Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I am reading a brilliant book at the moment called 'Shantaram' by Australian author Gregory David Roberts. In 1978, Roberts was sentenced to 19 years in prison for a series of armed robberies. He escaped and spent 8 years as a fugitive in Bombay. Here he established a free medical clinic for slum dwellers, and worked as a counterfeiter, smuggler, gunrunner, and street soldier for a branch of the Bombay mafia. He was recaptured in 1991, served out his sentence in Australia and established a successful multimedia company upon his release. Roberts is now a full-time writer and lives in Bombay, where he has established a charitable trust to care for slum-dwellers. 

Whilst the book is a novel, there is no doubt that it is Roberts' own life that the story is based upon. It is an extremely lengthy book (just under 1,000 pages long), however, that isn't a problem in the slightest since you never want the story to end (I'm just sad that I am up to page 800 already!). From the very first page you are completely drawn into this magical world and its characters and I cannot recommend this book enough. Interestingly, the rights to the movie were sold to Johnny Depp in 2004. 

You can find out more about Gregory David Roberts and the book by clicking here.

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