Saturday, January 13, 2007
Shantaram: First Chunkster/TBR Challenge Book
Shantaram is the first book this year, counting as both a TBR Challenge book and a Chunkster Challenge book. At 933 pages, it's a whopper for sure. I've already given quite a bit of review of the book and by now you know I loved it. See my other reviews HERE and HERE and HERE.
This book is about a criminal and crime. It's about the gritty underside of Bombay, about people losing their souls to money and sin, about how people justify living like that and still believe they will have mercy, about one man's quest for freedom and what it means to him. It's violent. I don't call it gratuitous violence, because it's really necessary to tell the story. It's not a pretty world, and sometimes the circumstances and stories of the main characters life are almost overwhelming. Really, it reminded me a bit of Queen of the South -- although I didn't really like Queen, the storyline and violent content were similar, and the way the book rests on your soul for long after seems to be similar. It'll be a long time before I shake off this book. Brilliantly written, if you are the type to turn down a page when you find a beautiful passage, you'll have a trainload of dogeared pages when you are done.
Oh, and if you love Indian food, as I do, have the closest take out number handy. You'll drool like a fool all the way through the book!