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Synopsis

"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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CUSTOMER REVIEWS

Shantaram
Average rating
4.6 / 5
Amazing
January 22nd, 2015
All I can say is that it's an amazing book! It took me a long time to read it, but it was still captivating and magicalnand so real! I learned what it's REALLY was like to live in the slums of India, without having gone there myself, and now, I want to go!!
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1 review
Shantaram
November 10th, 2014
Great book if you want to know more about India
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1 review
August 19th, 2014
One of the most exciting, moving, heart rending non fiction books I have ever read. The author depicts a life that is beyond imagination and far more interesting than any fictional tale. I was mesmerized by his determination, hope and love of fellow man.
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2 reviews
Shantaram
August 9th, 2014
Engrossing , at times too violent, wonderful study of a culture so distant from what we know. This story helps to fill glimmerings of respect of the powerful sense of humanity and how small yet integral each of our roles can be.
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1 review
March 2nd, 2014
I read this book while on a tour of India, which included Bombay. I found it so useful and timely and put the whole tour into an honest experience for me. I can really see this as a movie someday. Really loved it.
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1 review
Regular human
February 21st, 2014
An extremely fulfilling read. The story and history behind it was new and refreshing. I truly appreciated the narrative that delivers the depth of description that totally immerses and places you along side the characters in every situation. The real bonuses are the numerous nuggets of wisdom that inspire and make cause for reflection in ones own life experience. Out of hundreds of books read, this is the first literary work in my life to compel me to make and save marginal notes for future reference as well as ultimately write this review. Well done.
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1 review
January 27th, 2014
I found this book unputdownable - I was totally engrossed from the beginning to the end! I found the whole book refreshingly honest and the description of the Indian culture totally fascinating!
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1 review
January 26th, 2014
I took me a very long time to finish this book. I kept putting it down in favour of many other books, and then picking it up again months later. It was interesting and very incredible all of the things that happened to the protagonist. At times I felt as though he was trying to justify/glorify a criminal life, so I found it quite hard often to feel compassion for him.
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1 review
January 26th, 2014
No nonsense account that describes the unvarnished harshness and the beauty of the people and sights of India. The main character is honest in his descriptions of himself and the people around him, showing the duality that makes everyone capable of good and evil. The story flows with prose that is lyrical, capturing a vision of the mindset that is India. it is an amazing, uplifting, hopeful read.
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1 review
January 26th, 2014
The scale is epic. What is refreshing is the depiction of India. There is a neutrality which feels real. The paradox is brought on neatly to the pages. The human story itself is moving and keeps the pages turning. Truly a masterpiece.
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1 review
January 26th, 2014
Great book. Wonderfully descriptive. Engaging with some interesting twists.
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1 review
January 26th, 2014
My favourite book till today. The story keeps you going & love the way India is described.
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1 review
January 26th, 2014
This book was recommended by a friend but I shuddered when I saw the size of it. I purchased the ebook and am so glad that I did! It is an amazing journey of life experiences. Never boring! But it also teaches us that people can be, and indeed are, happy without all the material goods that we in the western world expect. We shouldn't impose our north American values on everyone.
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1 review
January 25th, 2014
This is an excellent read, bringing a real image alive of the Mumbai slums. Some great characters. The structure of the book tends to unravel a bit in the last section, and could probably have been successfully wrapped up within the Indian story.
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1 review
January 25th, 2014
Shantaram may put some off with its lengh, however it didn't drag and was an easy entertaining read. The brilliant descriptions of the Mumbai slums and of the hero living within them were the book's high point. The time the authour spent in the hills of Afghanistan was less interesting and seemed unrelated thematicly. The hero was presented in many diverse fascets, at times likeable and at times annoying. Santaram was well worth the read.
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
A very enjoyable book could not put down
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1 review
January 24th, 2014
This is the best book I've ever read. A sweeping epic and an amazing personal journey from the dark to the light.
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
January 23rd, 2014
One of the most mesmerizing, intriguing books I have ever read. Who would ever expect a story about someone's life, which had much tragedy and suffering could be so beautiful and so inspiring. Through the tragedy Roberts shines and survives, not always easily but he survives it all. He does immense good in the slums of India and is well loved. The very fact he rises above all of the pain and torment is that he is a strong vibrant loving man. And the writing is magical. A book to be read over and over.
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2 reviews
January 23rd, 2014
His adventures got me hooked. A great book for anyone although somewhat long.
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1 review
September 28th, 2013
I was glued to this book! I didn't want to put it down. I laughed, I cried and I was horrified. A truly gripping story that I would recommend to anyone!
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1 review

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