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Author Topic: "SHANTARAM"-more than just the only one (human) ;)-has anyone read it?  (Read 2871 times)

Offline nikita70 (OP)

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Hi, since I miss the art/culture "subsections" (not that I'd be complaining or so ;)), I thought, maybe this is the rightest place for SOLICITATION (alert!!!) of this kind.
This is going to be some special solicitation and concerns a book I have read last time.
The book calls "SHANTARAM" (by Gregory David Roberts), and an action takes place in India, Mumbay/Bombay.
This is one of those things I've been never bursting at seams to read, to say the least, so I feel free to admit that I find myself having totally mixed feelings about it.

I'd venture to say SHANTARAM is some sort of modern day "pulp fiction"-written this way, so all the semblance of "high literature" were able to keep up, so to say. You know, since an unambigous, straightfold, "black&white" overview is totally "passe" nowadays, the maincharacter has to be affected by pain, kinda stigmatized and struggling with his inner daemons from the past-and if this daemon calls HEROIN in addition, there's some really great SCORE for him.
HEROIN is something what fits perfectly to play the role of just another one DRAGON to fight, we all know well the HERO is able finally to deal with. It might be not a piece of cake, but still. After all, no one expected a hero going an easy way, right?

I mean, this predictability and unambiguity deconstructs and thwarts the result of "high literature" completely and makes this sizeable "compendy of painful episodes and bombastic, exalted points" some perfect XXXL sized paperback for "cool" housewifes wearing dreadlocks and enjoying their India dishes (not that I'd mind India cousine, no way)...
...must be I am one of them, too (even not to cook India dishes and having my hair straight), 'cos I'm finding myself getting kicks as I reread "heroin' episode" over and over again.

The chapter Lin (the maincharacter) get "stashed" himself in the hop joint somewhere near the most infamous hood in Mumbay (Shuklaji), wallowing in/nurturing his grief to finally chicken out and indulge himself and let the pain melt away with heroin together/let heroin take away all the pain-is probably this point where my book kinda opens automatically, if you touch or reach it, lol.
But what is going to come up further blows my mind completely-probably the most exalted, bombastic and drammatically description of cold turkey' ever written, with absolutely everything possible (and impossible) involved. After thoroughly (to be fair) "intro" that is able to discourage from kicking the most badass dope fiend, comes up something what could be relate to nothing but Mel Gibson's "performances of Passion".
Author (who also claims to be a prototype of the maincharacter, what I truly doubt to be possible in this case)
reveals/deconstructs the background of heroin' w/ds, brings a scorching light on how endorphin' deprivation
turns an addict into living dead with their nerves naked and extremely vulnerable,
and how w/d gets something like an "extract" of all kinds of pain, suffering and grief putting altogether--
This meticulously lecture of theory is followed and "illustrated" by properly startling report from "heroin' w/d hell".
All of classical "heroin must-reads" taste like pillow-books for good emo-kids comparing to this one.
 
There's weeping and gnashing of teeth, tying hands and legs and gagging, for one's own wish involved,
not even to mention such a meaningless details like puking, diarrhoea or insomnia...still, if you have ANY littlest inkling about opiates,
you sure as hell be able to recognize some "false tone/note" in this stuff... not that 3 months of shooting 3. g+(!) of "thailand pure" a day
weren't able to make you develope such a habit. I don't know about "thailand pure" at all-maybe yes, maybe not. Sounds possible although rather bombastic.
Sounds exactly as if the statement "3. g of thailand pure" were thrilling enough to get the author high on his own tale. An author and anybody else who read it.
Everything in this book tastes like this. Not a hoax or lying-just multiplying.

There's a lot of palaver and confusion about this novel. It claims to be an "autobiography" (I mean literally, not like "based on...") but it sounds ludicrous to me.
Synchronicity doesn't work like this, and even if there's few interresting coincidencies happening to this guy (whoever he is),
or he was successfully to get away with some shit he did more times than average people used to, there's definitely too much for one life and a single human being, if you get me.
Being an autobiography the novel might as well to be called "hagiography" and the maincharacter-holy or saint.
Since an author comes from Australia/New Zealand, could some of you guys, shed some light into it?
The Australians/New Zealanders (hello chipper!) are welcome for an obvious reason.
Thanks anyone from advance!
 
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A Toda Madre O Un Desmadre

BloodInBloodOutBloodIn

Junkies are like noodles-straight 'til gettin' wet

"Maybe we should follow in the steps of Artonin Artaud and throw our remaining dope in the river,
get flung into gut-wrenching purging withdrawal,drink ayahuasca and eat peyote..." (Roman Totale)

Offline Snout

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I've read it, I loved it! The part when Lin is in the Arthur road prison in India is completely crazy! I've been to leopalds in colaba in Mumbai also!

Nikita- have you read any Robertson Davies? I ask because you mention hagiography.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2016, 05:14:10 PM by Snout »
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I myself have found a real rival in myself,
I am hoping for a re-arrival of my health- wilco

Offline Chip

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hi Nikita!

no, I hadn't heard of the book but thanks for bringing it to my attention.
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I do not condone or support any illegal activities. All information is for theoretical discussion and wonder.
All activities discussed are considered fictional and hypothetical. Information of all discussion has been derived from online research and in the spirit of personal Freedom.

Offline nikita70 (OP)

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I've read it, I loved it! The part when Lin is in the Arthur road prison in India is completely crazy! I've been to leopalds in colaba in Mumbai also!

Nikita- have you read any Robertson Davies? I ask because you mention hagiography.

@Snout
No, I never ever heard about him^^^. I'm going to ask my bf, who is a real bookworm (and frequently is a "living Wiki" or even way better than Wiki when comes to books ;)), he sure is able to add his few cents.
He's also one bad, compulsive, obstinate "bookstorelifter" (or how to call it) so he has picked up and "dragged" this huge thing ("Shantaram") home and gave it to me, telling I'll sure be delighted. 
And I was indeed, even if I went (or run) through this over 800 pages long "brick" bitching and grumbling permanently how pretentious and exalted the read is (what I in fact enjoyed as hell, somewhere in my depth, as you can guess easily).
What bothered me a little was the fact Lin is such a zealous megalomaniacal individual... tough guy paying attention on how he looks like, (well maybe it makes him more human).
I liked him, anyway, there's a drastically shortage of real heroes in the modern world.
Guess I'm like I NEED A HERO, lol.

You were in Mumbai? Colaba? Don't even tell me that you've been smoking opium in some dirty hop joint on Shuklaji, too...
Oh, and if you in love with India I'd bet you must have read "Narkopolis" by Jeet Thayil. That's a real masterpiece, what I highly recommend.
Seems you travel a lot, don't you?

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A Toda Madre O Un Desmadre

BloodInBloodOutBloodIn

Junkies are like noodles-straight 'til gettin' wet

"Maybe we should follow in the steps of Artonin Artaud and throw our remaining dope in the river,
get flung into gut-wrenching purging withdrawal,drink ayahuasca and eat peyote..." (Roman Totale)

Offline Snout

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I'll check out narkopolis, I'm not familiar with it. The thing I hated about shantaram was how the author was always like " love is an arrow, that burns its way through the heart , yada yada yada..."

I've been to India 3 times. I'd like to go again. I've been lucky with travel, when I was younger I made some money and did some budget traveling, that's all over now. I think I mentioned I visited Poland in 2001, it was great!
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I myself have found a real rival in myself,
I am hoping for a re-arrival of my health- wilco

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