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The Mountain Shadow PDF, ePub eBook A sequel to SHANTARAM but equally a standalone novel, The Mountain Shadow follows Lin on further adventures in shadowy worlds and cultures. It is a novel about seeking identity, love, meaning, purpose, home, even the secret of life...As the story begins, Lin has found happiness and love, but when he gets a call that a friend is in danger, he has no choice but to go to his A sequel to SHANTARAM but equally a standalone novel, The Mountain Shadow follows Lin on further adventures in shadowy worlds and cultures. It is a novel about seeking identity, love, meaning, purpose, home, even the secret of life...As the story begins, Lin has found happiness and love, but when he gets a call that a friend is in danger, he has no choice but to go to his aid, even though he knows that leaving this paradise puts everything at risk, including himself and his lover. When he arrives to fulfil his obligation, he enters a room with eight men: each will play a significant role in the story that follows. One will become a friend, one an enemy, one will try to kill Lin, one will be killed by another... Some characters appeared in Shantaram, others are introduced for the first time, including Navida Der, a half-Irish, half-Indian detective, and Edras, a philosopher with fundamental beliefs. Gregory David Roberts is an extraordinarily gifted writer whose stories are richly rewarding on many levels. Like Shantaram, The Mountain Shadow will be a compelling adventure story with a profound message at its heart.

30 review for The Mountain Shadow

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jacki (Julia Flyte)

    Like many others, I loved Shantaram, and so I approached this sequel with an equal mix of anticipation and trepidation. Could Gregory David Roberts repeat the magic? The short answer is no. This book isn't nearly as good as Shantaram, and worse, it has the potential to make Shantaram seem worse in retrospect. But having said that, it's not a total disaster either. I read it in a week, and despite its near 900 page length, I never lost interest nor found it hard to stay with. The Mountain Shadow Like many others, I loved Shantaram, and so I approached this sequel with an equal mix of anticipation and trepidation. Could Gregory David Roberts repeat the magic? The short answer is no. This book isn't nearly as good as Shantaram, and worse, it has the potential to make Shantaram seem worse in retrospect. But having said that, it's not a total disaster either. I read it in a week, and despite its near 900 page length, I never lost interest nor found it hard to stay with. The Mountain Shadow is set two years after the events of Shantaram. Lin is still living in Bombay and working as a forger for his mentor Khaderbhai's mafia organisation, now run by Sanjay Kumar and known as the Sanjay Corporation. He is living with his girlfriend Lisa (I didn't remember her, but she was in the previous book towards the end), and while he still carries a torch for Karla, he hasn't seen her for two years, since she married Ranjit, an aspiring politician. In the first 100 pages three key events happen. Lin meets an Irishman by the name of Concannon, he is kidnapped by a rival gang who want information about the Sanjay Corporation and his girlfriend Lisa tells him that she wants to see other people. These three things will set a train of events in motion that drive the remainder of the plot. Apart from brief forays to Sri Lanka and to a spiritual retreat, the action is set entirely in Bombay and many familiar characters will appear, among them Didier, Abdullah, Madame Zhou and Karla. As in the previous book, Bombay is itself a key character in the book, with all its corruption and chaos, millionaires, gangsters, holy men and slum dwellers. This book is overwritten. It's full of flowery sentences like: "She was a river, not a stone, and every day was another curve in tomorrow's plain" or "Night is Truth wearing a purple dress, and people dance differently there". If it wasn't for the author's postscript telling us that he doesn't endorse drug taking, I would have sworn that he was stoned throughout the writing of this book. So many sentences read like the kind of thing you think is brilliant when you come up with them at 3am, but realise in the cold light of day that they are tripe. Where was the editor in this process, I wondered? The characters all spend huge amounts of time smoking marijuana and exchanging dialogue that feels like it belongs in a fortune cookie, eg: "A heart filled with greed, pride or hateful feelings is not free" or "It's the things that make us one, that make us worth having" or "Money's a river: some of us go with the current and some of us paddle to the shore". It's these empty platitudes that take the place of character development. I've now read 1700 pages of Lin's adventures and I still couldn't really tell you what Karla is like. Too many characters can be summarised in pithy descriptors like "angry lesbian", "spoiled heiress", "free-spirited Aquarian" or "foul-tempered crusader" - they aren't real or rounded people. And yet, for all these flaws, there's something likeable in these pages. I can't say with hand on heart that "you should read this", but it's not a write off either and it ends on a genuinely touching and uplifting note.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I think it is very unhelpful that people are writing reviews for this book when they have not read Shantaram. This a a sequel to the book, if you have not read the first book you are not aware of what this book is based on. Also, it is ridiculous to write a review when you have only read a small portion of the book. READ THE WHOLE BOOK FIRST!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    "There's a deep connection between gangsters, faith and death. All of the men in the Sanjay Company felt that their souls were in the hands of a personal God, and they were all devout enough to pray before and after a murder". The Cycle Killers ...were young. They rode their polished chrome bicycles through the streets of Bombay at suicide speeds. Lin, ( or sometimes called Shantaram), who was back from Goa.. having been gone for two years...kept realizing how much things had changed since he had "There's a deep connection between gangsters, faith and death. All of the men in the Sanjay Company felt that their souls were in the hands of a personal God, and they were all devout enough to pray before and after a murder". The Cycle Killers ...were young. They rode their polished chrome bicycles through the streets of Bombay at suicide speeds. Lin, ( or sometimes called Shantaram), who was back from Goa.. having been gone for two years...kept realizing how much things had changed since he had been away.... ( most of his friends were gone, lush gardens around the mansion was a shamble as the mansion itself deteriorated, and more violence to be concern with). I might have stayed in Goa, myself, permanently, If I were Lin. Those beaches are lovely! However, Lin certainly knew very little about the den of the Cycle Killers..... who wore "brightly colored tight fitting undershirts, known as banyans, white stovepipe jeans, and the latest fashion brand of running shoes". "They all slicked their hair back with perfumed oil, wore ostentatious caste-mark tattoos on their faces to protect them against the evil eye, and cover their own eyes with identical mirror – finish aviator sunglasses, as polished as silver bicycles. "They were, by general agreement among discriminating criminals, the most efficient knife– men money could buy, surpassed in skill by only one man in the city: Hathoda, The nice master for the Sanjay Company". Lin was having rough days being back in Bombay. Not only with the Cycle Killers and the challenges with the Sanjay Council, but he runs into Ranjit, who married the woman he not only once loved, but still loves: Karla. He would always love Karla he realizes - and feels protective of her. At the same time, he has a girlfriend, Lisa, so of course he feels guilty for his thoughts. On top of everything else, his soul has just been crushed when he learns he had been manipulated, used, and, "collected", by his adopted father, Khaderbhai. "But the collector was dead, and I was still an exhibit in the museum of crime he created and left to the world. Sanjay had used me to test his new gun – running contact contact and that made it clear: I had to leave the collection and find my freedom again as soon as possible." "The Mountain Shadow", is as much of a juicy read ...filled with adventure, conflicts, imagery, great characters, and passion as Gregory David Robert's first book: "Shantaram". Robert's is a natural storyteller. The dialogue between the characters feels very natural ... and - personally-I felt like I was right back living in India myself. Through Robert's writing- wonderful storytelling- ( with both books)- is a template for a spiritual journey on which you meet different aspects of yourself and spirit. "One of the Great mysteries of India, and the greatest of all it's joys, is the tender warmth of the lowest paid. The man wasn't angling for a tip: most of the man who use the washroom didn't give one. He was a simple kind man, in a place of essential requirement, giving me a genuinely kind smile, one human being to another". "It's that kindness, from the deepest of the Indian heart, that the true flag of the nation, and the connection that brings you back to India again and again, or holds you there forever". Wonderful! Thank You to Grove Atlantic Publishing, Netgalley, and Gregory David Roberts, ....a *dazzling* ineffable joy!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael McEvoy

