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Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

It is by no means a light read, but Shantaram sits jointly at the top of my list of favourite books, alongside just one other. It is undoubtedly the most colourful, and beautiful novel I have ever had the pleasure of reading. 

Gregory David Roberts uses his personal life experiences of Bombay and beyond to create the Shantaram masterpiece. By using his own story as a basis he succeeds in creating a truly authentic narrative style, with incredible imagery. I genuinely felt I was walking parts of this book with the characters! 

Okay, enough spiel, here is my 5-point review of Shantaram:

  • This book is constant drama. I promise no spoilers, but all I will say is that even if the storyline is very loosely based on Roberts’ own life, he has been a very busy man! 
  • Something I loved is how unpredictable the story is. The length of Shantaram enables Roberts to explore many different avenues, but the way in which all these strands come together to form the whole is clever, engaging, and impressive.
  • I have already mentioned this book is by no means short, with 933 pages in my copy. I would not, for example, recommend Shantaram as an easy beach read. The quality of the writing, and the nature of the contents both deserve and demand your attention, and in my opinion it is very much worth granting it.
  • I challenge anyone who reads this book not to fall in love with Prabaker. There are few characters that I have developed such a genuine attachment to. The positivity and affection of Prabu leaps of the pages, and really stuck with me.
  • I can honestly say that I feel Shantaram had a lasting affect on me, and I have every intention of reading it again in the very near future.