Shantaram: A Novel Audiobook, by Gregory David Roberts Play Audiobook Sample

Shantaram: A Novel Audiobook

Shantaram: A Novel Audiobook, by Gregory David Roberts Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Humphrey Bower Publisher: Macmillan Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 28.67 hours at 1.5x Speed 21.50 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: December 2013 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781427244178

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:

738

Longest Chapter Length:

20:16 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

01:44 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

03:31 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:

2

Other Audiobooks Written by Gregory David Roberts: > View All...

Publisher Description

"It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured." So begins this epic, mesmerizing first novel by Gregory David Roberts, set in the underworld of contemporary Bombay. Shantaram is narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, the two enter Bombay's hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere. As a hunted man without a home, family, or identity, Lin searches for love and meaning while running a clinic in one of the city's poorest slums, and serving his apprenticeship in the dark arts of the Bombay mafia. The search leads him to war, prison torture, murder, and a series of enigmatic and bloody betrayals. The keys to unlock the mysteries and intrigues that bind Lin are held by two people. The first is Khader Khan: mafia godfather, criminal-philosopher-saint, and mentor to Lin in the underworld of the Golden City. The second is Karla: elusive, dangerous, and beautiful, whose passions are driven by secrets that torment her and yet give her a terrible power. Burning slums and five-star hotels, romantic love and prison agonies, criminal wars and Bollywood films, spiritual gurus and mujaheddin guerrillas---this huge novel has the world of human experience in its reach, and a passionate love for India at its heart. Based on the life of the author, it is by any measure the debut of an extraordinary voice in literature.

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"Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts is an incredible audiobook narrated by the talented Humphrey Bower. It is a story of redemption and transformation that takes listeners on a unique journey through a vivid, vibrant, and sometimes tumultuous world. The narration by Humphrey Bower is outstanding; he brings each character to life with perfect intonation and emotion. His voice imparts a sense of authority without being overbearing or obtrusive. What's more, his accent perfectly captures the flavor of the culture in which this story occurs. The novel itself is an epic tale spanning multiple cultures and backgrounds. Set in modern-day India, it follows an Australian fugitive named Lin as he attempts to start anew in the bustling city of Bombay. Lin meets a variety of colorful characters along his journey – from hardened criminals to generous benefactors – all portrayed with humanity and nuance. There's no shortage of danger either, as Lin skirts his past while navigating the complex underworld of Mumbai's organized crime factions. The book contains elements of suspense and drama, but also provides ample moments for introspection and reflection thanks to its deep characterizations and moral dilemmas. For instance, Lin must often grapple with notions of loyalty versus self-preservation or right vs wrong when faced with difficult choices throughout his adventures in India. Through Shantaram's meticulous examination of these themes, readers are presented with an opportunity to explore their own beliefs while gaining insight into another way of life. Humphrey Bower does a masterful job interpreting Roberts' powerful words into soundscapes that enliven scenes from the book in brilliant detail. He captures all the nuances within dialogue exchanges between characters through vocal inflections and subtle textural shifts that bring each scene to life vividly for listeners everywhere. His performance is truly remarkable - evoking emotions ranging from sorrow to joy as if happening just around the corner from your listening spot! Overall, Shantaram reads like a cinematic experience - full of vivid imagery brought alive through Humphrey Bower's emotionally charged narration that speaks volumes about this deeply meaningful novel. If you're looking for an audiobook that will transport you through time and place while providing thought-provoking reflections on life's complexities - this one comes highly recommended!"

— EisleyE31 (5 out of 5 stars)

Quotes

  • “Shantaram is dazzling. More importantly, it offers a lesson…that those we incarcerate are human beings. They deserve to be treated with dignity. Some of them, after all, may be exceptional. Some may even possess genius.”

    — Ayelet Waldman, New York Times bestselling author
  • “Few stand out quite like Shantaram…nothing if not entertaining. Sometimes a big story is its own best reward.”

    — New York Times
  • “Utterly unique, absolutely audacious, and wonderfully wild, Shantaram is sure to catch even the most fantastic of imaginations off guard.”

    — Elle
  • “A sprawling, intelligent novel…full of vibrant characters…Bombay itself is Shantaram’s strongest performance and Roberts’s love of India and the people who live there is unmistakable and a joy to read about.”

    — Washington Post
  • “Vivid, entertaining…Its visceral, cinematic descriptive beauty truly impresses.”

    — USA Today
  • “Shantaram had me hooked from the first sentence. It is thrilling, touching, frightening…A glorious wallow of a novel.”