    Maybe I remember Shantaram through rose-coloured glasses, but I have a vivid sense of loving it so much. The writing was exquisite; it felt like I was in India, and could smell the slums and feel the heartache of everyone's struggles. The Mountain Shadow seems like it's written by a completely different person. The vivid detail is lost, replaced instead by abstract metaphors that make the author come across as arrogant and full of himself. The storyline did not interest me at all. It largely foc Maybe I remember Shantaram through rose-coloured glasses, but I have a vivid sense of loving it so much. The writing was exquisite; it felt like I was in India, and could smell the slums and feel the heartache of everyone's struggles. The Mountain Shadow seems like it's written by a completely different person. The vivid detail is lost, replaced instead by abstract metaphors that make the author come across as arrogant and full of himself. The storyline did not interest me at all. It largely focussed on the war between two rival gangs. Shantaram's love, Karla, returned, and he described her eyes as "Queens" on a chessboard. This was the most overused description in the book. I kid you not, if you have the ebook and do a search for "queens", it would return over 100 matches. Every time she looked at someone, she "flashed them her queens". He also felt it necessary to split the book into 15 parts. There was nothing distinctly different about each part so this division was unnecessary. And who writes a book that goes up to Part 15 anyway?! I'd give it a miss.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    This book is a considerable letdown from Shantaram. First, one of the most enjoyable, and admirable, parts of Shantaram was the incredible character development. Nine years after reading it, I can still visualize Prabaker, Karla, and Khaderbhai. The Mountain Shadow introduces no memorable characters, and even cheapens the few who carry over from Shantaram. The interaction between Lin and Karla feels more like a gameshow of one liners than a relationship of soulmates. Second, Shantaram was specia This book is a considerable letdown from Shantaram. First, one of the most enjoyable, and admirable, parts of Shantaram was the incredible character development. Nine years after reading it, I can still visualize Prabaker, Karla, and Khaderbhai. The Mountain Shadow introduces no memorable characters, and even cheapens the few who carry over from Shantaram. The interaction between Lin and Karla feels more like a gameshow of one liners than a relationship of soulmates. Second, Shantaram was special in that it brought India to life with the sights and smells of the slum, the intricate caste system, the religious melting pot of the city, etc. This novel could have been set anywhere, as the author routinely fell into overly flowery, yet not descriptive, language to describe the setting and atmosphere. Last, this novel lacked direction...or a plot. It mindlessly meandered through 100's of pages. If it were not for my fond memory of Shantaram, I would have tossed this book aside a few chapters in.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tania

    Regret is a nicer self that we send into the past from time to time, even though we know it's too late to change what we said, or did. I loved the descriptions of Bombay and its people. I fell in love with characters already known to me like Didier, but also a whole cast of new ones like Naveen and Oleg. Unfortunately there are also many things I did not like about this book. The main character Lin is one-dimensional, just too good to be true. The whole guru/self-help/new-agey element felt forced Regret is a nicer self that we send into the past from time to time, even though we know it's too late to change what we said, or did. I loved the descriptions of Bombay and its people. I fell in love with characters already known to me like Didier, but also a whole cast of new ones like Naveen and Oleg. Unfortunately there are also many things I did not like about this book. The main character Lin is one-dimensional, just too good to be true. The whole guru/self-help/new-agey element felt forced, and not connected to the rest of the story. Lastly, the writing sometimes felt prententious. If you have not read Shantaram I highly recommend it, it's an amazing read with some of the most unforgettable characters I've ever "met", but I think you can safely skip this 2nd book in the series. The Story: As flamboyant as is the life of this novel’s hero, the author’s experience has been even more so. Sentenced to 19 years in prison in Australia for armed robbery in 1978, Roberts escaped in broad daylight two years later and hid in India for a decade. Six more years in prison followed, during which he wrote Shantaram (2003). It was an instant best seller; the film rights were sold for $2 million. In this second installment of Aussie criminal-on-the-run Lin’s action-packed life, he’s in Bombay, forging documents for a new Mafia family while mourning the loss of his mentor and his beloved, who married a tycoon.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Maria Hamilton

