I jumped into this book knowing very little about it which I believe is always an agreeable experience, if you haven’t read it I would recommend going and doing so before you read any further which somewhat depletes this being any kind of review, which means I’m writing for myself, which I believe should be the first bulletpoint on a list of why anyone writes.
Shantaram is the story of ‘Linbaba’ to give him the title he assumes for most of the book, an Australian convict who escapes his sentence and makes it to Bombay where he becomes tied to life there – (See, still keeping it broad, don’t want to give too much away)
At this stage I don’t know how accurate the information contained in the story is, I’m really hoping its not another Million Little Pieces because it broke my heart to learn that wasn’t entirely true or it wasn’t the writers experience or however else the lie was worded. What I will tell you is what I took away from reading it, hence ruining any chance of this being considered a review.
There is something so incredibly brutal and unforgiving about the protagonist, he’s done time, he sees no issue with busting skulls or asserting himself but at the same time he has the kind of soul that isn’t usually worn quite so on the sleeve, he’s as hard on himself as he is on his competition, he has a strong moral code (of his own devising) and stands by it when everyone else has clearly gone made. What I’m trying to say is that this guy has the ability to kill and the ability to love and the joy of the book is that you never know which you’re going to get. I imagine that when Hollywood get their hands on it Tom Hardy will be short listed for the lead.