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Shantaram Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 1,011 customer reviews

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Length: 943 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Review

A literary masterpiece ... at once erudite and intimate, reflective and funny ... it has the grit and pace of a thriller (DAILY TELEGRAPH)

Powerful and original ... a remarkable achievement (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

Extraordinarily vivid ... a gigantic, jaw-dropping, grittily authentic saga (DAILY MAIL)

A publishing phenomenon (SUNDAY TIMES)

Sunday Telegraph

'Powerful and original ... a remarkable achievement'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2798 KB
  • Print Length: 943 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (28 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008B8DY2O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 1,011 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,036 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Gregory David Roberts retired from public life in 2014 to devote time to his family and new writing projects.

His new novel, The Mountain Shadow, will be released in 2015.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
At nearly 1,000 pages this is a heavy read in both senses of the word.
So was this a story an illusion or was it reality?
The trouble is I now start to sound like the Author.
I could almost write this in his style.
Lin narrating:
What are the boundaries between reality and illusion?
Are these two opposing concepts merged into one so that ultimately we can not tell the difference.
But Reality is not illusion, and illusion is not reality.
The pseudo-philosophy was interesting at times but Roberts seemed obsessed with using this in nearly every one of the parts of the book which ultimately became nauseous.
One of the main problems with this book is that Roberts seems to has written this book for himself rather than the reader and he seems to have declined the services of a decent editor.
It is very self-indulgent, like a stream of consciousness rather than a well crafted body of work.
It didn't need to be, as this Odyssey (as Roberts describes it) has some very engaging characters and challenging experiences.
He also states this book to be semi-autobiographical but you then discover that only some elements are "true", such as his heroin addiction when his marriage in Australia collapsed, which led to a string of robberies to feed his addiction.
He was caught and given was given a 19 year prison sentence.
He escaped from a maximum-security prison after two yeas spending the next ten years on the run in Bombay (where the story is set).
The story is amazing but you do sense that he is painting an altogether one dimensional view of himself.
Yes he regularly shows a degree of hubris, but he can't resist trying to immortalise his life in ways that are more in tune with Romancing The Stone.
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Format: Paperback
Based on a true story, the tale of a wanted Australian ex-convict who moves to Bombay; sets up a medical clinic in the slums; joins the Indian mafia and even goes to war in Afghanistan is gripping stuff. Those looking for a thriller or fast-paced ride will be disappointed - whilst Roberts includes plenty of action, he also vividly describes not only his surroundings but also his personal interactions with the residents and foreign nationals in Bombay. It is in this way that Shantaram excels, as a tale of how Roberts fits into the hugely varied Bombay lifestyle. In one way, Shantaram is almost a love story, with many of Roberts' actions revolving around a woman he loves - however, his propensity for getting into various dangerous situations meant that I couldn't put the book down. Whilst it is quite long, almost 1,000 pages of small type, it will keep you entertained and fascinated throughout, with Roberts' descriptions of India totally immersing you in his experiences.
Comment 77 of 84 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Hmmm...I've read with interest the reviews of this book and I think that you'll agree they are somewhat polarised!

My reading tastes are quite varied, from the Classics to Alex Garland and although I will try to be as objective as possible, the fact is that I really enjoyed this book.

Firstly, I am motivated to write a review for this book because I am at a loss as to how anyone could so vehemently be opposed to it without having an axe to grind with the author, (as opposed to reviewing the actual story), but predominantly because, like other reviewers here, I absolutely loved it and naturally want to share my enthusiasm and recommend it to others.

For me, Shantaram is a truly engaging read. It is exceptionally well paced and will take you on a journey that will, at times, leave you breathless and unable to turn the pages quickly enough. The authors' consummate depiction of character, place and drama will absorb you entirely in a relentless mêlée between the most noble and absolute base capabilities of human nature. Love, loathing, beauty, repugnance, tenderness and brutality - it's all here, in spades. However, there are two sections of this book which will enable you to catch up and assimilate, placed roughly at intervals between the first and second third of the narrative, and again between the second and third section. Believe me, you'll need these opportunities to relax a little.

The story of Lin, his travels, trials, dilemma and relationships with the individuals within the book are both enthralling and captivating in extremis. I would make claim that it is easily placed in my top five `you must read this' books.
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3 Comments 239 of 264 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I'm surprised that there aren't more middle of the road reviews here. Essentially, it's fantastic in parts, and makes you cringe with embarrassment or curse the author in others. The problems for me really are the ridiculous prose, the pretentious and meaningless philosophies of the author and his initial crew of friends (who are all right winkers), and his obsession with bigging himself up all the time (even when he's trying to admit a failing, he does so by boasting about something else). The plus points are the scope of the story, and the fact that somehow it keeps you coming back for more despite all its flaws.

The story can be gripping at times, though the strings of coincidences may go a little too far for some. There are some likeable characters, mostly locals rather than his idiotic expat friends. Prabaker in particular keeps things moving along with a chuckle, especially in the early stages. He does however have a slight Orientalist style of overly-romanticising and valorising everything local, which is fairly patronising at times. He also seems to be writing with the benefit of hindsight yet claiming at times that he or his friends foresaw events - the more recent rise of Shiv Sena for example.

The whole thing moves at an irregular pace, with, for example, a whole chapter on one fairly dull night in a bar, followed by another swiftly galloping through fires, a career as a doctor an encounter with a sword-wielding mentalist etc. There is always something just around the corner though, which keeps you going through the dull or outright infuriating bits.

The `David Brent' figure suggested by someone else here really is a fairly apt comparison.
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2 Comments 40 of 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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