    I think I should get a medal for managing to finish the drivel that was this book! What a slog - I'm so pleased I'm done! I LOVED his first book Shantaram - we read it as a Bookclub book and we all found it beautifully written, with a host of unforgettable characters. I didn't want it to finish - I had to slow down so I could spend a few more magical moments following Lin's adventures in India. So when Mountain Shadow came out I was so excited to read the next instalment. I'm so sorry I did as i I think I should get a medal for managing to finish the drivel that was this book! What a slog - I'm so pleased I'm done! I LOVED his first book Shantaram - we read it as a Bookclub book and we all found it beautifully written, with a host of unforgettable characters. I didn't want it to finish - I had to slow down so I could spend a few more magical moments following Lin's adventures in India. So when Mountain Shadow came out I was so excited to read the next instalment. I'm so sorry I did as it has now ruined Shantaram for me. This book was just too much - badly edited from the start with rambling passages about smoking chillums, getting high, killing people, killing more people, practicing to kill people, getting high again, running from killers, all interspersed with pages and pages of soppy lovey dovey passages and heavy 'philosophy' - again all clearly written by someone who was high as a kite! The characters - bar one or two - had lost all their charm. I just didn't care about any of them any more - and I cried my way through Shantaram! If you liked Shantaram, don't read this book. It is self indulgent and a complete waste of time. Such a shame!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Skip

    While I have to agree that this was not as good as GDR's Shantaram, I cannot see any reason for 3 stars. Personally, I think it deserves 4.5 stars, but not 5. GDR's novels are very spiritual, and I would say that there was less story in The Mountain Shadow and more philosophy, which at times did read a little like Chinese fortune cookies. Some of the pithy quotes though were quite funny or memorable. As before, Lin/Shantaram is a criminal, making his money from forging documents and then by runni While I have to agree that this was not as good as GDR's Shantaram, I cannot see any reason for 3 stars. Personally, I think it deserves 4.5 stars, but not 5. GDR's novels are very spiritual, and I would say that there was less story in The Mountain Shadow and more philosophy, which at times did read a little like Chinese fortune cookies. Some of the pithy quotes though were quite funny or memorable. As before, Lin/Shantaram is a criminal, making his money from forging documents and then by running an illegal money changing business; however, he has a huge heart. We find him adrift as the book opens, because the love of his life, Karla, has married a media magnate and aspiring politician. As in Shantaram, Lin assembles a wonderful list of friends from all walks of life and cultures, many are lost souls like himself: gangsters, street people, gurus, and even an heiress. There is much mayhem (and drug use) in the book, as the criminal underworld and police are constantly at war, and emotional highs and lows, as Lin's friends have extraordinary luck, both good and bad. I missed the slums, which were such a wonderful backdrop in the first book; however, the slums did provide an important safe haven. In the end, I think the message is a positive message about love, faith, religion, ethics, and the human spirit.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dan Cooley

    90% nonsense, 10% alright that is what I think of this book and even then I think I'm being generous. Where to start! All the characters are the same none of them have any personality they all just say stupid things like "yaar that's so cool" or speak in aphorisms. The only people who I have any clear idea of as a person are Didier and maybe Abdullah, all the other characters are far too shallow with no real personality, they are essentially just names. This really didn't help with the story as 90% nonsense, 10% alright that is what I think of this book and even then I think I'm being generous. Where to start! All the characters are the same none of them have any personality they all just say stupid things like "yaar that's so cool" or speak in aphorisms. The only people who I have any clear idea of as a person are Didier and maybe Abdullah, all the other characters are far too shallow with no real personality, they are essentially just names. This really didn't help with the story as I couldn't build any kind of connection with any of the characters even Lin the main character comes across as arrogant and annoying. The story in general is weak, there's no real core to it, just things happening that are kind of linked and not really that interesting or dramatic. Most of the things that happen don't even involve the main character either. Its also very cheesy especially the last few chapters where it all ends very 'nicely'. Then there's the philosophy which seems like the whole point of the book. Its boring, offensive, arrogant, nonsense. Its clearly the authors belief and maybe he is trying to start a religion but it's pretty arrogant how he talks through some 'great' spiritual leader idris and tries to make Lin act as the reader, asking probing questions yet all he can think of is 'so how do you know we're all attached to a great big tendency field?'. It's ridiculous and even more offensive when characters start saying how genius this idiot is for coming up with it all, Karla listens and says 'it's like being in smartass heaven'! It's such a load of rubbish! He even uses some dopey character to help explain the teachings too, so the reader can easily follow what it all means! There's then a whole part about how Lin is a writer and everything he does is 'writer things' and then a Russian guy turns up who is also a writer (like seriously?!) so the author can show off about how much he knows about Russian literature. Then everyone it turns out can't talk normally and they all just start saying clever aphorisms to each other like 'Karla is the horse and your job is to ride it'. Then they all become detectives and it's just awful as who is really a detective in real life unless they are in the police? Then all the dramatic things that the main character kept building up, saying things like, 'if I'd known then how terrible it would get', don't actually happen and instead they just come out with more clever things to say. Overall there are some nice descriptions of India, although I think it's a bit of a rose tinted view that all poor people are really kind and generous and it's so great living in a slum. Some of the ideas of characters are interesting even if they have no substance, like Madam Zou. I read this hoping for Shantaram with less philosophy but instead I got philosophy with less Shantaram. I would say there is a good book somewhere in the 900 pages but the characters are so one dimensional I don't know if there is. Blue Hijab marriage counselling wtf?!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sambasivan

