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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:25 pm
by Matbow
Anyone read this book? ... 256&sr=8-1

I'm currently half way through and loving it, although I wouldn't say it's for everyone. It reads like an autobiography of the author, who escapes from prison in Australian and goes on the run in India, living in local villages, slums, prison and getting involved in organised crime. I have a feeling this could well be a true story, but I don't want to spoil myself until I've finished it! It's a pretty epic book; in paper back it's almost 1000 pages!

These are some select reviews from Amazon:

I have, in the last three years, read literally hundreds of books of fiction. I can quite easily list the three bodies of work which were the most enjoyable, instructive, and otherwise influential to me. In order they are: 1) the entire 21 book series of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin historic naval literature (probably the best series of books I have ever read), 2) the three books of Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and the System of the World), each book being better than the previous one, and 3) Shantaram.

Shantaram is a love story from start to finish: love of mankind, love of friends, love of a woman, love of a country, love of a city, love of an adversary, love of a way of life, love of a people, love of adventure, love of a father, and, most apparent, love for the reader.

The protagonist (based on the writer himself) is a complex adventurer with a deep soul and a past which, though you and I can never fully appreciate it unless we have done similar things (highly unlikely...few of us have ever been tortured, for example, or kicked a heroin habit twice) is made accessible to us, complete with its feelings and lessons.

The writing is superb, the characters have depth, the setting descriptions place you right there, the plots are intriguing, and the emotions, including humor, I cannot adequately describe, since I have nowhere near the skills of the writer, Gregory Roberts.

I cannot recommend the book more highly. Please do yourself a favor and read it.

What a book! What a story! The characters are as real as your hand in front of your face and you'll want to hop on the next airplane to Bombay (Mumbai), India to drop in at Leopold's to chance a glimpse of the old gang.....

This book will rip your heart out, stomp on it, and put it back in your chest all repaired by the ending. It took me a week to read and it was the best week of my life. I cried when it was over and haven't been able to read another book since. Truly an epic masterpiece.

FINALLY, a gut-wrenching, harrowing, well-penned novel, whose author suffers not from the literary constipation of most current "highbrow" authors (He's faced down far more deadly things, chronicled herein, to be affrighted by sharp penned editors.) - A book, in short, that will make your heart bleed with the depths to which the human soul can sink and the glories to which it can rise. ----I read so many books, but this is the first true work of art and genius published in this new century that I've managed to discover. It is a book from which I'm still recovering from having read. Like all great art, it leaves one with a new perspective on the world and causes one to reconnoitre the heart's bearings. The book strips away the lies we tell ourselves and leaves the heartstrings bare for the reader to see, where he/ she will recognise his/her own.

Let's get something straight here: This is not a book of "purple prose" or any form of sentimentality. Each tear shed is wrung from harrowing experience. As Roberts writes, "One of the reasons we crave love, and seek it so desperately, is that love is the only cure for loneliness, and shame, and sorrow. But some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths about yourself are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. And some things are just so sad that only your soul can do the crying for you."--Your soul will have cried with Roberts's many times before the end of the book.

This is truly a book for lovers of great literature. Roberts writes, "I never found a club or a clan or idea that was more important to me than the men and women who believed in it."--This book is one that values the mystery of people and the mystery of human existence above all else. ----Including yours, reader.

Re: Shantharam

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:31 pm
by johnrogers
I have not read it but your post has perked my interest and I am going to give it a go in the near future.I have read a few books highlighting Indian culture - found one book that got in to the caste system that exsists in India to this very day - very disturbing caste - meaning the class system from the poorest of poor to the wealthy of the nation - the poor must remain poor and they are treated less than dogs to this very day and age - hard to belive but interesting

:lol: Yep I am interested in reading Shantharam

Re: Shantharam

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:30 am
by E-Hoog
johnrogers wrote: :lol: Yep I am interested in reading Shantharam

Haha, but then again, you eat books :wink:

Will put this on my to-read-list as well

Re: Shantharam

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:55 am
by tedd
Yes this is a superb book. I met the author a few years ago at a writers seminar and got him to sign my copy. I should say that most (80% or more) of it would be true although fictionalised to some extent.

He said he was writing another book but have heard nothing further of him

Re: Shantharam

PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:44 am
by E-Hoog
Wow, just read his bio: ... dp_epwbk_0

Although calling yourself a full-time writer should warrant more books in the future :wink: