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Gregory David Roberts
bookicon
Shantaram
paperback
933 pages
Really enjoyable if slightly too long story of a man on the run who hides out in 80's Bombay and ends up a street hustler, a slum doctor, a prison inmate, a gangster, a bollywood stuntman and extra, a Mujahideen fighter in Afghanistan and a smuggler. The story is apparently based upon the authors own experiences.

This may be a love it or hate it book and I guess I am more on the love it side of things. The book provides a vivid account of Bombay life at the time and very good descriptions of the different parts and elements of the city. You really feel you get to know and like Bombay and its people. As well as that it has many different stories within it that keep it interesting.

That said the book is too long and does drag at times but never enough to skip parts or give up on it. I feel much of the extra length is due to the authors own attempts to prove himself by being overly wordy and given his early troubles in life maybe that is understandable. If you read the negative reviews of the book (I often find its the best way to judge if I'd like something) most of the complaints are that his prose is poor and overly descriptive and it is quite often. There is also a lot of self aggrandising not so subtly disguised as being humble. However, none of this takes away from the overall story which is very entertaining. Although there's no way all of it is true!

Recommended!
7/10
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