Book Review: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Based on David Roberts real life adventures, SHANTARAM is an epic tale of slums and five star hotels, romantic love and prison torture, mafia gang wars and Bollywood films.   shantaram

This is the story of the protagonist Lin, who has escaped from an Australian jail and arrived in Bombay, India with a fake passport of New Zealand. During his stay in Mumbai, Lin met a local man named Prabhakar whom he hired as a guide but soon became his good friend. Both the men visited to Prabhaker’s native village where Prabhaker’s mother gave him a new Maharashtrian name ‘Shantaram’ which means Man of God’s Peace as she believed his nature to be blessed with peaceful happiness. Lin is later forced to live in slums after he is robbed of all his possessions while he is on his way from the village. He started a free clinic for the people in the slum and to provide for his own income he started selling drugs to the tourists. This drew the attention of local gangsters towards him and he could do nothing but got increasingly pulled into their world of crime.

SHANTARAM is one of those books that come once in few years, a book for which you would wait for five years or maybe even a decade to find. It is not just a book with an account of drugs and crime only; it is much more than that. Shantaram is the story of a man who even in a life of violence loves all those in his life and the city which became his home. The book is flooded with variety of characters and themes including the nature of humanity and human struggle to survive and thrive in the world.

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