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Shantaram: A Novel by Gregory David Roberts

Shantaram: A Novel (original 2003; edition 2005)

by Gregory David Roberts

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4,6131651,035 (4.19)1 / 218
Title:Shantaram: A Novel
Authors:Gregory David Roberts
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2005), Paperback, 944 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (2003)

  1. 50
    A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry (reenum)
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    The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (jtho)
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    Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found by Suketu Mehta (firebird013)
    firebird013: Another vivid exploration of Bombay - with much autobiographical detail
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English (150)  Italian (4)  German (3)  Swedish (3)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  All languages (165)
Showing 1-5 of 150 (next | show all)
"Ognuno di noi è nato in India in una delle sue vite precedenti"...un grande romanzo che riesce a colpirti ed emozionarti all'improvviso anche quando sembra stia diventando noioso. ( )
  Orsobalooo | Jan 4, 2015 |
I chose to read this book in hopes of a pot-boiler that would be gripping. I guess it is a pot-boiler, moderately gripping, and it is not terribly written. The part I have read (maybe half-way) takes place in India. Our hero has suffered more beatings, survived more intolerable deprivation, and performed more selfless acts of charity or heroism than I can quite swallow. And when I quit, he was off to Afghanistan which I think promises more mayhem. I would suggest that if you want to read about hardship and India, read Rohintyn Mistry's A Fine Balance, which is a true 5 star novel. And if you want a picture of Afghanistan, the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, which is maybe more 4 stars, but still a well-written story with believable characters who happen to have convincing inner lives. ( )
  jdukuray | Dec 31, 2014 |
A great book! A story filled with joy, pain, love and action. Lots of beautiful souls, and culture! ( )
  Kine_Andrea_ | Dec 7, 2014 |
I took me a long time to read this book. Normally I'd devour something like this in a week or two. But it took me a month. There's a lot here.

I came to it with relatively few preconceptions - just how I like to approach a book. I knew it was fiction, but it felt like an autobiography somehow, maybe the storytelling arc is different, or the events are less structured and more random, I don't know. I wish more fiction felt this realistic.

I particularly like the range of characters and the deep connection you, as a reader, develop with them. I also loved being introduced to parts of Bombay that I'm unlikely to experience - the prisons and slums, both so eloquently portrayed, with an emphasis on the human dimension in each, one a thing of darkness the other of beauty.

He writes really well and it's a well crafted story, deep with philosophical observations about life and people - the things that bind all of us wherever we are. ( )
  devilish2 | Oct 11, 2014 |
This book tells the (basically true) story of Gergory David Roberts, an Australian who escaped from an Australian prison in the 1980's and made it Bombay where he falls in love, joins the Indian mafia, lives in a slum, and fights the war in Afghanistan. I loved this book for its story and its heart. It is a great adventure but also a book of carefully observed details and one where you come to know and love (and sometimes hate) the key characters. I can't believe it took me so long to decide to read this book. I wholeheartedly recommend it! ( )
  PennyAnne | Sep 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 150 (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.
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:40 -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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