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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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4,807171964 (4.18)1 / 233
Title:Shantaram: A Novel
Authors:Gregory David Roberts
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2005), Edition: 1, Paperback, 944 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (2003)

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English (155)  Italian (4)  German (3)  Swedish (3)  French (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (171)
Showing 1-5 of 155 (next | show all)
A student recommended this book a few years ago, and I bought it from Audible then, but I only recently got around to listening to it. Any book that's 42 hours long requires that you be in the right mood!

And wow, I absolutely loved the first 25 or so hours. It expanded my mind in exactly the ways literature is designed to do, and that part I'd give five stars. But I wish the book had stopped there, as the last portion was like a different story. I'd give that part three stars at best, which is how I arrived at the average of four.

Now I'm curious to know why my former student enjoyed the book so much, as the story isn't at all what I was expecting from her enthusiastic reviews. But I'm just glad to discover that some students still read massive epics like this one! ( )
  PerpetualRevision | Oct 25, 2015 |
An Australian escaped convict hides away in Bombay in the early 1980s.

My heart sank a bit after reading the preface and the first chapter, thinking "I can't read 40+ chapters of this", but it is a bookclub choice so I persevered. There is actually a decent story struggling to get out but it is overwhelmed by the psuedo-philosophical musings and the attempted lyricism of the writing every time the narrator's love interest appears. There was also far too much of if only I'd thought to ask X this or done that. And how dim is the narrator not to work out who the influential foreign woman who hates him enough to have him thrown in jail was. There is only one possibility. Oh, and there is a limit to the number of times you can have a character who everybody thinks is dead re-appear. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Oct 15, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 155 (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 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)

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