    Having read Shantaram over a decade back, I was waiting for this sequel for quite a long time. And it has truly been worth the wait. The only other author who had a gap of over five years but came back with a bang was Greg Iles. Linbaba aka Shantaram continues from where he left and covers the next few years in the same alleys of South Mumbai - the relentless and murky underworld that is scarcely visible to the ordinary dweller of Mumbai. One gets a real close view of the violent thinking as wel Having read Shantaram over a decade back, I was waiting for this sequel for quite a long time. And it has truly been worth the wait. The only other author who had a gap of over five years but came back with a bang was Greg Iles. Linbaba aka Shantaram continues from where he left and covers the next few years in the same alleys of South Mumbai - the relentless and murky underworld that is scarcely visible to the ordinary dweller of Mumbai. One gets a real close view of the violent thinking as well as the day to day lives, the perennial gang wars, the drug addiction, shady deals, black market transactions et al, and what makes this an exclusive read is the authenticity an Australian writer has been able to achieve. There are various struggles of the author, both internal as well as external, his exposition of the philosophy of love and the futility of hate, greed and violence - all of which are so inextricably linked with the narrative that one lives these lives alongside the author. That in itself is a monumental achievement. A masterpiece without doubt!!!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anupam Das

    I picked up The Mountain Shadow (TMS) with a lot of hope, because I loved Shantaram. But an artist can only ever have one masterpiece. And I think Greg Roberts had already made his, before he started writing TMS. TMS has the following problems: It’s very long, without needing to be. It’s got some extremely weird philosophy about the meaning of life and complexity and love and the nature of evil. The problem with random philosophizing in a novel is that there will be no academic debate over it, and I picked up The Mountain Shadow (TMS) with a lot of hope, because I loved Shantaram. But an artist can only ever have one masterpiece. And I think Greg Roberts had already made his, before he started writing TMS. TMS has the following problems: It’s very long, without needing to be. It’s got some extremely weird philosophy about the meaning of life and complexity and love and the nature of evil. The problem with random philosophizing in a novel is that there will be no academic debate over it, and philosophy, when not debated on, is always the weaker for it. An example: “…Will, our human will, is in a constant state of superposition, interacting with, and not interacting with the spiritual tendency field, like the photons of light from which it’s made”. It does not have the beautiful human moments that Shantaram did. Shantaram’s best parts are when Roberts describes life in the slum. I’m not saying TMS should have had slum life. Obviously, it couldn’t have. But the lack of those beautiful human stories makes TMS shallow.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    I cannot wait for this book to come out. I'm thinking it won't be released by the end of the month though. . ..

