Having just returned from India this morning I started last week to read again one of the most beautifully-written and masterfully-told stories I’ve yet to find in this life. In the 1990s Gregory David-Roberts escaped from a maximum-security jail in Australia and ran away to live in a slum in Bombay. This, his masterpiece, is an epic account detailing his journey through India as he discovers what life really means to him through the people he meets, the relationships he develops, and the love he witnesses in those around him.
As a story of human insight, love and compassion, heartbreak and despair, of hopes and dreams, and the frenzied, chaotic beauty of India and her people – there are few books to match this.
Shantaram is available on Amazon UK here, and the Shantaram official website is here.
At University I was recommended this book by a very close friend, and I can say sincerely with all my heart that it changed my outlook in a manner no other book had done before, or has come close to doing since. It is the distilled wisdom and philosophy of a man who spent three years in concentration camps during World War II, and lost everything but his life. Following the War, Frankl went on to become a professor of both psychiatry and neurology – combining his love and understanding of both areas into this short book.
The first half of the book details his memoirs of camp life, all the horrific events that took place daily and all the characters that came with such dire situations. The second half then goes on to detail his philosophy on life, “Logotherapy”, which he went on to develop and study after the War. It’s beautiful, it’s simple, it’s clear and concise – and is a book to be read by all human beings from now until forever.