'Shantaram is not an easy read'


Shantaram is not an easy read

Talking books with Sana Alvi, Account Specialist, Soul Communications, Dubai

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Published: Fri 28 Jun 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 28 Jun 2019, 2:00 AM

What are you reading now?
I am currently reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed, a story of a woman who embarked on a three-month hike along the Pacific Crest Trail in an attempt to gain back control of her life after her mother's death and the collapse of all relationships she held dear. An ongoing read since last year has been The Book Of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa, with musings that inspire so much thought and reflection, I can never get through more than five pages in one sitting.

The books that changed your life.
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, for its ability to make me realise the world is not black and white. That hope, compassion and wisdom can sometimes emerge from what the world has hastily labelled wrong or immoral.
It is not an easy read. It will make you hate humankind. It will make you sympathise with a criminal. It will fill your heart with overwhelming joy and make you want to go to India. So much action paired with potent prose make it the perfect read for those looking for a wild story, but who also want their reading journey to be a self-reflective one.
It took me over two months to finish this book. That had nothing to do with its 900+ pages, and everything to do with its ability to stop me in my tracks, surprise me with its magical language and larger-than-life characters, frustrate me with its constant violence (in painful detail), and inspire me with its never-ending passages about love, loyalty and compassion.

Your favourite literary character.
Henry Chinaski - the literary alter ego of American writer Charles Bukowski, who appears in a number of his works - for his ability to be brutally honest, downright sleazy and, somehow, make it all sound like poetry.

Name one underrated book.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is a bestseller in the West, but not as common elsewhere. A heart-wrencher, it explores the evolution of modern adult friendships in the age of anxiety.
- Staff Reporter

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