I’ve been wondering that a lot lately. What made me start this 950 doorstopper of a novel, Shantaram? And the funny thing is, unlike most times, I actually know exactly why.
I wanted an adventure.
I wanted to read about beautiful and dangerous women, about brothers-in-arms and mafia bosses. About the things that make men weep. About horrors and wonders of the world.
And I certainly got what I asked for. Shantaram is filled with adventures and misadventures in India, with harrowing near escapes, with grotesque torture, with shocking beauty. The characters are stranger than fiction, and thus reverberate with the ring of truth. And most of all, Bombay in the ’60s and ’70s sings from the pages of Shantaram. It’s people seem alive and present.
It’s quite a great adventure.