    — Detroit Free Press
  • “[A] massive, thrillingly undomesticated potboiler…Roberts, who wrote the first drafts of the novel in prison, has poured everything he knows into this book and it shows. It has a heartfelt, cinemascope feel…A sensational read.”

    — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • “Mesmerizing…Bower weaves a world of interesting characters, both Indian and expatriates, and makes even the exaggerated moments believable. He keeps pace beautifully with Roberts’ writing style, which shifts continually from the descriptive and philosophical to the tragic to the broadly comic. Bower makes this unique milieu into one that’s fascinating and compelling.”

    — AudioFile
  • “An elegantly written, page-turning blockbuster…splendidly evoking an India few outsiders know.”

    — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  • “Roberts graphically, even beautifully, evokes [the Bombay underground] milieu—he is as effective at imparting impressions as any good travel writer—in this complex but cohesive story about freedom and the lack of it, about survival, spiritual meaning, love, and sex; in other words, about life in what has to be one of the most fascinating cities in the world…Roberts is also a gifted creator of characters—not only Lindsay but also Prabaker, who becomes Lindsay’s guide, caretaker, and entree into various elements of Bombay society. Soon, too, one becomes aware and appreciative of Roberts’ felicitous writing style…it is difficult not to be ensnared by it.”

    — Booklist
  • “Shantaram is, quite simply, the 1001 Arabian Nights of the new century. Anyone who loves to read has been looking for this book all their reading life. Anyone who walks away from Shantaram untouched is either heartless or dead or both. I haven’t had such a wonderful time in years.”

    — Jonathan Carroll, author of White Apples
  • “Crime and punishment, passion and loyalty, betrayal and redemption are only a few of the ingredients in Shantaram...every single sentence rings true…[Lin is] a soldier of fortune, a picaresque hero: the rascal who lives by his wits in a corrupt society. His story is irresistible.”

    — Amazon.com, editorial review
  • “Shantaram is a novel of the first order, a work of extraordinary art, a thing of exceptional beauty. If someone asked me what the book was about, I would have to say everything, every thing in the world. Gregory David Roberts does for Bombay what Lawrence Durrell did for Alexandria, what Melville did for the South Seas, and what Thoreau did for Walden Pond: He makes it an eternal player in the literature of the world.

    — Pat Conroy
  • Shantaram has provided me with the richest reading experience to date and I don't expect anybody to unseat its all-round performance for a long time. It is seductive, powerful, complex, and blessed with a perfect voice. Like a voodoo ghost snatcher, Gregory David Roberts has captured the spirits of the likes of Henri Charrière, Rohinton Mistry, Tom Wolfe, and Mario Vargas Llosa, fused them with his own unique magic, and built the most gripping monument in print. The land of the god Ganesh has unchained the elephant, and with the monster running amok, I tremble for the brave soul dreaming of writing a novel about India. Gregory David Roberts is a suitable giant, a dazzling guru, and a genius in full.

    — Moses Isegawa, author of Abyssinian Chronicles and Snakepit
  • Shantaram is, quite simply, the 1001 Arabian Nights of the new century. Anyone who loves to read has been looking for this book all their reading life. Anyone who walks away from Shantaram untouched is either heartless or dead or both. I haven't had such a wonderful time in years.

    — Jonathan Carroll, author of White Apples
  • Shantaram is dazzling. More importantly, it offers a lesson...that those we incarcerate are human beings. They deserve to be treated with dignity. Some of them, after all, may be exceptional. Some may even possess genius.

