I haven't read through the old thread, so sorry if I'm asking questions that have already been covered. I saw the book at a bookstore last month, and I was thinking about buying it, but decided against it, because I already had a bunch of other books I wanted to buy, and I didn't have a lot of money with me. I would like to read it though, so my question is: is it a good book? It looks like a rather large book, 900 pages if I remember correctly. Are they going to be adapting all of it? Because a book of that size will be very difficult to adapt into a movie.
No, Shantaram is just one book, which according to Roberts only is the first part of a trilogy. I'm actually waiting for the second book, which he wanted to have finished by now. But I guess, the work on the screenplay delayed the second novel a litte. Anyway. I posted this on the old forum - the first one and a half pages of Shantaram. I fell in love with Roberts's writing after reading only the first few chapters ... It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured. I realised, somehow, through the screaming in my mind, that even in that shackled, bloody helplessness, I was still free: free to hate the men who were torturing me, or to forgive them. It doesn't sound like much, I know. But in the flinch and bite of the chain, when it's all you've got, that freedom is a universe of possibility. And the choice you make, between hating and forgiving, can become the story of your life.
In my case, it's a long story, and a crowded one. I was a revolutionary who lost his ideals in heroin, a philosopher who lost his integrity in crime, and a poet who lost his soul in a maximum-security prison. When I escaped from that prison, over the front wall, between two gun-towers, I became my country's most wanted man. Luck ran with me and flew with me across the world, where I joined the Bombay mafia. I worked as a gunrunner, a smuggler, and a counterfeiter. I was chained on three continents, beaten, stabbed, and starved. I ran into the enemy guns. And I survived, while other men around me died. They were better men than I am, most of them: better men whose lives were crunched up in mistake, and thrown away by the wrong second of someone else's hate, or love, or indifference. And I buried them, too many of those men, and grieved their stories and their lives into my own.
But my story doesn't begin with them, or with the mafia: it goes back to that first day in Bombay. Fate put me in the game there. Luck dealt the cards that led me to Karla Saraanen. And I started to play it out, that hand, from the first moment I looked into her green eyes. So it begins, this story, like everything else - with a woman, and a city, and a little bit of luck.
The first thing I noticed about Bombay, on that first day, was the smell of the different air. I could smell it before I saw or heard anything of India, even as I walked along the umbilical corridor that connected the plane to the airport. I was excited and delighted by it, in that first Bombay minute, escaped from prison and new to the wide world, but I didn't and couldn't recognize it. I know now that it's the sweet, sweating smell of hope, which is the opposite of hate; and it's the sour, stifled smell of greed, which is the opposite of love. It's the smell of gods, demons, empires, and civilizations in resurrection and decay. It's the blue skin-smell of the sea, no matter where you are in the Island City, and the blood-metal smell of machines. It smells of the stir and sleep and waste of sixty million animals, more than half of them humans and rats. It smells of heartbreak, and the struggle to live, and of the crucial failures and loves that produce our courage. It smells of ten thousand restaurants, five thousand temples, shrines, churches, and mosques, and of a hundred bazaars devoted exclusively to perfumes, spices, incense and freshly cut flowers. Karla once called it the worst good smell in the world, and she was right, of course, in that way she had of being right about things. But whenever I return to Bombay, now it's my first sense of the city - that smell, above all things - that welcomes me and tells me I've come home.... [/color]
Thanks for posting that. I thought that perhaps the book I saw was a group of more than one books, just because it is such a huge book. I hope they do a good job adapting it, I know it is more difficult to adapt longer books. I will pick it up next time I'm in a book store (which may not be for awhile I'm afraid, I can't get out to bookstores very often).
I found this last week in Portland while on holidays and read it all the way home. I'd read half of it from the library but it is good to have it in my very own bookcase. I think it is one of those books that you can read at different points in your life and get something different out of every time. That "I was a revolutionary.." sentence is one of the best ever. It's almost perfect. I would love it if he was writing something else.
Post by Aquarianmum on Sept 3, 2006 12:08:49 GMT -5
I really need to get around to reading this book, as at the moment, its just gathering dust on my shelf I just don't have enough 'me' hours to get into it ! Maybe I'll take it to college with me and read it in my lunch breaks
I need to get my own copy--is it available on paperback yet? I'll wait until it's actually being filmed to read it again, I think. I want to be able to highlight all the poetic passages, they are so beautiful.