Debra's Reviews > Shantaram

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
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Feb 19, 08

Read in February, 2008

This is one of those rare books that I couldn't put down at first and then WANTED to read slowly at the end because I so didn't want the pleasure of reading it--all 1000 pages of it--to cease. It's got the spiritual quest of The Razor's Edge; the redemptive beauty of The Kite Runner; the descriptive adventures of The Sorcerer's Apprentice; and the drugs, brutality, prostitution, and violence of The Godfather. While I might have enjoyed the time the narrator spent navel-gazing(and the resulting philoso-fuckle--sorry students--one-liners he was so proud of)and smoking hash with the other expats in a cafe when I was a few years younger, those brief pages were well worth the trip through the slums and prisons of India, a country he paints to be so exotically enchanting and filled with people so beautiful and loving, despite the crime-filled underbelly he also depicts, that I can't imagine a more magical and exciting place on earth. I was mesmerized by every page of the semi-autobiographical journey, from the escape from an Australian prison to the leper colony to the cholera-ravaged slum to the illegal passport headquarters to the Bollywood production sets to the frozen, war-torn Afghan mountains.
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message 1: by Omar (new) - added it

Omar Hayat Well, its all very well for the creative license, but realistically speaking, India is neither exotically enchanting nor is it filled with people as loving or btfl as the author made them out to be.


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