Book Review: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

One of my favorite books was returned to me today. I first read it 12 years ago as I wrapped up my backpacking trip In Australia. The trip, and this book, was very formative for me.

I remember underlining a ton, and I was worried I would be embarrassed at all the things I found deeply relevant in that “finding myself” phase of my life. But as I look through it now, copying my favorite quotes into a little notebook I keep for that purpose, they all still ring true.

It makes me want to read it again, although with so much in my TBR pile it’s hard to justify a time out to re-read a 1,000 page book. Still, if you haven’t read it, you need to. It’s based on the life of a robber and heroin addict who escapes from prison to establish a free medical clinic in Bombay…and then becomes involved in the Bombay mafia.

It’s more than an adventure, though. It’s a love story, it’s funny, and above all deeply philosophical and spiritual. Five stars.

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