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Publisher's Summary

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.

Shantaram is a novel based on the life of the author, Gregory David Roberts. In 1978 Roberts was sentenced to 19 years imprisonment as punishment for a series of robberies of building-society branches, credit unions, and shops he had committed while addicted to heroin. In July 1980 he escaped from Victoria's maximum-security prison in broad daylight, thereby becoming one of Australia's most wanted men for what turned out to be the next 10 years. For most of this period he lived in Bombay. He set up a free health clinic in the slums, acted in Bollywood movies, worked for the Bombay mafia as a forger, counterfeiter, and smuggler and, as a gun-runner, resupplied a unit of mujaheddin guerrilla fighters in Afghanistan. This is the setting of Shantaram.

Apart from having this highly unusual personal background, Greg Roberts is a very gifted writer. His book is a blend of vivid dialogue, unforgettable characters, amazing adventures and superb evocations of Indian life. It can be listened to as a vast, extended thriller as well as a superbly written meditation on the nature of good and evil. It is a compelling tale of a hunted man who had lost everything - his home, his family and his soul - and came to find his humanity while living at the wildest edge of experience.

Gregory David Roberts retired from public life in 2014 to devote time to his family and new writing projects. 

©2003 Gregory David Roberts (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A literary masterpiece... it has the grit and pace of a thriller." (The Daily Telegraph)

"Shantaram is not so much a mirror as a mirror ball, spinning with relentless drive...Gloriously audacious." (Sydney Morning Herald)

"Extraordinarily vivid...a gigantic, jaw-dropping, grittily authentic saga." (The Daily Mail)

What listeners say about Shantaram

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I couldn't put it down

What a terrific story, exciting from start to finish and captured the Indian culture so well. One of my favorites. WIth Humphrey Bower narrating, it really came to life. Highly recommended.

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Profile Image for Amber-Claire
  • Amber-Claire
  • 09-15-21

Thank you

I will truly miss every one of these characters from this epic story. Thank you so much Gregory David Robert’s for introducing an India to me I never would of known exists. The whole book is full of life lessons and teachings and experiences and love, I honestly could listen to the lives of these people every day for the rest of my life and not get bored!
And what a fabulous job Humphrey Bower does with his narration! Thank you so much to both of you xxx

30 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-19-21

Profoundly emotionally stirring...

an authentic life of deep human connection that resonates with my own 'exile'in India & Asia.
This nuanced narration,
replete with all the accents & the cultures that speak through these voices ,has transported me directly into the living, breathing memory that still remains with me, of the choices I made & the wisdom I've gained from both my own poor choices & those made more consciously...the consequences of the effects I had on those around me & the love & faith shown to me by people of many cultures remains my inner strength to this day.

A poignant & touching reminder of what being human & vulnerable , encapsulates.

It took GDR 13 years to compose the first draught & although I had read this 'tomè' many years ago over many weeks...pausing & returning to the pages.. I've listened in less than a week, over days & nights to the audio reading & the profound impact it has had, is on a much deeper level.

Humphrey Bower has given truth to each of these characters, fictional as they purportedly are..they are familiar people I too have met & known 'in the flesh' & were I a writer of GDRs' depth & competence, I would bring to life with my pen in the telling of my own rendition of a life lived in Asia & my arrival at the point I am now...reflecting on a narrative that speaks volumes & gives voice to many of my own personal life experiences as an exile of my own volition & all of the concomittant realisations I live with today.
So Salaam & Namaste to the conveyors of this heartfelt epic 🙏..
this has stirred a new sense of intention for me at a time when I have felt limited & contained by global circumstance.
There is always a choice to be made , it's only a matter of time & attention to possibility, before taking another step onto a preferred path.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-16-21

Good

The whole book is full of life lessons and teachings and experiences and love, overall good audiobook.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-07-21

Worth the hours

I read Shantaram years ago (at least 10) and to hear this narrated was magical 👍🏻 brilliant words exceptional narration and great story

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-30-21

sublime

one of my favorite books, fantastic narrator.
I'd love to know what is real and what is fiction.

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  • Adrienne Ferguson
  • 09-29-21

Unforgettable

Quite truly, one of, if not, the most profoundly moving, fascinating, humbling and intriguing book I've ever read. Wow. Just, wow!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-28-21

An amazing book and so well performed

An amazing book that brought me right back to India and then showed me a whole new side. Fantastic story.
The reader waa excellent in his performance.
My most high recommendation!

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  • Cinta Grimaitre
  • 09-22-21

Gregory and Humphrey take you on a journey of a thousand lifetimes

Gregory and Humphrey take you on a journey of a thousand lifetimes. A travel adventure that we will never have. Highly recommended.

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  • Steve Davie
  • 11-03-21

Up and down

The narration was first class !!

The writing was good .. some of the characters were beautiful and it was easy to fall in love with them. But the plot was too long and many have said self indulgent. I'd have to agree

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  • db3772243
  • 10-10-21

loved this book

Humphrey bower is an excellent narrator! the accents were superb.
the story was eye opening, enthralling & even some funny bits! what a ride!

2 people found this helpful