He is an ex-con, ex-junkie, ex-dope pusher and unbelievably EXcellent writer. I came across the book Shantaram one day when I was browsing around at the little store at Paradise Road Gallery Café. Though the book was a bit pricey – coming to think of it isn’t anything pricey at this place I was mad to discover the same edition 200/- less at the Odel Books Store a couple of days later- but the cover really piqued my interest and I decided to take the plunge and buy it. This is one of the best books I have read in recent times. And in my mind I place it with great reads the like of “It” by Stephen King and “Exodus” by Leon Uris. I was expecting an action packed book more like a good Mickey Rourke movie but what I found was something utterly fascinating gentle and philosophical. Even though the story line was built on a foundation of violence and deceit. One of the lines which are etched into my mind is “There are no good people or bad people only good deeds and bad deeds” Now how deep is that.
“Shantaram is not just a book; it is a sojourn, a spiritual journey into life that shows that even the most complex and powerful systems have at their core a simple and beautiful pattern. As a great poet had once said “Simple is the seal of truth, and beauty is the splendour of truth.” Shantaram reinforces one’s belief in those words." This was how it was described in one of the more well written reviews I read online and I can tell you I can’t agree with the writer more.