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Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Jacqui Steele put me onto this book a while ago after I mentioned to her that Marching Powder is one of my favorite books of all time.  It sat on my nightstand for a while because the thing is so damn thick (almost 1000 pages), but once I started I just couldn’t put it down.

Shantaram is the story of an Australian convict who escaped from a maximum security prison in Victoria, managed to get hold of a forged New Zealand passport, and made his way to the slums of Bombay (Mumbai).  I don’t want to delve into the story too much, I’ll leave that up to you if you choose to read it, but I will say that for a non-fiction book it truly is an amazing story.  From living in the slums to running black market currency smuggling operations, taking part in the Afghani uprising against the Soviets to running guns for the Bombay mafia, the book kept me up late many a night wanting to read on.  I had to remind myself now and then that the author was an escaped convict and that in essence he was probably quite a shady character in real life, but the story really is fantastic (and I believe he’s since returned to Australia to serve the remainder of the sentence).  I’ve also read some news releases saying that there are plans to make a movie from the story with Johnny Depp playing Roberts.  No way it could be as good as the book, highly recommend this one…


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