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ralph Blackburn

    The Mountain Shadow by Gregory David Roberts- From an excerpt of this novel, I was able to determine that this sequel to Robert's first novel, Shantaran, is every bit as enjoyable. It is easy to get right into this story, with its colorful poetic prose and exotic backgrounds. Once again we find Lin(Lindsay) on the streets and backwaters of Bombay(Mumbai), associating with drug dealers, bandits and thieves. The story is told in such a dizzying style, like a stream-of-consciousness narrative that The Mountain Shadow by Gregory David Roberts- From an excerpt of this novel, I was able to determine that this sequel to Robert's first novel, Shantaran, is every bit as enjoyable. It is easy to get right into this story, with its colorful poetic prose and exotic backgrounds. Once again we find Lin(Lindsay) on the streets and backwaters of Bombay(Mumbai), associating with drug dealers, bandits and thieves. The story is told in such a dizzying style, like a stream-of-consciousness narrative that leaves you breathless at times, or turning back to make sure you understand what just happened. The characters- Naveen, the half-Indian, half-Irish Private Detective, Vikram, the old friend, Concannon, the ex-UVF mercenary, all are carefully splashed about the pages as they come to life. I'm looking forward to reading the complete novel when it comes out in October and can heartily recommend it to anyone who enjoys intrigue and adventure or just a good read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    I really don't know how this book got such a high rating. After the brilliance of Shantaram of which I was a huge fan I just felt pissed off by this book. The schmaltzy romantic crap with the secretive Karla that kept beaming her "queens" at him, to the lame philosophical ramblings that took up way too much of this book to the unbelievable doings and words of the characters. C'mon. Is a character like Madame Zhou even remotely realistic? It truly came across like a different author. Maybe becaus I really don't know how this book got such a high rating. After the brilliance of Shantaram of which I was a huge fan I just felt pissed off by this book. The schmaltzy romantic crap with the secretive Karla that kept beaming her "queens" at him, to the lame philosophical ramblings that took up way too much of this book to the unbelievable doings and words of the characters. C'mon. Is a character like Madame Zhou even remotely realistic? It truly came across like a different author. Maybe because the bulk of Shantaram was based on real happenings and this one pure fiction did it come across as just a book written through ego maybe? Nothing here was even remotely believable. I felt as though I was reading a script for Neighbours. I ended up skipping huge chunks of this book. Skimming more than I ever have. Where the hell was the editor???? There was way to much book for the story it contained. I knew it would have a hard time living up to Shantaram but I didn't have any idea just how badly this would bomb. In my eyes anyway. I originally gave this two stars but the more I think about I want to take one away.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aish

    This book doesn't come close to Shantaram. I knew when I heard there was a sequel that it could go either way. Unfortunately, I wish I hadn't picked it up. The writing feels a lot shallower and lacking in substance compared to the first novel, as does the plot line and the characters. The philosophy in Shantaram added to the story, but in the Mountain Shadow, I felt that it was put there for the sake of it. I read the entire book (I hate leaving a book unfinished) and while I didn't hate it, I d This book doesn't come close to Shantaram. I knew when I heard there was a sequel that it could go either way. Unfortunately, I wish I hadn't picked it up. The writing feels a lot shallower and lacking in substance compared to the first novel, as does the plot line and the characters. The philosophy in Shantaram added to the story, but in the Mountain Shadow, I felt that it was put there for the sake of it. I read the entire book (I hate leaving a book unfinished) and while I didn't hate it, I didn't particularly enjoy it. My speculation is that Shantaram contained so much more of Roberts' heart, and used a lot more of his truth, than the Mountain Shadow. I didn't find myself wrapped in the Mountain Shadow's story, or wanting to turn the pages like I had in Shantaram, and when characters were lost, I didn't feel for them like I had with the prequel. The dialogue didn't feel as genuine, and neither did the relationships.

  16. 4 out of 5

    S.Ach

    Are you serious when you say that the same person who authored the brilliant "Shantaram" also wrote this drivel of a book? What a 900+ pages of drag constituting trite unpleasant unnecessary conversations between uninteresting characters ! Such a letdown!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Adrian White

    Great fun - particularly all the mafia gangster shit, not so much the attempts at some deep philosophy of life.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed Morsi

