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Publisher Description

"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.

Fiction & Literature
October 13
St. Martin's Publishing Group

Customer Reviews

Calgary Kris ,

amazing book

get ready for a ride reading this book. You will remember this book years after reading. Loved it!!!!!!

frsky now ,


After catching my breath after reading some 1400 pages in less than a week, I had to Google Gregory David Roberts. I found out that what I read was basically based on true events, it took this mastermind 13 years to write this book, and-Thank God-a sequel is coming.
Rarely have I read a book that has been full of every possible scenario, one that appeals to every possible sense and emotion, one which could draw me in,throughout. There is philosophy in this book to no end. As I read it, I constantly wanted to text excerpts from the book to my wife and children. I started to make notes of interesting passages, and found that if I continued, I would write a book myself.
I just dug in and enjoyed this book immensely. I can't wait to buy the gal that suggested it to me a nice big drink-it was exquisitely incredible. Read this book!

A Senior Citizen ,


No emotion of the human spirit is left untouched in the pages of this book. I love India even more now.

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