Book Review: Shantaram
In a bit of a departure for me, and something I probably won't do too frequently, today's posting is a review and recommendation for a book.
I just finished the over-900-page "mostly autobiographical" novel "Shantaram" by Gregory David Roberts.
Here is the amazon.com link:
It is without question one of the best few books I've ever read, and for those of you who have time to read such a tome, and who have interest in India, gangs, the Afghan-Russian war, and fascinating characters such as a mysterious brothel madame who never comes out from her secret passages behind the walls, this book is compelling.
I would say it's something like a central-asian-based Goodfellas, with a hint of Full Metal Jacket mixed in.
Although the title of the American version (not the Australian version I read) includes "A Novel", it is unclear how much of the story is actually fiction. It certainly seems, based on what I've read and Roberts' own history that most of it is likely to be true, with minor modifications. Roberts' life has been so intense and incredible that if you saw a movie of it you might say that's too outrageous to be true.
And, it appears you will be able to see a movie of Shantaram. On Roberts' web site at http://www.shantaram.com, he says that Johnny Depp has signed up to play Roberts' character ("Lin") in the film version of the book. IMDB already has a page up for the movie at
Roberts' web site is quite interesting as Roberts is certainly a fascinating character. The page about his personal history is, as I said, almost stranger than fiction:
Even if it takes you a month or two or three to finish "Shantaram", I couldn't offer a higher recommendation for any book. Buy it, read it, and let me know what you think!
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