Saturday, September 4, 2010
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Lindsay escapes from a New Zealand jail and arrives in Bombay with little money, an assumed name, false papers, an untellable past, and no plans for the future. Fortunately, he meets Prabaker right away, a sweet, smiling man who is a street guide. He takes to Lin immediately, eventually introducing him to his home village, where they end up living for six months. He also meets Karla, an enigmatic Swiss-American woman, with whom he falls in love. Theirs is a complicated relationship, and Karla’s connections are murky from the outset.
Lin is a tough guy with a tender heart, one capable of what is judged criminal behavior, but a basically decent, intelligent man who would never intentionally hurt anyone, especially anyone he knew. He is a magnet for trouble, a soldier of fortune, a picaresque hero: the rascal who lives by his wits in a corrupt society. His story is irresistible. Shantaram brings out the humane side of the Lin who couldn’t help but fall in love with innocence of people and led his life in abandon savoring each and every tide of life in his own stride. I have fallen in love with Prabaker and his optimistic ways and constant smile.
Do not let the fact that this is almost 1,000 pages deter you - it flies by! Consider it "more for your money" :-) This is amongst my list of top books of all time. A definite must read!
Rating: 5 DEFINITE Recommend