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Shantaram: A Novel by [Gregory David Roberts]
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Shantaram: A Novel Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 10,075 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"Shantaram is a novel of the first order, a work of extraordinary art, a thing of exceptional beauty. If someone asked me what the book was about, I would have to say everything, every thing in the world. Gregory David Roberts does for Bombay what Lawrence Durrell did for Alexandria, what Melville did for the South Seas, and what Thoreau did for Walden Pond: He makes it an eternal player in the literature of the world."
- Pat Conroy

"Shantaram has provided me with the richest reading experience to date and I don't expect anybody to unseat its all-round performance for a long time. It is seductive, powerful, complex, and blessed with a perfect voice. Like a voodoo ghost snatcher, Gregory David Roberts has captured the spirits of the likes of Henri Charrière, Rohinton Mistry, Tom Wolfe, and Mario Vargas Llosa, fused them with his own unique magic, and built the most gripping monument in print. The land of the god Ganesh has unchained the elephant, and with the monster running amok, I tremble for the brave soul dreaming of writing a novel about India. Gregory David Roberts is a suitable giant, a dazzling guru, and a genius in full."
- Moses Isegawa, author of Abyssinian Chronicles and Snakepit

"Shantaram is, quite simply, the 1001 Arabian Nights of the new century. Anyone who loves to read has been looking for this book all their reading life. Anyone who walks away from Shantaram untouched is either heartless or dead or both. I haven't had such a wonderful time in years."
- Jonathan Carroll, author of White Apples

"Shantaram is dazzling. More importantly, it offers a lesson...that those we incarcerate are human beings. They deserve to be treated with dignity. Some of them, after all, may be exceptional. Some may even possess genius."
- Ayelet Waldman, author of Murder Plays House

About the Author

Gregory David Roberts, the author of Shantaram and its sequel, The Mountain Shadow, was born in Melbourne, Australia. Sentenced to nineteen years in prison for a series of armed robberies, he escaped and spent ten of his fugitive years in Bombay―where he established a free medical clinic for slum-dwellers, and worked as a counterfeiter, smuggler, gunrunner, and street soldier for a branch of the Bombay mafia. Recaptured, he served out his sentence, and established a successful multimedia company upon his release. Roberts is a now full-time writer and lives in Bombay. --This text refers to the audioCD edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B002U5HKZ6
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ St. Martin's Press; First edition (October 13, 2004)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 13, 2004
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 2798 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 946 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 10,075 ratings

About the author

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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

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
10,075 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on August 10, 2016
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158 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on June 30, 2017
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75 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on June 28, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Huge romping, evolving, penetrating your soul story!
By Kasey Claytor, author of The Light of Grace, Journeys of an Angel on June 28, 2019
I picked this book up on a sale table at a book store after passing it twice. It had a beautiful cover of an old, Indian-looking, stone building along a shore. Bombay. But the size was intimidating to this slow reader, 933 pages!
I asked the woman on staff with whom I always have good conversations if she read it. She highly recommended it. Then, later I decided to get the audio and e-book, because the book was so heavy.
So glad I did; first, because the book would be so uncomfortable to try to hold for any length of time, and second, because the man who did the narration was absolutely enchanting, imitating all the accents and voices unbelievably well.
Now for the story. It isn't the type of fiction I normally read. It's rough, it's sometimes violent, and it isn't for people who get squeamish easily. Nope, you need your big panties on for this one, and you will be rewarded for your courage.
The best stories are ones where the protagonist evolves. These are ones I eat up, can't wait to get back to. This is one of those
The author used his experiences to form the basis of the main character's life. Roberts was a thief and an addict in Australia when he was arrested and sentenced to nineteen years in prison. He made a daring and infamous daytime escape from prison and smuggled into Bombay to build a life of contrasts, from operating a free clinic in the slums to working for one of the biggest mafias in the city.
The writing is arguably some of the finest I've ever read. His descriptions are magical. Pat Conroy said it is "a work of extraordinary art, a thing of exceptional beauty."
I'm sad that I've finished it, it was with me for such a long time. I'll miss his character, Lin, and all those he grew to love. Of course, I, and I am sure other readers, are left wondering, what parts were true? What parts did he make up?
But there is a sequel! The Mountain Shadow. I'll let you know how that one is too!
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26 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2017
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46 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on February 25, 2019
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27 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

1.0 out of 5 stars Annoying Disneyfied read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 26, 2019
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51 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite ever books!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 13, 2017
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37 people found this helpful
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charlie k
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 16, 2019
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15 people found this helpful
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P G.
1.0 out of 5 stars Too long
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 24, 2018
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17 people found this helpful
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Damo inc.
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is superb
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 8, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book is superb
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 8, 2018
After 2 years, I've finally just finished this book (I'm not a big reader)... it is a brilliant book. It is beautifully written, a masterclass in EQ in terms of self understanding and language. The story is exciting and you care about the characters.

It is a long book, and I wonder if Robert's, the writer, could have achieved in 400 pages what has taken him 800+ pages - however it is a book that keeps your attention in both its story, and the beauty of how its told.

Defo recommend this book, you're in for a hell of a ride.

The ending is really nice too, a bit of closure.
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11 people found this helpful
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