Shantaram is a very nice book about India, specifically Bombay.
You are really getting an insight – it looks to me as a total foreigner – into the culture and into a lot of – for us weired – habits.
The book is a real thriller! But it’s not a biography of the author Gregory David Roberts, but a novel.
The first part of the book relates to Bombay specifically, and how honestly and gratefull even the poorest people are. They are proud of what they do and they accept also punishment with a straight back, if they think that’s justified. And these are the people that are really happy.
This is in contrast to the protagonist, that is always on the run, running away from the problems. And by doing that, getting more and more into trouble.
And the same is true for people like Khader, the boss of a mafia syndicate. He has some ethics as he’s not going for making money with prostitution and drugs, but nevertheless he
thinks he controlles the syndicate. He’s doing – in his point of view – a good job of manipulating all the people around him doing work in his favour.
But it’s the same as for every power that is only existing due to pressure: At some point in time it will fail, and somebody else will take over.
And the war and the cruelties and the fights start again…
In the first chapters the protagonist surrenders often to Indian habits, and gives back to the people, and that makes him happy.
But as soon as he starts fighting, he’s lost.
Lin (the protagonist) and Lisa have escaped the vicious circle as a drug addict, but it seems that the cruel men cannot escape the vicious circle of violence.
There are some announcement about a TV series.