    — Ayelet Waldman, author of Murder Plays House

Awards

  • A 2007 AudioFile Best Book of the Year
  • An Audie Award Finalist

Shantaram Listener Reviews

Overall Performance: 4.71428571428571 out of 54.71428571428571 out of 54.71428571428571 out of 54.71428571428571 out of 54.71428571428571 out of 5 (4.71)
5 Stars: 17
4 Stars: 2
3 Stars: 2
2 Stars: 0
1 Stars: 0
Narration: 4.76190476190476 out of 54.76190476190476 out of 54.76190476190476 out of 54.76190476190476 out of 54.76190476190476 out of 5 (4.76)
5 Stars: 18
4 Stars: 1
3 Stars: 2
2 Stars: 0
1 Stars: 0
Story: 4.80952380952381 out of 54.80952380952381 out of 54.80952380952381 out of 54.80952380952381 out of 54.80952380952381 out of 5 (4.81)
5 Stars: 19
4 Stars: 0
3 Stars: 2
2 Stars: 0
1 Stars: 0
Write a Review
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    — Nicola Rehberg, 5/22/2023
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Narration Rating: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Story Rating: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    — Doug, 2/20/2023
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    — 1/30/2023
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Shantaram, narrated by Humphrey Bower, is an absolutely incredible audiobook. It's an epic tale of love, loss and redemption set in the chaotic city of Mumbai that transports you to a different time and place. The storytelling is intense and captivating as it follows protagonist Lin through his journey of personal transformation. Humphrey Bower brings the story to life with his passionate reading style and powerful delivery. He truly becomes one with the character and creates an immersive listening experience. The novel is expansive, weaving together a colorful cast of characters that keeps your attention throughout. It paints vivid pictures with its detailed descriptions of both the people and places encountered on Lin's quest for self-discovery, all enhanced by Bower's performance. There's no shortage of action either; between daring escapes from prison, perilous missions into enemy territory, moments of heart-breaking drama and even comedic interludes, there's something for everyone to enjoy! It's clear that a tremendous amount of effort was put into producing this audiobook; each chapter feels meticulously crafted as if it were part of a movie soundtrack orchestrated perfectly to bring out all the emotion. Shantaram is sure to be remembered as one of the greatest audiobooks ever produced, thanks in large part to Humphrey Bower's remarkable performance. If you are looking for an audiobook that will take you on an unforgettable journey then this is definitely worth checking out! "

    — Cleveland Carl, 12/15/2022
  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    — K Starr Schoell, 11/20/2022
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I just finished Shantaram, a powerful and captivating audiobook narrated by Humphrey Bower. With his rich, resonant voice and excellent pacing, Bower's performance was truly mesmerizing. As one of the most recognizable voices in audio books, Bower brought the words of author Gregory David Roberts to vivid life. This is an epic tale of adventure and redemption that follows protagonist Lin as he finds himself on a journey through the streets of Bombay. It paints a vivid portrait of the city's bustling energy and teeming life, capturing everything from its vibrant street culture to its criminal underworld. The narrative takes on a wide range of themes such as poverty, violence, friendship and loyalty. It also contains several heart-wrenching moments that made me feel deeply for Lin and his journey. Bower's narration was outstanding throughout the entire 43-hour book – his diction was flawless and he had an uncanny talent for imbuing each character with unique personalities through their respective voices. His delivery was able to make even those parts that were harder to follow come alive with meaning, making it easy for listeners to connect with the material despite language or cultural barriers. I could even feel emotions rising within me as I followed along with him through twists and turns in lin's journey. What really impressed me though was how well Bower handled all of the different dialects used throughout the story – something which is not an easy feat when it comes to audio books! His mastery over accents from India to Scotland helped bring authenticity while still maintaining clarity in speech so that listeners could easily understand what was going on at any given time. Overall, Shantaram is a great example of both storytelling and narration done right! If you are looking for an immersive listening experience like no other then this book - narrated by Humphrey Bower - is definitely one you don't want to miss! "

    — Abe48, 11/18/2022
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    — jack bygott, 10/25/2022
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Shantaram, narrated by the incredibly talented Humphrey Bower, is an audiobook that you will not soon forget. The depth of emotion that comes with each chapter as we move through the story of a man's journey for redemption is simply mesmerizing. With his powerful narration, Humphrey Bower brings the characters and landscapes of Shantaram to life in a way that few others could. His voice is full of emotion and expression, which works perfectly to bring out the heartbreaking moments and triumphs throughout this novel. The story itself is just as captivating as the narrator's performance. It follows an Australian drug addict who escapes from prison and flees to India in search of redemption for himself and for those he loves. In his time in India he finds himself immersed in a culture he can barely comprehend, but also with people who come to understand him better than anyone else has before or since. As he discovers more about himself, his past, and his heritage while living on the streets of Bombay, our protagonist discovers that it takes more than just luck to survive; it takes fortitude and courage. This audiobook really captures what it means to make mistakes and learn from them, while still understanding one's own capacity for hope in spite of darkness. The characters are incredibly well-developed and diverse with their own struggles and triumphs throughout the book. Plus, Humphrey Bower does a masterful job at creating distinct personalities for each character - one can truly feel as if they're alongside these characters on their journey for redemption. All in all, Shantaram narrated by Humphrey Bower is an unforgettable audiobook experience filled with heart-wrenching moments set against realistic backdrops; a perfect combination of captivating plot points coupled with outstanding narration from Humphrey Bower makes this an unforgettable audiobook experience not to be missed! "

