Read back in February 2017, I came across my Goodreads review of Shantaram and decided I liked it enough to post it on my blog. Two and a half years after finishing it, I was right, I’ll never forget this book.
A 4 star read, with many 5 star elements
I have so many thoughts whirling around my head about this book. I had to sleep on it before writing my review because, on finishing it yesterday I couldn’t write the jumble of emotions down in a way that could be understood!
I’m still struggling to piece together how I’m going to review this without writing what hundreds of other readers already have. And give it the justice it deserves for its brilliance.
It educated me, it filled me with awe, it lifted me up and plonked me down in Bombay, with a ‘there you are, take this little lot on board’. Sometimes, it was just too much, too many characters, too much information, some of which I had little or no interest in. (Eg: I care nowt about weapons and war logistics, which, in parts, I had to skim read as this book was sooo long!)
Had Shantaram been 200 pages shorter, I probably would of awarded it full marks, but it was long, way too long. Bits could of been
omitted without any adverse effect on the storyline.
That said, Gregory David Roberts has written a masterpiece. I’ve experienced India in such a unique way, the beauty, the dark underworld, the passion of its people, and thankfully, all in the safety of pages of a book!
I would probably of never chosen this to read, but I was recommended it by a friend, who then lent it to me and urged me to read it. I could see how passionate he was about this book, and I have my own book loves that fill me with ‘hey, you have to read this’ moments. So I simply couldn’t and wouldn’t refuse!
I enjoy the challenge of a big fat book, and the challenge of reading about something I know little or nothing about. And above all, I love the satisfaction of having completed a book of such epic proportions.
I’m rambling a bit now, so I’ll round this review up with one sentence:
Shantaram, I will never forget you.