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Shantaram  by Gregory David Roberts

Roberts states that this book took him twenty years to write. It could well take me twenty years to read it!

Based on his own story of escaping prison in Australia and living in the slums of Mumbai, it’s a long book - 900 pages. I tend to love big tomes, something to get your teeth into. Unfortunately, Roberts’ seasoning is missing. It’s not that it’s bad. It just isn’t that good. You can put it down and pick it up a week later and not forget where you were. Or if you did you just recognize a few words, think ‘Oh it’s him/her/it’ and carry on.  It’s a bit like a British soap.

Roberts also has a tendency to write as if he had something to say! There are bad metaphors, platitudes, self-aggrandizement and pseudo philosophy, so much so that, having reached page 369 I am now going to give up, and I don’t do that often.

If he had written it as a complete fabrication without his ego getting in the way, I may have already finished and be writing a completely different review.