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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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4,893179942 (4.18)1 / 245
Member:Kalibra
Title:Shantaram: A Novel
Authors:Gregory David Roberts
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2005), Edition: 1, Paperback, 944 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work details

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (2003)

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English (161)  Italian (4)  German (3)  Swedish (3)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (177)
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
The start wasnt that great (say about first two chapters). But once through the initial hiccups (of two chapters or so) its an awesome book. Very well written. Enjoyed reading this monster book ;-). Each character evolves very well. HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK (if you can survive 930 pages) ( )
  _RSK | Jan 26, 2016 |
I really wanted to give this 4 stars because any book that can hold my interest for 950 pages deserves at least 4 stars. Unfortunately, I had to take off a star for some major eye-rolling moments, especially those involving utopian slums, philosophically profound gangsters, and purple prose, such as:

"Our lips met like waves that crest and merge the whirl of storming seas. I felt that I was falling: free and falling at last from teh love that had opened, lotus-layered, within me...When our lips parted, stars rushed through that kiss into her sea-green eyes. An age of longing passed from those eyes into mine. An age of passion passed from my grey eyes into hers..."

Yadda yadda yadda.

I have to say -- this book did capture my interest. The story was compelling, mostly (although he lost me a little with the Afghanistan part), and it was fascinating to think that parts of it were probably based on the author's own life, which was very dramatic in its own right. It was pretty good escapist stuff, and tolerable despite its flaws ( )
  Bipin_Banavalikar | Jan 22, 2016 |
This is a VERY long book and it took me over 2 months to listen to it but the story was compelling and there was lots of good insight into the human spirit. ( )
  cygnet81 | Jan 17, 2016 |
Doing the audio and LOVING it!!!! ( )
  Regyna2167 | Jan 16, 2016 |
2006, Blackstone Audiobooks, Read by Humphrey Bower

"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."

So begins the epic Shantaram, and I was hooked! Set in the underworld of contemporary Bombay, the novel is narrated by Lin, an Australian convict who escaped maximum security prison and fled, with a false passport, into the teeming Indian city to disappear. A hunted man, with no home, no family, and no identity, Lin is accompanied by Prabaker, his guide and steadfast friend as he navigates the city. His search for love and for purpose leads him to Bombay’s poorest slums, prison torture, criminal war, five star hotels, spiritual gurus, murder, and bloody betrayal. Two characters Lin will meet along the way hold the key to his very being: Khader Khan, mafia godfather; and Karla, elusive, dangerous, and beautiful.

Shantaram held me mesmerized: a web of intrigue and a story of staggering breadth of human experience. Its criminal element alone is an enigma: drugs, money laundering, fraud, forgery, robbery, prostitution. The author does occasionally tend to the overwritten, largely overdone similes and metaphors; and I considered a lesser rating on this account. But the story is so epic, so wholly entertaining, and written always with such a passionate love for India, that I could not but give it 5 stars. Highly, highly recommended! ( )
8 vote lit_chick | Dec 18, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 161 (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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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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