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Anastasia

Pilot Hill, CA, United States | Member Since 2007

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  • Shantaram

    • UNABRIDGED (43 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Gregory David Roberts
    • Narrated By Humphrey Bower
    Overall
    (3304)
    Performance
    (1639)
    Story
    (1639)

    This mesmerizing first novel tells the epic journey of Lin, an escaped convict who flees maximum security prison in Australia to disappear into the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, 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 keys to unlock the mysteries that bind Lin are held by two people: his mentor Khader Khan, mafia godfather and criminal-philosopher; and the beautiful, elusive Karla, whose passions are driven by dangerous secrets.

    Jamie says: "Do Not Miss This"
    "A book you never want to end"
    Overall

    I have to admit that I approached "Shantaram" a bit hesitantly; it was recommended by a friend whose reading prowess I trust, but the initial book description did't really make my inner reader salivate. I didn't really think I would like the story of a guy who escapes prison in Australia, only to land in India, haunting the slums, a leper's colony, the worst that Indian prisons can dish out, and life in the Indian mafia.

    However, this is one of those occasions when I'm glad I followed someone else's recommendation because I LOVE THIS BOOK!

    This is a book you will not want to read--or listen to--because doing so means the tale will soon be over. It is a book you do not want to end.

    I love the epic feel of this book. Based on the real life adventures of the author, it blends murderous thuggery with deep compassion, and the bigger questions of life and the human condition with the ethics of evil.

    Roberts's prose can lean toward the flowery at times, but I disn't even fault him, because behind each overwrought description, you hear the overwrought, passionate, and deeply sad heart of our hero, Lin. Aong with his Lin, Roberts populates this book with characters that are believable, and overflowing with personality and joy.

    What is even better is that the narrator brings brilliant interpretations to each character. He must interpret the accents of Indians, Afghanies, Pakistanies, Australains, and Americans, and he does so with mastery. Each voice is unique and and memorable. Listening to this book is like watching an Academy Award winning film--it all just works.

    Buy this book. Buy it today. Tell everyone about it. It's a great, rip-roaring read, posing big questions and leaving your heart full.

    31 of 34 people found this review helpful

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