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Shantaram Summary : "It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured." So begins this epic, mesmerizing first novel by Gregory David Roberts, set in the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, the two enter Bombay's hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere. As a hunted man without a home, family, or identity, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums, and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The search leads him to war, prison torture, murder, and a series of enigmatic and bloody betrayals. The keys to unlock the mysteries and intrigues that bind Lin are held by two people. The first is Khader Khan: mafia godfather, criminal-philosopher-saint, and mentor to Lin in the underworld of the Golden City. The second is Karla: elusive, dangerous, and beautiful, whose passions are driven by secrets that torment her and yet give her a terrible power. Burning slums and five-star hotels, romantic love and prison agonies, criminal wars and Bollywood films, spiritual gurus and mujaheddin guerrillas---this huge novel has the world of human experience in its reach, and a passionate love for India at its heart. Based on the life of the author, it is by any measure the debut of an extraordinary voice in literature.
Shantaram Summary : 'A literary masterpiece . . . at once erudite and intimate, reflective and funny . . . it has the grit and pace of a thriller' Daily Telegraph A novel of high adventure, great storytelling and moral purpose, based on an extraordinary true story of eight years in the Bombay underworld. 'In the early 80s, Gregory David Roberts, an armed robber and heroin addict, escaped from an Australian prison to India, where he lived in a Bombay slum. There, he established a free health clinic and also joined the mafia, working as a money launderer, forger and street soldier. He found time to learn Hindi and Marathi, fall in love, and spend time being worked over in an Indian jail. Then, in case anyone thought he was slacking, he acted in Bollywood and fought with the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan . . . Amazingly, Roberts wrote Shantaram three times after prison guards trashed the first two versions. It's a profound tribute to his willpower . . . At once a high-kicking, eye-gouging adventure, a love saga and a savage yet tenderly lyrical fugitive vision.' Time Out
Shantaram Summary : "A publishing phenomenon" Sunday Times It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured. Shantaram is a novel based on the life of the author, Gregory David Roberts. In 1978 Roberts was sentenced to nineteen years imprisonment as punishment for a series of robberies of building-society branches, credit unions, and shops he had committed while addicted to heroin. In July 1980 he escaped from Victoria's maximum-security prison in broad daylight, thereby becoming one of Australia's most wanted men for what turned out to be the next ten years. For most of this period he lived in Bombay. He set up a free health clinic in the slums, acted in Bollywood movies, worked for the Bombay mafia as a forger, counterfeiter, and smuggler and, as a gun-runner, resupplied a unit of mujaheddin guerrilla fighters in Afghanistan. This is the setting of Shantaram. Apart from having this highly unusual personal background, Greg Roberts is a very gifted writer. His book is a blend of vivid dialogue, unforgettable characters, amazing adventures, and superb evocations of Indian life. It can be read as a vast, extended thriller, as well as a superbly written meditation on the nature of good and evil. It is a compelling tale of a hunted man who had lost everything - his home, his family, and his soul - and came to find his humanity while living at the wildest edge of experience. Gregory David Roberts retired from public life in 2014 to devote time to his family and new writing projects. The Mountain Shadow, sequel to Shantaram, is available now. PRAISE FOR SHANTARAM "A literary masterpiece ... at once erudite and intimate, reflective and funny ... it has the grit and pace of a thriller" Daily Telegraph "Powerful and original ... a remarkable achievement" Sunday Telegraph "Extraordinarily vivid ... a gigantic, jaw-dropping, grittily authentic saga" Daily Mail "At once a high-kicking, eye-gouging adventure, a love saga and a savage yet tenderly lyrical fugitive vision." Time Out Fans of Vikram Seth, John Irving and David Mitchell will love Shantaram.
📒The Mountain Shadow by Gregory David Roberts
The Mountain Shadow Summary : Shantaram introduced millions of readers to a cast of unforgettable characters in the hidden heart of Bombay through Lin, an Australian fugitive, working as a passport forger for a branch of the Bombay mafia. In The Mountain Shadow, the long awaited sequel, Lin must find his way in a Bombay run by a different generation of mafia dons, playing by a different set of rules. It has been two years since the events in Shantaram, and since Lin lost two people he had come to love: his father figure, Khaderbhai, and his soul mate, Karla, married to a handsome Indian media tycoon. Lin returns from a smuggling trip to a city that seems to have changed too much, too soon. Many of his old friends are long gone, the new mafia leadership has become entangled in increasingly violent and dangerous intrigues, and a fabled holy man challenges everything that Lin thought he'd learned about love and life. But Lin can't leave the Island City: Karla, and a fatal promise, won't let him go.
