Monday, February 4, 2013

Shantaram -- A review

If you remember, I had mentioned I gifted myself  the novel "Shantaram" this Diwali. Suggested by KB, whom I can blindly trust when it comes to books, I ordered it the moment he told me I should. I had just finished the first two awesome books of the "Shiva Triology" and was looking for a addition to my collection, So here it is -- "Shantaram" :)
I was expecting it to be delivered before my Diwali holiday's but that din't happen. But when I finally did receive it, the weight and the number of pages made me rethink - I shouldn't really order books without checking the number of pages huh!!! 933 pages... but then again, worth the read!!
                Narrated by Lin Baba - a prisoner who ran away from the jail and came to Bombay, India on a fake identity passport, the story talks about his life. Beautiful description of Bombay, I almost told everybody who stays in Mumbai and whom I know, to get a copy of the book as the places would make the book more real. From a prisoner to a doctor-in-the-slum to a soldier fighting, the book beautifully touches the aspects of Lin's life. Friendship, love, money,slum life, death... everything has been portrayed very beautifully. Some days, I'd actually wait to head back home and read what happens next. The characters are beautiful in their own ways. Be it Prabhakar, lovingly called as "Prabhu" who is Lin's guide, friend , all-in-one-man in Bombay or Abdullah, Lin's friend-to-die-for, everybody seems picture perfect! I could actually imagine faces for them.
                What is noteworthy is the description of people and places. Each mention of the Leopold's cafe and the friendly chats, makes you feel good. The characters all seem real! Abdul Khader Khan's philosophy about the world moving towards complexity and his impact on people around him when he is alive as well as the love in people's heart when he dies is great!
                It is a great book, if you are ready to balance 933 pages, which means you cannot really lie on your bed and read it, I was sitting upright all the time. I couldn't have carried the book when I was travelling as it added on a lot of weight. Oki, keeping these silly reasons aside, its an awesome read. It is a bit lengthy and at times , I wanted to skip a couple of pages, but thankfully I dint. Must read !!


  1. well this is my favorite novel and I have read 2 times. I am waiting for a novel which is as descriptive as this one. Hope if you know any do tell me..

    1. Yes Shiv.. nothing matches the description this one has... Did you read "Eat Pray Love" ? Though about a women's journey, it has nice descriptions too about Italy, India and Bali...
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I like novels that have descriptive text about a place or something in reality. I generally read non-fiction, but I do read books like chanakya's chant, etc. more for the history, than the story. I might like this book, but 993 pages is too long! May buy it later...

    Destination Infinity

    1. Yes 993....
      But DI, the book has been written so awesomely that you shouldnt really miss it!!
      You'll love it :)
      Thanks for stopping by


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