Shantaram: A Novel

Front Cover
St. Martin's Press, 2003 - Fiction - 936 pages
154 Reviews
"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.

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I had been told that this was a beautiful love story. - Goodreads
There's nothing so depressing as good advice. - Goodreads
I had been told that this was a riveting page turner. - Goodreads

Shataram - One of the best reads ever!

User Review  - Nitasha - Flipkart

Shantaram is an unbelievable story of an Australian writer staying in Mumbai in exile. His description of the Mumbai slums would make you want to live in a slum! I have never fell in love with a book ... Read full review

Literary Masterpiece

User Review  - shekhar - Flipkart

I don't see any book written so vibrantly on Mumbai and its life. This book brings to life the darker and the lighter side of the city. An extra ordinary work by Gregory David Roberts. A Must read for everybody who loves literature. Read full review

About the author (2003)

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 now a full-time writer and lives in Bombay.

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