We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Shantaram: A Novel | [Gregory David Roberts]

Shantaram: A Novel

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.
Regular Price:$66.14
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

"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.

©2003 Gregory David Roberts (P)2006 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Shantaram is a novel of the first order, a work of extraordinary art, a thing of exceptional beauty. If someone asked me what the book was about, I would have to say everything, every thing in the world. Gregory David Roberts does for Bombay what Lawrence Durrell did for Alexandria, what Melville did for the South Seas, and what Thoreau did for Walden Pond: He makes it an eternal player in the literature of the world." (Pat Conroy)

"[A] sprawling, intelligent novel…full of vibrant characters…the exuberance of his prose is refreshing…Roberts brings us through Bombay's slums and opium houses, its prostitution dens and ex-pat bars, saying, You come now. And we follow." (The Washington Post)

"Few stand out quite like Shantaram …nothing if not entertaining. Sometimes a big story is its own best reward." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (890 )
5 star
 (580)
4 star
 (198)
3 star
 (65)
2 star
 (31)
1 star
 (16)
Overall
4.4 (808 )
5 star
 (522)
4 star
 (168)
3 star
 (80)
2 star
 (21)
1 star
 (17)
Story
4.7 (808 )
5 star
 (652)
4 star
 (110)
3 star
 (23)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (9)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    dev 11-17-14
    dev 11-17-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "the best PERIOD!!!!"
    If you could sum up Shantaram in three words, what would they be?

    honestly the best listen ever in my 33 years of life


    What other book might you compare Shantaram to and why?

    can't compare the best


    Which character – as performed by Humphrey Bower – was your favorite?

    main


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes!


    Any additional comments?

    simply the best man

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin C. Hardiman 10-31-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow"
    Where does Shantaram rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    My Favorite Audiobook to date. Amazing, literate, moving and disturbing. All of humanity in one story. The Narator was perfect and really nailed the accents, emotions, and intensity. I missed several exits while driving and listening, but didn't mind the delay to listen a little longer. An Epic journey, but without a moral to the story. Truly An Experience.


    Any additional comments?

    Only the Lord of the Rings (read 40 years ago) comes close, but that had a heros journey. Shantaram is life. There is no "reason" why some things happen in the world. We try to make sense, but they just dont. Good sometimes creates bad and some bad creates good. The end just stopped, leaving a lot of questions. But, the 40+ hours flew bye!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Espen Kvalheim 10-22-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic book, magnificent performance!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Shantaram to be better than the print version?

    I bought both the kindle book and the audio version, since I often like to switch back and forth between them. The reader's performance was so good, however, that I never even considered opening the book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The book totally changed my view of India. I still don't believe the slums are nice places, but this book gives some insight into how people can tolerate living there. It is also a very interesting tale of the main character's journey and growth as a man and a human being.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    This book contains a multitude of characters from various nationalities, and Bower enacts each and every one of them to great perfection - he easily amplified my enjoyment of the book tenfold. I have heard some who've read the paper version say they got the characters confused, but Bower's performance made that much easier to follow (although I occasionally ran into trouble with than when they entered the Afghan mountains).


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I cried several times, and laughed out even more. Just beautiful!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Sparks, NV, United States 10-10-14
    Nancy Sparks, NV, United States 10-10-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating!"
    Where does Shantaram rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best audiobooks ever!


    Any additional comments?

    This is the most engaging story that I have had the pleasure to listen to! I had previously read this book, but the narration by Humphrey Bower really makes it come to life. The experiences of the characters cleverly convey many life philosophies and this audiobook will remain in my library to listen to again at a future time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cbr 10-01-14
    cbr 10-01-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story, I couldn't quit listening!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Shantaram to be better than the print version?

    Yes, only because I am on the road about 3 hrs per day.


    What other book might you compare Shantaram to and why?

    I don't have other comparisons.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The first time he entered the slums.


    If you could take any character from Shantaram out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Not sure I trust any of them.


    Any additional comments?

    None

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lou 08-20-14
    lou 08-20-14 Member Since 2013

    Life Learner that has to occasionally sprinkle some fiction into my audio entertainment. Be educated, be worldly, and keep switching gears!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hands down...my favorite book!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, yes, yes!
    It has everything... romance, suspense, philosophy, excitement. It is well written and excellently narrated.


    What other book might you compare Shantaram to and why?

    Deepak Chopra meets Indiana Jones.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The conversation about doing the wrong thing for the right reasons and the conversation about God.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Wow. Gets you firing on all cylinders. Laugh or cry? How about laugh and cry!


    Any additional comments?

    Stop reading this and use that credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Follmuth 07-23-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Humphrey Bower is Fantastic!"
    Any additional comments?

    The narration on this story is incredible - the voices, the accents, and the inflections by the narrator really bring this heartwarming story to life. Though this book is pretty long, I really enjoyed the way the story unfolded and the way the author brought color to Lynn's emotions. There were definitely happy moments, sad moments, and really scary moments, and the author maintains a sense of mystery throughout the tale. One of the best audio books I've listened to ever! Definitely worth the listen!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Memphis Graton, CA, United States 06-16-14
    Memphis Graton, CA, United States 06-16-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of My Favorite Books! Great Narration!"

    Really loved this book it's truly a modern classic. The narration is really excellent with amazing voices that add so much to the book. Only quibble is the women's voices are a bit strange at times, but totally a non issue in the end. I actually got a copy of this audiobook awhile ago from a friend which is the one I listened to, but wanted to support the author so I got it here too, plus I bought the actual book! Really good narrator!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    majasa Atlanta 06-05-14
    majasa Atlanta 06-05-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Spice of Life"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Shantaram to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the print version.


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    His performance brought me right into India. I loved the voices and accents he gave the characters.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book touched on every emotion I have in me. I laughed & danced & sang & cried & felt weak with a heavy heart.


    Any additional comments?

    Variety is the spice of life and so is this book. Such a variety of people, characters, cultures, customs, emotions & so forth. I learned so much about relationships & about my own feelings. There are many lessons in this book. I hated for it to end though. I want the next book to see where it goes from there......

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-22-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great narrator, weird author"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Needed a good editor. Lots of it was overwritten, a reflection of the author's overinflated ego.


    What was most disappointing about Gregory David Roberts’s story?

    Too much gore and violence. The author loves telling about the bloody details of various knife, gun, or fist fights. At first it's fascinating, but by the end of the book, it is revolting.


    Have you listened to any of Humphrey Bower’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. But I would after listening to this one. He is able to depict an incredibly wide variety of characters and accents. An absolutely superlative performance.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Probably not. Too much violence.


    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 91 results PREVIOUS12310NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.