Quote

“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Monday, July 25, 2016

SHANTARARAM

It's a while since my latest blog.

There are many reasons, personal and practical, but let's say one of the reasons was that I was reading Gregory David Roberts' novel, titled SHANTARAM. A novel of almost 1000 pages.


It was my daughter who convinced me to buy the book, back in August 2015, when I visited my family. It turned out to be the most impressive book I ever read.

I started to read the book when our child went to summer school in May this year, and I took the book with me to read a few pages every day while drinking coffee and waiting in the mall, to pick up her again after a few hours. Although the start was a bit difficult, it ended up to be a page turner. I couldn't stop reading and couldn't stop thinking about what was to happen next.

It really governed my life for a while, until I finished a week ago. It's really a marvelous book and story, partly an autbiography, sometimes unbelievable, now and then heartbreaking and emotional.

It's really a book with a plot for a movie and there were many plans since the book was published, but so far none of the plans resulted in a completed movie.
If you check the media database IMDb, you will find that the movie is still of the category in "development".



Rather then inventing the wheel again to summarize the contents, I copy some public statements about the book below.

Shantaram is a 2003 novel by Gregory David Roberts, in which a convicted Australian bank robber and heroin addict who escaped from Pentridge Prison flees to India. The novel is commended by many for its vivid portrayal of tumultuous life in Bombay. WikiPedia

The size of the imposing blue and red tome can be a deterrent for many less-than-avid readers, but if I had to recommend any book to an adult non-reader to encourage them to begin, it would be Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts. The novel is a fictionalized account of Roberts’ life – how much fact and how much fiction is debatable, but once you start reading you won’t care. The very first lines are captivatingly full of promise, offering a glimpse into a world of wonder, of reasoned thought and enlightening experiences.The ViewsPaper

"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.
Good Reads.


The author has himself fully sequestered from public life since January 2014, see his statement here Shantaram.





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