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 Audiobook

Shantaram: A Novel

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 -

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

4.6 (2886 )
5 star
 (2095)
4 star
 (541)
3 star
 (160)
2 star
 (48)
1 star
 (42)
Overall
4.6 (2660 )
5 star
 (1891)
4 star
 (496)
3 star
 (188)
2 star
 (44)
1 star
 (41)
Story
4.8 (2667 )
5 star
 (2284)
4 star
 (288)
3 star
 (56)
2 star
 (18)
1 star
 (21)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Saurabh 12-21-16
    Saurabh 12-21-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "incredible story with amazing details"

    Thia is an admirable book with a story filled with adventure. There ia lots to learn about India and traveling in India.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Throckmorton 12-17-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nothing short of AMAZING!"

    I'm really glad I listened to this book. I tried to read it years ago but found the reading difficult. The narrator is superb. The cast of characters is vast, he did an amazing job on the accents and bringing them to life. The story is so rich and deep. It had me from the opening paragraph and I held tight. I will be hard pressed for another book as compelling as this. I would give it 10 stars if I could.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Osann 12-16-16
    Emily Osann 12-16-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worthwhile listen"

    I loved the reading of this. The reader was very slow, so I listened at 1.25 the speed. I enjoyed the accents and pronunciations. I alternated reading from a paper copy and the audio to fully enjoy it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Earline Spencer Morgan Chicago 12-12-16
    Earline Spencer Morgan Chicago 12-12-16 Member Since 2015

    zero

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just Great!"

    Loved it! Enjoyed all of it. I might listen to it again. Just download it, stick with it, enjoy!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Concord, California 12-08-16
    Amazon Customer Concord, California 12-08-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Long but wonderful story"

    It took me awhile to decide if I should download this book because it was so long. But I'm glad I did. What an incredible story!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kirk E. Wilson Dallas, Tx (Oak Cliff) 11-28-16
    Kirk E. Wilson Dallas, Tx (Oak Cliff) 11-28-16 Member Since 2011

    Audio Addict Capt Kirk

    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    300
    32
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "THE MOST DIFFICULT, MOST WONDERFUL"

    THE MOST DIFFICULT, MOST WONDERFUL Book I I've read in years and years. EPIC YET DETAILED. CHARACTERS THAT I NOW KNOW , LAUGH, AND GRIEVE.
    5 + STARS

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 11-26-16
    Elizabeth 11-26-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What an amazing story and narrator!"
    What made the experience of listening to Shantaram the most enjoyable?

    The narrator was so fantastic, that I felt the audible version was better than my experience would have been reading the book myself. The narrator had the Australian accent of the book's narrator/author, as well as various Indian, Pakistani, Iranian, Swiss-American, American, and French accents to really bring the characters alive.
    Plus, the story was amazing - difficult to imagine that it is based on the author's life experience. Truly epic, taking place mostly in Bombay, but showing different sides as the author lived as a fugitive, then in the slums, then in luxury as part of the mafia, then as a fighter in the Afghanistan war, and so on. Such a dense, engaging story, and so long! By the time it ended, I felt that I would miss the characters in my car - driving will be a little more lonely now...


    Which scene was your favorite?

    So many graphic scenes - several intensely violent scenes (e.g., when he was in an Indian prison, or fighting a rival mafia gang). He richly describes each environment, including the scents and sounds. It was a very "tactile" book.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    He is very philosophical, so there is a lot of self-reflection and self-healing that the author is going through. The discussions about good and evil were interesting - "Sometimes we do the wrong thing for the right reasons". Reflections about love and life pervade the book, as people came and left his life.


    Any additional comments?

    I strongly recommend this epic book. I will seek out this narrator - I was so impressed by his interpretation of the book, and his facility with the accents. Do not be daunted by the length of the book (41 hours!), because they fly by through the breadth and intensity of this story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leesa 11-23-16
    Leesa 11-23-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful characters, gripping story!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Both the writing and the narration are fantastic. The characters are well developed, the storyline is fantastic and although it is a long book there is never a dull moment.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Shantaram?

    So many and none I can think of without giving something away. The relationships between the characters come alive and there are many hilarious, touching, sad and powerful moments throughout the book that are well woven into the story and not contrived or overly dramatic.


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator does such a good job with the various accents that it really enhances the story. You wouldn't get that in the same way if you read the words on the page (not that I'm against reading for myself, but in this case narration is better).


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucas 11-15-16
    Lucas 11-15-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best narration I have heard overall"
    Where does Shantaram rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Great book, very entertaining, a little long, but great story


    What about Humphrey Bower’s performance did you like?

    Everything. What an amazing performance. Even the female voices he did were great and engaging. A master with accents and this book requires quite a range.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam 11-13-16
    Adam 11-13-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant narration on an philosophical epic"

    Humphrey Bower breathes life into a cast of characters as vast and diverse as the sub-continent itself, as the saga of Lin, an escaped convict from down-under, unfolds in streets of Bombay. Lin-baba's acceptance among the poor, as well as the criminal underbelly, of Bombay provides a back drop for a philosophical inquiry into good and evil, love, and our very existence.

    It's a top-notch listen, but I'm not kidding when I say it's epic. 40+ hours, but it was time well spent. Not to mention that the narration made story retention very easy. I fell in love with this book and I think it was as much about the narration as Lin's inspiring tale.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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.