Shantaram is an epic story spanning more than a decade of
life on the run, large in every way – over 900 pages, real not only because it
was, but also by the gifted writer at the helm, who’s talent and awesome
ability leap forth from the first page and that promise of great holds through
with the novel’s end. It is a masterpiece; intelligent, thrilling, romantic,
philosophical, humor and outright horror – Shantaram has it all!
Greg is now on the run, after breaking out of prison in
Australia where he was convicted of armed robbery while under the influence of
drugs, his life on the run takes him from New Zealand to Bombay India, where the
story starts. Using an alias to enter Bombay, ‘Lindsay’ attaches himself to
a group of tourists to pass customs and immediately is met by a young man
claiming to be Bombay’s best city guide, the unforgettable Prabaker.
‘Lindsay’ meets and befriends so many wonderfully engaging vivid people that
populate this story; he joins the Indian mafia and is enthralled with and loved
by its leader, exploring the father/son philosopher/student relationship
pondering good and evil, man and God. And he falls in love Karla, the eloquent
words of love and loss Greg writes of, as he learns of life and who and what
kind of man he is and struggles to become while he struggles to survive on the
run, is exciting memorizing enthralling, a story to read and savor! Shantaram
resonates long after you have read the last page.
Shantaram is a thriller of the highest order; a love story
profound and penetrating, cut bloody with truth, seen through the eyes of a poet
philosopher gangster, a man on the run.
On the book’s front cover “He was Australia’s most
wanted man. Now he’s written Australia’s most wanted novel”.
excerpt from SHANTARAM by Gregory David Roberts
'It too me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love
and fate and the choice we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant,
while I was chained to a wall and being tortured. I realised, somehow, through
the screaming in my mind, that even in that shackled, bloody helplessness, I was
still free: free to hate the men who were torturing me, or to forgive them. It
doesn't sound like much, I know. But in that flinch and bite of the chain, when
it's all you've got, that freedom is a universe of possibility. And the choice
you make, between hating and forgiving, can become the story of your life.
In my case, it's a long story, and a crowded one. I was a revolutionary who
lost his ideals in heroin, a philosopher who lost his integrity in crime, and a
poet who lost his soul in a maximum-security prison. When I escaped from prison,
over the front wall, between two gun-towers, I became my country's most wanted
man. Luck ran with me and flew with me across to India, where I joined the
Bombay mafia. I worked as a gunrunner, a smuggler and a counterfeiter. I was
chained on three continents, beaten, stabbed and starved. I went to war. I ran
into enemy guns. And I survived, while other men around me died. They were
better men than I am, most of them: better men whose lives were crunched up in
mistakes, and thrown away by the wrong second of someone else's hate, or love,
or indifference. And I buried them, too many of those men, and grieved their
stories and their lives into my own.
But my story doesn't begin with them, or with the mafia: it goes back to that
first day in Bombay. Fate put me in the game there. Luck dealt me the cards that
led me to Karla Saaranen. And I started to play it out, that hand, from the
first moment I looked into her green eyes. So it begins, this story, like
everything else -- with a woman, and a city, and a little bit of luck.'