Shantaram

Gregory David Roberts

Despite being nearly 1,000 pages, Shantaram was a book I could not put down. Based on the author's life, this novel recounts Gregory David Roberts' journey after escaping from a maximum security prison in Australia, fleeing to India, and taking on a new identity. Readers learn about his experiences living and working in one of Mumbai's poorest slums, befriending many locals. Roberts eloquently recounts stories related to his search for love and meaning including his involvement with the local mafia, the health clinic he set up in the slums, and his relationships with locals including Karla who plays his love interest. With all the crazy stories, this book reads like fiction. It is no surprise that Apple TV is launching a series based on this book given how entertaining it is. I'd give it a 9/10 stars, docking one star since it could have been 150-200 pages shorter.