    I was first given Shantaram on a flight to Singapore back in 2009. I went through the almost thousand pages with excitement, even though I skimmed parts of many chapters, incredibly detailed and drawn out explanations of everything from marble walls to characters. But I still loved it. The mountain shadow I found was interesting but could have been drastically shortened. Many of the dialogues left me feeling like I was a reader without a brain, explaining each and every reason for phrases that we I was first given Shantaram on a flight to Singapore back in 2009. I went through the almost thousand pages with excitement, even though I skimmed parts of many chapters, incredibly detailed and drawn out explanations of everything from marble walls to characters. But I still loved it. The mountain shadow I found was interesting but could have been drastically shortened. Many of the dialogues left me feeling like I was a reader without a brain, explaining each and every reason for phrases that were self explanatory. In fact I felt I was reading a screen play at times. GDR, you have incredible stories to tell but why bore the reader so much? The story is there but it took almost ten chapters before anything really interesting was happening. The dialogues were long and at times absolutely pointless. 3.5 stars. 4 because respect for being able to almost match the number of pages of war and peace. There was a unique voice in Shantaram and this is (without doubt) continuing that story, which was exceptional. But Lin's voice has changed and the story is not a continuation, more of a contemplation. I love philosophy and I love there is a message and heart and thinking behind the words. That the man isn't just a mindless man and that he investigates his inner conflicts but seriously, it could have been said with fewer words and the story itself says it without having to spell it out. I am an author myself and with a life experience that I can draw from in writing. We're all different human beings. I love the short story format, I love having the reader THINK and FEEL. I also know how much work writing takes, how much soul and heart and for that the 4 remains. I'm thankful and grateful you've shared it. So kudos for another incredible story. Sadly not close to the world Shantaram took us to.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    "A sequel to SHANTARAM but equally a standalone novel, The Mountain Shadow follows Lin on further adventures in shadowy worlds and cultures. It is a novel about seeking identity, love, meaning, purpose, home, even the secret of life...As the story begins, Lin has found happiness and love, but when he gets a call that a friend is in danger, he has no choice but to go to his aid, even though he knows that leaving this paradise puts everything at risk, including himself and his lover. When he arriv "A sequel to SHANTARAM but equally a standalone novel, The Mountain Shadow follows Lin on further adventures in shadowy worlds and cultures. It is a novel about seeking identity, love, meaning, purpose, home, even the secret of life...As the story begins, Lin has found happiness and love, but when he gets a call that a friend is in danger, he has no choice but to go to his aid, even though he knows that leaving this paradise puts everything at risk, including himself and his lover. When he arrives to fulfil his obligation, he enters a room with eight men: each will play a significant role in the story that follows. One will become a friend, one an enemy, one will try to kill Lin, one will be killed by another...Some characters appeared in Shantaram, others are introduced for the first time, including Navida Der, a half-Irish, half-Indian detective, and Edras, a philosopher with fundamental beliefs. Gregory David Roberts is an extraordinarily gifted writer whose stories are richly rewarding on many levels. Like Shantaram, The Mountain Shadow will be a compelling adventure story with a profound message at its heart."

  20. 4 out of 5

    Katie.g

    Gregory David Roberts takes us back to Bombay in the sequel to Shantaram. The Mountain Shadow is more about Lin trying to find his way in a changing Bombay. It has lost a little of the magic of the first novel but still highly enjoyable. I loved the cast of new characters such as Naveen, Diva and Idriss, a sage on the mountain. Lin's journey is so interesting that you don't really care where it takes you as long as he keeps sharing his vibrant world with us. I hope that there is another book yet t Gregory David Roberts takes us back to Bombay in the sequel to Shantaram. The Mountain Shadow is more about Lin trying to find his way in a changing Bombay. It has lost a little of the magic of the first novel but still highly enjoyable. I loved the cast of new characters such as Naveen, Diva and Idriss, a sage on the mountain. Lin's journey is so interesting that you don't really care where it takes you as long as he keeps sharing his vibrant world with us. I hope that there is another book yet to come, but if not, the story ended in a great place. Definitely worth the read if you've read Shantaram!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Priyadarshni Palanikumar

