Shantaram, A romantic take on everything

I love this book because:

  • Its set almost entirely in Bombay. Salaam Bombay.
  • It gives a very heart-felt view of India, Indians, and everything Indian.
  • It reminds me a lot of Godfather (the book). It also reminded me of my first read of Godfather, which, sadly, happened only once.
  • It also reminded me of Harold Robbins’s Never Love a Stranger. There is something about the first person narrative that Nabokov abuses in Lolita to trick the reader, but Roberts uses with elan. I have rarely liked a first person narrative more than this.
  • I love sweeping sagas.
  • I loved the trivia: on knife fighting, on the Automatic Kalashnikov assault rifles, the inner workings of the Bombay Underworld, the Afghan War, Colaba, gritty slum life in Bombay, and a whole lot more.
  • The terrific one liners. There are so many of them, a few brilliant, a few corny, and a few unbelievably true.
  • Made me introspect on aspects of my life which I had buried for a long time.
  • Brought tears to my eyes more than once.
  • Is a gripping page-turner. 900+ pages in 3 days?!?
  • Celebrates the human spirit.
  • The romantic in me is happy and content; the cynic in me smiling.

Shantaram will be one of my favorite books for a long time to come.

4 thoughts on “Shantaram, A romantic take on everything

  1. >There is something about the first person
    >narrative that Nabokov abuses in Lolita >to
    >trick the reader, but Roberts uses with
    >elan

    Well said man….He uses first person amazingly!

  2. Yes it is. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. She was Marla in Fight Club, and here, she is going to be Karla.

    And as Karla says in Shantaram – Everyone is superstitious.

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