. Highly recommended for anyone who is planning to visit Bombay or wants to read an epic story. ( )
  jmoncton | May 17, 2016 |
OMG!! Long book with actually speaking self appraisals..
I stopped it in middle maybe 400 pages... I couldnt believe a thing what's written in that book.

May be i will take up this book after some years.
( )
  PallaviSharma | May 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 170 (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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