Shantaram

Shantaram

"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 this epic, mesmerizing first novel set in the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear.

Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, the two enter Bombay's hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere.

As a hunted man without a home, family, or identity, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums, and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The search leads him to war, prison torture, murder, and a series of enigmatic and bloody betrayals. The keys to unlock the mysteries and intrigues that bind Lin are held by two people. The first is Khader Khan: mafia godfather, criminal-philosopher-saint, and mentor to Lin in the underworld of the Golden City. The second is Karla: elusive, dangerous, and beautiful, whose passions are driven by secrets that torment her and yet give her a terrible power.

Burning slums and five-star hotels, romantic love and prison agonies, criminal wars and Bollywood films, spiritual gurus and mujaheddin guerrillas – this huge novel has the world of human experience in its reach, and a passionate love for India at its heart. Based on the life of the author, it is by any measure the debut of an extraordinary voice in literature.

Title:Shantaram
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9781920769208
Format Type:

    Shantaram Reviews

  • Petra-X

    Like Marmite, or Vegemite - another Australian export - you either loved this book or hated it. I hated it. I really, really hated it. It was a waste of my life enduring five chapters of this egotisti...

  • Joseph

    My god. What an incredible load of drivel this is. Though there is room in the world for large stories largely told, Gregory David Roberts' self-aggrandazing pseudo-autobiography teems with ludicrousl...

  • Christopher

    I managed 200 pages of this utter drivel before giving up completely. Poorly-written nonsense which is gathering critical acclaim from people who probably read one book a year. At one point - during a...

  • Amy Luke

    There's enough reviews on this book I'm not going to summarize it again. I love this book, and yes it's massive but I think I've read it 3 times. It's not perfect but the parts that are great make up ...

  • Stacey

    I moved this from my "currently reading" shelf to my "read" shelf because there is no "I gave up on this piece of crap" shelf. 600 pages into it, I had to set myself free by throwing it in the toilet....

  • Jennifer

    This is possibly the best book I've ever read. It was given to me by a friend of mine who loved it, and said that before she read it she had no desire to go to India, but after having read it she coul...

  • Jen Padgett Bohle

    If I met the protagonist, Linbaba, in the flesh, I'd, well, I'd beg my meatiest friend to rough him up. Repeatedly. Lin's adventures in Bombay are apparently based on humble author Gregory David Rober...

  • Mayuri

    The way Roberts describes Indians in this book is like a series of bad caricatures - I cringed terribly. There is the over-friendly and smiling, trusting, barbaric, not very clever, poor Prabaker - (I...

  • Matt

    Returning to read Gregory David Roberts' epic novel again, I found myself drawn to the complexities and nuances embedded throughout the text. As the novel opens, the reader is introduced to Lin, a man...

  • Andy Marr

    This is an awful book. Awful. Full of beginners-grade philosophy that we're meant to think is profound, and horrible pretentious characters who talk like actors in a Victorian stage play, and dreadful...