I’m generally someone who judges a book by its size. If it’s too lengthy a book, then I’d rather put it off for when I have a lot of time on my hands. Shantaram, being a 900-something page book, didn’t really look tempting. But I picked it up one day only because of how dear the friend who recommended it to me is. And you will understand by my rating why it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.
Roberts, the author, is a character with so much of heart and soul that it is almost difficult to not fall in love with him. He is a heroin addict who escaped Australian prison. He portrays his love for India beyond measure at every toss and turns that the plot takes. While every part of the book is narrated to be true, some of it is evidently fictional. But you wouldn’t mind that, given the thrill that Robert and his friends and foes give you.
From the mafia to human trafficking, diarrhea in the slums of Mumbai to trekking the terrains of Afghanistan for a holy war, Robert backs his adventures with relationships so deeply rooted in his heart and your own. There is no doubt that you will feel his pain and joy. His addiction to heroin and the woman of his dreams tell a story of their own, seeping into the ever-thrilling life of Shantaram.
The narrative paints a very vivid picture of vintage Mumbai. Complete with its local hustle and bustle, the mafia, street riots, its undying love for Bollywood, the village life, the slum life, and the very happening Leopold Cafe. Gregory, aka Shantaram, aka Linbaba, may have a very unique, unrelatable journey that many of us may never walk.
Lastly, if you’re not a fan of lengthy books, PICK THIS ONE UP ANYWAY! It’s the best recommendation I could ever give and will always be my number 1 read.
Here’s an overview of the book by the author himself.
Bingewagon rating- 5/5
An avid binge-reader and an occasional binge-watcher, Marilyn D'Cruz is a copywriter by profession but a storyteller by heart.
June 06, 2018