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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Step Away From Epic
I flat out love this book. At 900 pages, I was actually saddened when it ended. The story reads like prose. At times one wondered if the author was trying too hard to impress, but his beautiful, captivating style was demonstrated so often and almost effortlessly that the thought was put to rest.

One of the things I love is the multitude of genres included in...
Published on June 3 2011 by Michael

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story...but that's it.
The story is superb. It is intriguing, completely out of the ordinary, and a great plot for any novel.

The style of writing is, as a couple of commenters have also echoed, self-indulgent and over-dramatic at times. The author is prone to spending pages waxing poetic on personal ideologies on life, love, and even existentialism. Although these themes may be...
Published on Sept. 5 2011 by S TSANG


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Step Away From Epic, June 3 2011
By 
Michael (Toronto) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Shantaram: A Novel (Hardcover)
I flat out love this book. At 900 pages, I was actually saddened when it ended. The story reads like prose. At times one wondered if the author was trying too hard to impress, but his beautiful, captivating style was demonstrated so often and almost effortlessly that the thought was put to rest.

One of the things I love is the multitude of genres included in this story. Romance, action,adventure, philosophy. All of these and more are blended in to this one mans figurative and literal journey. Another aspect I both loved and loathed was the jarring change of pace that happened at least 3-4 times. You're cozy, you're enjoying the scenery then WHAM! The trajectory flips 180 degrees and you're shaking your head wondering if it really DID just happen. I grew to love this device as I was never allowed to get TOO comfortable.

If there's one negative, and it's not exactly small- it's that I put the book down twice and had to read 200 pages before I found myself entrenched. I was very close to giving up, but am sooo glad I jumped back on board. After those 200 pages I could not stop reading nor could I wait to get back to find out what was going on with these beautifully imagined characters and the world they inhabited. I work in a book store and whenever this book comes up from someone who's read it, I find myself talking for 5-10 minutes to passionate readers both male and female. If you can, do what I did and don't read what it's about. Just dive in and let the author immerse you in his characters world.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible! Extraordinary!, Jan. 3 2006
This review is from: Shantaram: A Novel (Paperback)
This book is just simply extraordinary in every sense! It has action, excitement, romance, intrigue, history, philosophy, travel, and so much more. One would think, with so many topics covered, that it would be a confusing mish-mash, but it is nothing of the sort. It is spell-binding - very hard to put down - & written with such smooth beauty and depth, that many passages take your breath away. The writer was born to write. It is obviously semi-autobiographical, which makes it even more fascinating. I most highly recommend this novel as an absolutely satisfying and fascinating experience, on many levels! Read it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story...but that's it., Sept. 5 2011
By 
S TSANG (Paris, France) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shantaram: A Novel (Paperback)
The story is superb. It is intriguing, completely out of the ordinary, and a great plot for any novel.

The style of writing is, as a couple of commenters have also echoed, self-indulgent and over-dramatic at times. The author is prone to spending pages waxing poetic on personal ideologies on life, love, and even existentialism. Although these themes may be related to the novel's development, the time and effort dedicated to describing them do not add to the novel. In general, the author tends to be very eloquent, and the language over-use became distracting and made the novel difficult to read as the story wore on.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Whole Deal, Oct. 30 2005
By 
Anurag Thakur (Brampton, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shantaram: A Novel (Paperback)
AMAZING! This book has everything captivated into it. Mystery, Romance, Crime, Friendship EVERYTHING! It is very hard down this magnificent piece of work. It is very easy to read, flows very nicely and it keeps you going. It makes you feel as if you Gregory is sitting beside you telling his story. I suggest that everyone take a chance to read this amazing work. Don let the thickness scare you, it is a very easy read, EXCEPTIONAL!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts Is The Best Book I've Ever Read, Dec 2 2010
This review is from: Shantaram: A Novel (Paperback)
Stars: 6.0 (out of 5)

The sensational epic novel Shantaram by Australian author Gregory David Roberts is one that I don't think I will ever forget for as long as I live. It is the best book I have ever read and giving it 5 stars just isn't enough to express how much I loved it and what a profound effect its author has had on the way I look at the world.

This is a book I savored like a last bottle of water in the desert, while reading several others in between over a period of five months, because I never wanted it to end. Its gripping, visceral descriptions of prison life will make you squirm in your seat and its heartrending passages about the loss of loved ones will have you weeping uncontrollably, but it will also make you daydream, smile, and laugh out loud.

The theme of Shantaram is the exile experience, alienation, and man's quest for meaning. It's also about shame and self-loathing, sadness and hope, fear and forgiveness, poverty and true wealth, understanding and catharsis. And above all, it is about love.

Shantaram (which is actually the second book in a trilogy that has not yet been published) for the most part takes place in Bombay (Mumbai) and the author's knowledge and love for the Indian people is so intoxicating and infectious that it will make you want to visit India with the hope that you will come to know its people in the same way. He describes the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feel of India (as well as his romantic retreat in Goa and the war torn and ravaged Afghanistan) with as much perfect detail, love and care as a famous artist put into his masterpiece with each strategic brush stroke.

