Monday, February 06, 2006

Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts

Shantaram is the story of its author Gregory David Roberts - convicted for Armed Robbery in Australia, escaped from a high security prison, landing up in Bombay in a fake passport, living in a slum, arrested by Indian police, becoming part of the local underworld. But more importantly it is the story of Bombay. This is the best novel about any city I have read so far. (I haven't read Suketu Mehta's Maximum City yet).

Roberts has a marvellous eye for detail. Even the minute things don't escape him. The detailing is interesting, but also makes the book heavy - it is about 900 pages. But the story is told straight from the heart, and it is a bloody marvellous story. He doesn't get judgemental, treats all characters with respect. He tells the story as it is. His writing brings Bombay alive, throbbing with life. If only some one could write such a story about Chennai.

7 comments:

Krithiga said...

O God! Please give me the time to finish this heavy book some time before 2007; it's been lying in a corner of my book shelf for more than 4 months, untouched. And I hope it doesn't turn out to be like The Godfather. (I still can't figure why many bibiliophiles consider it a great book, and abuse the movie!!!!)

Anand said...

I agree with U. I read this book when D company & Chotta Rajan war was @ it's peak.

Sure to be made into a Movie, either in Hollywood.

Anonymous said...

isnt this book being made into a movie..johnny depp is shantaram...

http://imdb.com/title/tt0429087/

tilotamma said...

I'd say read Maximum City (or wait for Vikram Chandra's book) before you decide this is the best non-fiction on Bombay.
Your opinion might not change but those are my 2 cents/pacchas paisa on it.

Chenthil said...

Krithika, it took me 12 hours. Two sittings of 6 hours each from night 10.00 to morning 4.00. So you have enough time to finish the book :-)

Anand, that was one fun part of the book, trying to identify the real life characters. As anon has pointed out movie is releasing in 2007 with Johnny Depp.

Tilo, will read them.

Anonymous said...

Book on Chennai? Very less chances...

movie on Chennai?

How about much hyped "Pudupettai"?

any takers?

Anonymous said...

I hear Peter Weir has bailed on on the film Shantaram.

It is not surprising. To do justice to the book is a huge ask.

We'll see what transpires.