Thursday, December 14, 2006

Shantaram - A review


Title : Shantaram

ISBN : 0316728209
Author :
Gregory David Roberts
Pages :
944


I’m just laying down the book Shantaram, after having first touched its pages a month & a half back… The Question that arises is.. Is it boring or just too long??? Well... Actually, it isn't... My busy schedule with work and play & my habit of unhurried progress through each page explains the mammoth time I've used up in enjoying... that's right, enjoying most of the 900- odd pages of this book...

To give a view of the plot from what it appears to someone at the moon… This is a story of an Australian fugitive’s search for freedom after he touches down at the Bombay Airport… On a slightly closer look, it deals with his social life as a Bhai in the Mumbai Mafia, the mistakes he committed during his lifetime… As you read on, you tend to see through the fugitive-mask which has been put on him by the authorities & be able to read his emotions, his thoughts about the people he meets, the events that occur, his simplistic approach & his sincere effort to help the deprived…

Amidst all the deplorable views of being a Goonda, there is ample of proof of the real ‘him’ which sparkles in his tenure at the slum, being a friend, a social man & the slum doctor… Book takes you through the turmoil of his love-life and his remorse for the actions he has done, the omissions he has made & the signs which he left unread…

His work is of a pretty high standard on the literary charts, with great descriptions of the events & the characters, with great attention being thrown into the details… The action plots are satisfactory… Although, I felt it a little tedious at some parts, his pace is pretty good, as a whole…

What appealed to me most about this book, bringing it into the thresholds of entering ‘one of my favorite’ category, was his amazing description of the “Indian” way of leading life… It amazes me to see the connection he achieved with the Indian minds… His vignette of the mindset of the people & the breath-taking narrative of the sights, smells, tastes & the feel of Bombay is simply marvelous… You tend to colligate his narration to most of the Indian cities and it brims you up with pride, especially, his findings of the Indian kindness…

One more thing which fascinated me in this book was his thoughts & his philosophical impressions of the events & his unmistakable talent of summarizing it in his own wonderful way, as can be seen at the end of most chapters… There are pretty apt generalizations and some cheeky quotes thrown-in all along, as well…

I would definitely suggest it as a read-once atleast for most of the people… If I had to whine about something, then, it would probably be its length, but, even that, you tend to enjoy it as you browse along… It certainly struck most of the right notes in my head which makes me give an admirable nod!!! So, Kudos to Gregory David Roberts!!!

3 comments:

Nitin said...

u r instigating me to read the book!!! too bad i cant get my hands on one.... neway, since ur review of the book is soooo nice, i suppose i'll try readin!!!

Anonymous said...

Have been trying 2 finish d book...n finally finished it!loved d first bit where he describes mumbai n himself....D first part is quite descriptive n u might wanna stop...but...read on!d pace quickens n it gets a lot more interesting! Enjoy! Its one great book!A Must read!

Abhi said...

Hey Raxs,

Amazing book review... Have read very few better ones. You are forcing me to read the book.

Will do it ASAP..