Shantaram is the story of the indomitable spirit of a man who has lost everything - whose will to survive is astonishing - and the lengths to which he will fight to climb out of the abyss, absolutely astounding. The main character who has a number of names: Linbaba, Lin, Shantaram...is a man who feels damned and beyond redemption because of the crimes he's committed (robbery, smuggling, gunrunning, counterfeiting, and working as a street soldier for the Bombay mafia) but who manages to find light, peace and salvation through the relationships he shares with the people he loves.

"It's forgiveness that makes us what we are. Without forgiveness, our species would've annihilated itself in endless retributions. Without forgiveness, there would be no history. Without that hope, there would be no art, for every work of art is in some way an act of forgiveness. Without that dream, there would be no love, for every act of love is in some way a promise to forget. We live on because we can love, and we love because we can forgive."

Based on many of the true life experiences of Gregory David Roberts - who after the failure of his marriage in Australia became a heroin addict, robber, inmate, escapee, and finally a refugee hiding out in India - Shantaram is stellar fiction that will leave you with many questions about how much of the story actually happened and how much was devised by Roberts' literary genius. You may also find yourself falling in love with its author because of his intellect, charisma, and the sheer magnitude of his gigantic heart.

This book should be required reading for every college and university student on the planet. It's a story that should be read, if possible, before embarking on the major part of your life's journey. It is filled with so many exquisitely written passages and profound and remarkable quotes that you will be able to find something in it to express almost every situation you could possibly encounter.

"Everything you ever sense, in touch or taste or sight or even thought, has an effect on you that's greater than zero. Some things, like the background sound of a bird chirping as it passes your house in the evening, or a flower glimpsed out of the corner of an eye, have such an infinitesimally small effect that you can't detect them. Some things, like triumph and heartbreak, and some images, like the image of yourself reflected in the eyes of a man you've just stabbed, attach themselves to the secret gallery and they change your life forever."

The characters, particularly his closest friends outside of the mafia council, such as Prabaker, Johnny Cigar, Qasim Ali Hussein and the slum dwellers, and the European crowd from Leopold's Bar: Karla, Lisa, Didier, Ulla and Modena, Maurizio, Lettie and Vikram, Scorpio George and Gemini George, as well as Abdullah, Khader Khan and the other members of the Bombay mafia, are richly developed and fully realized and as a reader you become invested in them as you experience their joys and tragedies. I believe that some of these characters were amalgamations of several different people who Roberts knew in India in the 80s, but the world he creates through their eyes is as complex and colourful as the one we live in at this moment. Rarely, have I read a book that so completely transported me into the author's world and seldom have I thought of one so much after I'd put the book down.

As I read the last few pages of this giant tome, tears trickled down my face, because of what Roberts had written in ending this part of his tale, and because I had come to the end and now I have to wait for the sequel to be published; hopefully in September 2011. Having a writer's work that is this good, to look forward to, is something exceptional indeed. Gregory David Roberts' life has been beyond extraordinary.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars shantaram, March 8 2005
By 
jANET RAYNER (saltspring Isalnd, British Columbia Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shantaram: A Novel (Hardcover)
this is one of the finest book I have read in a long time. A rather harsh story but eloquently written and totally captivating...hard to put down. Truely sad to finish this book..you don't want it to ever end....so hard to find something as beautiful to follow.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A life-changing read - not to be missed, Nov. 8 2013
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This review is from: Shantaram: A Novel (Paperback)
I LOVED this book - I couldn't put it down and didn't want it to end. Gregory David Roberts' based-on-life-experience storytelling is excellent and compelling. The hero is an imperfect, regular yet extraordinary guy, and the people he meets are so true-to-life and endearing they become your friends too. Shantaram offers an excellent "visit" to all levels of Bombay society, and insights into life in India (wonderful for those, like me, who have never travelled there), and his Westerner's view on Indian customs and lifestyles is beautifully thoughtful and compassionate.
There is another book in the works that many many of his readers are waiting for with open arms, and I am one of them!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The hyperbole bar just keeps getting raised higher, Feb. 10 2007
By 
the prior (ottawa canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shantaram: A Novel (Paperback)
I have 50 pages to go in this extraordinary book. I have had 50 pages to go for almost a week. What higher compliment can I pay this novel than to say I may never finish it? I do not want this story to end. If I leave it unfinished I can always say that I have a few pages to go should I ever be asked if I had read "Shantaram".

In short this is the best novel I have read that has been published in my life-span of over fifty years.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary adventure story sprinkled with delightful i, Feb. 25 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Shantaram: A Novel (Paperback)
A novel that has it all. Truth, romance, violence, drama, comedy, the underground... all of it appeals to a male audience between 20-40. What I liked the most was at the end of the book, after all the exciting stories and adventures... what stuck where those lyrical lines of profound insight into life. Between living life as a drug addict behind bars and Afghan arms dealer, the author/protagonist still managed experience all the shades of friendship and love.
The book was under plans to become a movie, with Johnny Depp signing on to play the lead role. The fact that such an actor has agreed to act in this book is a testament to its quality.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be careful, you might miss work, March 8 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Shantaram: A Novel (Hardcover)
I found this book well written& totally engrossing.Fascinating story! I could not put it down!!!
jmauro
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Shantaram: A Novel
Shantaram: A Novel by Gregory David Roberts (Paperback - Oct. 1 2005)
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