📒V Shantaram by Madhura Pandit Jasraj
V Shantaram Summary : He immortalized movies on celluloid… An authentic, heartfelt, insightful and comprehensive account of one of India’s most respected and eminent filmmakers, who was an institution in himself… V. Shantaram (1901–90) stands out as a colossus in Indian cinema. As one of the pioneers in this field, he honed his skills not only as a producer and director but also as an actor, writer, cameraman, technician and editor. He effectively used the medium of cinema as a vehicle for creating awareness about numerous social problems (such as communalism, dowry and the cycle of debt and poverty) and tried to bring about a change in society. This riveting biography – penned by his daughter – brings alive the life and times of Shantaram and his contemporaries, while simultaneously throwing light on a bygone era of Indian cinema marked by struggles, uncertainties and difficulties but yet infused with hope, perseverance and determination. Among Shantaram’s prominent creations in Hindi are Ayodhya Ka Raja (1932), Sairandhari (1933; India’s first colour film), Amrit Manthan (1934), Duniya Na Maane (1937), Aadmi (1939), Padosi (1941), Dr Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani (1946), Dahej (1950), Janak Janak Pyal Baaje (1955), Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1957), Navrang (1959), Sehra (1963), Geet Gaya Pattharon Ne (1964) and Pinjra (1972)
📒V Shantaram The Legacy Of The Royal Lotus by Kiran Shantaram
V Shantaram the legacy of the Royal Lotus Summary : Read the fascinating story of this legendary filmmaker and also discover many forgotten tales of the history of moving images in India. Some of the most indelible images of Indian cinema came from his sensitive imagination. From the days of the black and while silent films to the advent of sound and color, the films of V Shantaram stood out for their originality and a passionate commitment to human values.
📒Shantaram Reading Group Guide by Gregory David Roberts
Shantaram Reading Group Guide Summary :
📒Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra
Sacred Games Summary : An enormously satisfying, exciting and enriching book, Vikram Chandra's novel draws the reader deep into the lives of detective Sartaj Singh and Ganesh Gaitonde, the most wanted gangster in India. Sartaj, the only Sikh inspector in the whole of Mumbai, is used to being identified by his turban, beard and the sharp cut of his trousers. But 'the silky Sikh' is now past forty, his marriage is over and his career prospects are on the slide. When Sartaj gets an anonymous tip off as to the secret hideout of the legendary boss of the G-company, he's determined that he'll be the one to collect the prize. This is a sprawling, epic novel of friendships and betrayals, of terrible violence, of an astonishing modern city and its underworld. Drawing on the best of Victorian fiction, mystery novels, Bollywood movies and Vikram Chandra's years of first hand research on the streets of Mumbai, this novel reads like a potboiling page-turner but resonates with the intelligence and emotional depth of the best of literature.
📒Ready Reference Treatise Shantaram by Raja Sharma
Ready Reference Treatise Shantaram Summary : It is believed that the novel is highly influenced by several real life events from the author’s life. The story covers seven years from the author’s amazing life. He had reached Mumbai, then called Bombay, in 1982. He left Mumbai in the late eighties, though it is only implied in the novel. During those seven years, Robert’s fictional self, Lin, the central character in the novel, takes part in several dangerous, funny, and violent events. He falls in love and he also takes part in the resistance against the Russians in Afghanistan. Ready Reference Treatise: Shantaram Copyright Chapter One: Introduction Chapter Two: Plot Overview Chapter Three: Some Facts about the Novel Chapter Four: Some of the Several Characters Chapter Five: Complete Summary Chapter Six: Critical Analysis
📒Snakepit by Moses Isegawa
Snakepit Summary : Praised on both sides of the Atlantic as well as in the author’s native Uganda, Moses Isegawa’s first novel Abyssinian Chronicles was a “big, transcendently ambitious book” (Boston Globe) that “blasts open the tidy borders of the conventional novel and redraws the literary map to reveal a whole new world” (Elle). In Snakepit, Isegawa returns to the surreal, brutalizing landscapes of his homeland during the time of dictator Idi Amin, when interlocking webs of emotional cruelty kept tyrants gratified and servants cooperative, a land where no one–not husbands or wives, parents or lovers–is ever safe from the implacable desires of men in power. Men like General Bazooka, who rues the day he hired Cambridge-educated Bat Katanga as his “Bureaucrat Two”–a man too good at his job–and places in his midst (and his bed) a seductive operative named Victoria, whose mission and motives are anything but simple. Ambitious and acquisitive, more than a little arrogant, Katanga finds himself steadily boxed in by events spiraling madly out of control, where deception, extortion, and murder are just so many cards to be played. From the Trade Paperback edition.