Thursday, October 25, 2007


shantaram california, originally uploaded by skippy haha.

i just read this book shantaram by gregory david roberts & found it wildly entertaining and informative.

the main character escaped from jail in australia and went to bombay india to live there as a fugitive, where he got into black market crime and set up a free medical clinic to treat his neighbors in the bombay slum. strangely enough the author did just the same thing in real life.

his description of the bombay slum where he lived was eye-opening for me in that it was very orderly and clean and tidy and all the thousands of inhabitants were peaceable and neighborly with each other. some parts of the book were too graphic for me describing the ways he was beaten and tortured in the indian jail, but i just skimmed those paragraphs without forming mental images & just said 'thank god it's not me, thank god it's not me'.

he met some fascinating characters along the way & the book gives great insight into bombay organized crime and indian culture in general. i have no desire to go to india myself at this point, and i appreciate the way this book took me there in a third-party way.

the book is 950 pages and i read it in 3 days, that's how quickly it flows. thanks to the mappy camper for suggesting it, i highly enjoyed reading this.


Anonymous said...

WHAT ????? THREE days????? you have got to be kidding me.... it took me 4 months to read it...well...i stopped reading it for a month because i wanted to make sure i was able to take it with me on our trip to Spain. but that is fast skippy haha. you are amazing !

and yes, it is wildly entertaining, not one lull moment in the book...there is pure joy, love, despair, tragedy, eagerness, longing, excitiment and down right grotesque parts of the book that had me laughing out loud or crying with tears rolling down my it now...the book is coming out next year....I hope Johnny Depp does a good job as Linbaba aka...Shantaram.
read it and pass it on....luv, mappy camper

skippy haha said...

oh yes mappy i completely forgot they're making a movie with johnny depp - that is over the top awesome!! i would love to pass it on but i ch-ch-checked it out of the library so i had to give it back. also why i read it superfast, i was on a deadline :) another interesting thing about the book was how they all smoked hash 'charras' the whole time and the prisoners were given hash in jail with their food. that makes sense to me, seems like the only way they could get through that ordeal is to be stoned.

Anonymous said...

skippy, you can re-check out the book....unless of course someone has a hold on it....

got any other book recommendations???


skippy haha said...

you can check it out for 3 weeks, and then renew it for another 3 & i'd had it more than a month before starting it so i had a week & a half to read it but once i started i didn't want to stop.
other book recommendations for you mappy camper i liked bill graham's autobiography - bill graham presents my life inside rock & out - i think is what it's called. also 'island' by aldous/alduous huxley was great, and my friend lisa recommended mary robison's 'why did i ever' which i also think you would like.