    — carriecross1, 10/5/2022
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I recently listened to the audiobook Shantaram narrated by Humphrey Bower and I must say that it is one of the best lierary experiences of my life. The book is just as powerful and emotionally engaging in audio format as it is in print; it truly transported me into its world. The story follows a character named Lin, a Bombay-based fugitive whose past contains a complex network of secrets and lies. Lin's story is told through an enthralling mix of adventure, romance, mysticism and humor with each chapter adding more depth to his incredible journey. Humphrey Bower brings this remarkable tale to life like no other narrator could - his performance was absolutely captivating! His diverse range of accents, tones and emotions kept me hooked from start to finish - it felt as if every word he uttered was just for me. This audiobook has something for everyone: action-packed storytelling, thought-provoking themes and beautiful narration. It's an adventure into the human soul that I highly recommend you take! "

    — Larry L., 8/18/2022
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " When I heard that Humphrey Bower was set to take on the narrating duties of Gregory David Roberts' epic novel Shantaram, I was eagerly anticipating what he would bring to the table. It turns out that my expectations were exceeded tenfold - Bower's performance serves to bring life and energy to the vibrant world of Bombay and its inhabitants. His interpretation of the text is captivating and carries a narrative power all its own. He brings a great deal of emotion, nuance and character to each line, and his pacing makes it easy for listeners to stay engrossed in the story. The language used in Shantaram is complex and often poetic; Bower's delivery does an excellent job of translating these elements into audio form with clarity and depth. He has a wonderfully expressive voice, which gives way to moments of absolute beauty as he reads passages from some of Shantaram's most powerful scenes. There's a delicate balance between humour and drama, joy and sorrow – all delicately captured in Bower's narration that evokes strong emotions in the listener. Humphrey Bower proves himself yet again as one of the best audiobook narrators out there - his performance on Shantaram is nothing short of masterful. He enlivens every moment in this mesmerizing journey through the streets of Bombay, bringing characters like Linbaba to life with thrilling accuracy while also giving us an insight into their innermost feelings & thoughts. If you're looking for an audiobook listening experience that will take you away from your everyday life & allow you to immerse yourself in another world altogether, then this version of Shantaram narrated by Humphrey Bower is exactly what you need! "

    — Sandra B., 7/20/2022
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " If you are looking for a gripping and captivating audiobook that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then Shantaram narrated by Humphrey Bower is an excellent choice. The story follows an Australian man named Lin who escapes from prison and takes refuge in India. As he navigates through this new country, he encounters many different characters with unique personalities and motivations. He quickly learns the ropes of the criminal underworld and makes friends in high places, as well as low ones. The narration from Humphrey Bower truly brings the story to life - his voice is deep and authoritative yet manages to convey the emotions and nuances of each character with great subtlety. His skillful narrations really grip you until the very end, drawing you into a vivid world where anything can happen. Furthermore, the detail and accuracy of Shantaram is remarkable. Lin's journey draws on real-world events throughout Mumbai in 1981-82, which just adds to its authenticity and realism. There's also a great blend of historical facts, political intrigue, cultural diversity, romance and adventure that makes this book so engrossing to listen to. Overall, Shantaram narrated by Humphrey Bower is one of those books that will stay with you long after it's finished. It has something for everyone - whether it be a thrilling crime novel or a heartwarming romantic story - making it an ideal audiobook for any listener looking for a riveting experience. "

    — arch99, 12/15/2021
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    — Hans Brox, 5/18/2021
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " This is, without question, the most beautiful story I have ever read (heard)! Do yourself a favour! You won’t regret it! "

    — Renae, 6/15/2019
  • Overall Performance: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    — ann turton, 2/17/2018
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Love it.....................................................! "

    — Jamie , 9/14/2017
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " A great listen and worthy of your time. Humphrey Bower is an amazing narrator. "

    — zena, 8/9/2017
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    — Vasilis Gkatzelis, 6/26/2017
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    — Wojciech Czech, 2/17/2017
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    — Martin Widmann, 10/22/2016
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    — Mark Van Bruggen, 5/3/2016
  • Overall Performance: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Narration Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Story Rating: 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    — ola sato, 2/8/2016

About Gregory David Roberts

Gregory David Roberts was born in Melbourne, Australia. Sentenced to nineteen years in prison for armed robbery, he escaped and spent ten of his fugitive years in Bombay, where he established a free medical clinic for slum dwellers and worked as a counterfeiter, smuggler, gunrunner, and street soldier for the Bombay Mafia. Recaptured, he served out his sentence and established a successful multimedia company upon his release. He is now a full-time writer and lives in Bombay.

About Humphrey Bower

Humphrey Bower, winner of multiple Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration, is a writer, actor, and director. He earned his BA in English literature from Oxford University and has worked extensively in theater, and television. He was a founding member of the Melbourne collective Whistling in the Theatre and the Perth independent company Last Seen Imagining. He is the artistic director of Night Train Productions.