Shantaram is an epic modern day adventure. A semi biographical tale, the novel follows the story of the main character, Lindsay, (Roberts) who breaks free from a 19 year prison sentence in Australia and moves to India.
Though India isn’t his original destination, the vibrancy with which the country is described is almost tangible. There is a sense of fiction forced romanticism in the description of life in the derelcit shanty towns of Bombay, but along with it comes a reality that reminds us that travel to India is a tough expedition.
The adventures of Lindsay are really gripping. This is partly due to the intricate character development of all involved, but mainly down to the wild experiences the author describes. From becoming the official but untrained doctor in the slum he has to live in after being robbed of all possessions, to travelling to Afghanistan on an arms mission, to starring in Bollywood movies, to a stint in an Indian prison after becoming involved in Mumbai’s underworld, each experience is truly absorbing and so perfectly described.
This really is one of those books that is hard to put down. When I got to the end, I was definitely willing a sequel.
Word on the author’s website is that a sequel is on its way and a movie too apparently. I always take the expectations of a book to movie lightly but I am really looking forward to reading more of Roberts’ fabulous writing.