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April 19, 2009

Shantaram?

Ok, so I have not read the book yet. However, I am definitely being asked about it a lot. A LOT.

After Slumdog Millionaire, the next FAQ is "Are the things in Shantaram, true?" "Is that really how India is?" "What do you think of the book?"

I had started reading the book, had reached the bit where he meets Karla and just could not read beyond that.

I will try again... What do you guys think about Shantaram?

Good? Bad? Overrated? Give feedback you.

16 comments:

Marshal said...

Shantaram..... interesting look at the Bombay of 70's... Nothing exceptional (i thought the same of Slumdog though), but nevertheless a good read... the movie will be good as the storyline has all the regular (India for firangs) masala...

go-phish said...

descriptive...a lot of philosophy...

personally, i didnt think it was at all overrated!

but yes, does portray india in a
'particular' way.. similar to slumdog? maybe. but then slumdog made me raise my hackles and want to bite (grr!)..and shantaram fascinated me...

so...try giving it a read...
just for the aesthetic pleasure of how he uses words :)

Abhiroop Banerjee said...

i have a dislike for any book thats hyped. and shantaram is fat. and i quit after he meets karla/carla in leopold cafe was it? "mumbai's seamy underbelly"..again. i dont care.

nimit said...

I liked the book. An interesting read. Though did find it a bit over hyped. Feels like a bollywood movie!

shetalkslikejune said...

I agree with commentator Marshal. It is a masala mix novel of things people want to hear and read about.

PS: I am adding you to my blogroll as Love Immigrant to Australia. I hope you are ok with it.

Perakath said...

You'll always find people who don't like something. I know people who don't like the Lord of the Rings and/or Harry Potter!

I liked Shantaram. The author seems quite a stud. But why the interest now? It's many years old.

TW said...

Recommend "A fine balance" by Rohinton Mistry... awesome read..

shetalkslikejune said...

And JB hey! I have just posted a note on the asian women/ white men stereotypes and I would love your comments on that.

Eve* aka JB said...

@ Marshall: do you think Johnny Depp and other Hollywood cast will do justice to the book/India?

@ Go Phish: Would you say the 'particular' description of India is perhaps apt in a way?

@ Abhiroop: I wouldn't say 'dislike' exactly, but yes, I have had a mistrust of things that are talked about too much as well. Titanic was one such example, majorly disappointed me.

@ Nimit: Hmm. Would you say Bollywood portrays India truly?

@June: Add me on, but...whatever happened to brand naming?! :)

@ Perakath: Ah simply because I have avoided reading it so far. After Slumdog and White Tiger's success, Shantaram is having a second/third print run in book stores here and many shelves are lined with another reprint version. Curiosity about the book is on high again and have been asked the Shantaram questions almost everywhere that I go.

@ TW: I've never read any of Mistry's books, will try this. Recently purchased Jhumpa Lahiri's 'Unaccustomed Earth', let's see how I go with that.

Shrey Khetarpal said...

I really liked Shantaram... It's a lot like a Bollywood film though, but am not complaining :) on the flip side there are portions that just make the book heavy and contribute nothing, a bit of editing would have helped.

Abhiroop Banerjee said...

@Jhoomur
There are people who have made book snobbery a fine art, refusing to touch anything thats been anywhere close to a bestseller list. I am not that. My problem is that all the hype surrounding a book prevents me from, discovering it on my own! Its like I am expected to like it. Which I well might, but I like to do it on my own. But maybe my argument is flawed right from the root because we ALL read books which are recommended by people and regarded well in the media too. Perhaps its just that Shantaram, for me, came close on the heels of two other books on Mumbai - Maximum City and that other one - Sacred Games and so I was simply tiring of Mumbai. Long comment, no real point made, hope thats okay, just wanted to yak a bit :)

Eve* aka JB said...

@ Abhiroop: Yak attack. No worries, feel free to yak away. And i know what you mean by reading recommendations and then complaining about not wanting to read something everyone is discussing TOO much.

@ Shrey: what do you think about johnny depp being cast for the movie eh?

go-phish said...

sniff.

i would hate to believe that its the Only reality we have around us :(

but i guess it stings more because a small part of it Is true..

personally,im tired of it being the Only reality that is portrayed.. no, not a fan of the 'India Shining' illusion.. but maybe we could go beyond the slums too....

i guess this is what being defensive feels like :)

Eve* aka JB said...

@ Go-Phish: Oh i know what you mean. When people ask me about India and say things like, "But you speak good English, we didn't know Indians speak English"....I alternate between exasperation, irritation and pride. More often than not, I don't know how to explain India to them. I don't know how to explain myself. I touch my parents' feet when I meet them...I am a Hindu, I eat beef. I believe in marriage, but I know I can leave my husband. I love my family, but I have stayed stubbornly away for my (wrong? right?) idea of freedom. Who am I? What am I?
I should shutup, I am few glasses of red wine down.

But you know...and all of you commenting and 'talking' here... Thank you. Just that.

Marshal said...

@JB
Not sure JDepp will be fine as Lin... that character is too deep & mellow for the normally stylish (many times over-stylish)Johnny Depp... Hope the script would show the resilience in the slums rather then the despair.... but i definitely watch the movie... forever an optimist...
BTW the word verification i have to type to post comments have given me the weirdest letter-combination (are they words??)

Shrey Khetarpal said...

I think Johnny Depp would be a good choice, he has this amazing ability of making characters his own and I already see him playing Lin. And my choice for Khader bhai is Naseeruddin Shah and not Amitabh as the makers want, Hrithik as Abdullah, a new girl as Karla... But the point is whether it will get made any time soon... Its lying in the freezer for sometime now and Mira Nair is busy with her Hillary Swank project.

Oh and I liked Unaccustomed Earth, thought it was better than both her earlier books.