    What more is left to be said? It's brilliant. Not the kind of brilliance that you'd expect in a gripping story. The kind you can expect in a compelling BOOK. I know that my statement seems contradictory. But, here's an explanation. The books in this series are not stories. I never read the stories in them. What concerned me was the message. The presence of a Soul within it. It speaks of Love, Life, and Destiny. It's not all story. A story can be in anything, say, a picture in a frame or a view ou What more is left to be said? It's brilliant. Not the kind of brilliance that you'd expect in a gripping story. The kind you can expect in a compelling BOOK. I know that my statement seems contradictory. But, here's an explanation. The books in this series are not stories. I never read the stories in them. What concerned me was the message. The presence of a Soul within it. It speaks of Love, Life, and Destiny. It's not all story. A story can be in anything, say, a picture in a frame or a view outside your window. But, a book cannot be in anything else. Read it for the book, the friend, the teacher in it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin baschinsky

    Just could not get into it Maybe too much time elapsed from the 1st book Put it down

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mark Patton

    I didn't much care for Shantaram, so I should have been ready for the sequel, but I had hopes. Lame, lame, lame. I'm not even sure where to begin. The main character, aloof, armed, and violent, manages to befriend a strange assortment of friends, sort of friends, anyway, since even he refers to these oddballs as his "characters." His group is sort of like a bad sit-com arrangement with himself and his sometimes girlfriend the parental figures lording over an assortment of misfits. Virtually ever I didn't much care for Shantaram, so I should have been ready for the sequel, but I had hopes. Lame, lame, lame. I'm not even sure where to begin. The main character, aloof, armed, and violent, manages to befriend a strange assortment of friends, sort of friends, anyway, since even he refers to these oddballs as his "characters." His group is sort of like a bad sit-com arrangement with himself and his sometimes girlfriend the parental figures lording over an assortment of misfits. Virtually everything about the main character is supposed to be impressively cool, yet the denouement of the story shows that most of this macho bravado shit was really playing out in his mind while his Karla really was running the show. In addition, the novel really has no plot, no story arc: things happen for no real reason, and he reacts, and then something else happens (hard to write this without spoiler examples). Without wholly bizarre coincidences, the novel would fall apart. Consider, one non-spoiler example: the main character is looking for another of the characters, but because for some reason, he refuses to use the telephone (one of his many quirks that we are supposed to find curious and endearing), he simply cruises the streets of Mumbai until he finds her. What? I could cruise the streets of my town of 10,000 for weeks and not run across a particular person, yet this sort of thing happens constantly. I would swear that Mumbai must be about ten blocks in size with a population of a hundred people the way that these folks constantly run into each other at just the right moment. Most chapters end or begin with some heavy sounding, quasi-philosophical nonsense that sounds like something from the '60s and which is often unrelated to the plot, what little of it there is. Let's see, anything else? Oh, yes, the motorcycle. Our hero regularly when depressed simply has "to ride," talking to his motorcycle at times. I have no problem with maintenance, but the motorcycle whisperer thing goes too far. At one point when he is unable to get the bike started for no clear reason, his girlfriend caresses it and talks soothingly to it, and off we go -- unintended hilarious sexual undertones.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ed Maher

    If you loved Shantaram like I did, you need not waste your time with this wretched sequel. The Mountain Shadow sucks. A book that's 90 per cent dialogue should be a major indication that something is amiss. It's not a novel; it's a 900 page screenplay that no studio on earth would pay a penny for. A complete deception. The author is obviously back on hard drugs and needed to produce something to sustain his habit. What a shame.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alison

    I enjoyed Shantaram, well I think I did .... I have fond memories of reading it. This sequel, however, is a bit of a let down. Nothing actually happens, unless you like a bit of male bravado. I despise Karla and her "queens" and how Lin is so soppy about her. If you liked Shanatram don't read this. It will rot your brain!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rider of the Blue

    Although I like "Shantaram", I think that "The Mountain Shadow" is much better.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tripfiction

    Novel set in Bombay (“Bombay, even now, is a city of words”) The Mountain Shadow is the much anticipated follow up to Shantaram, appearing more than 10 years after Shantaram found wide acclaim. It is a tome – nay, a mountain of a book – at well over 800 pages, and it will inevitably invite comparison with the latter, as Lin, once again, is the main protagonist, together with some of the characters from the first book. There is still Leopold, the real life café in Colaba (its strapline: “getting b Novel set in Bombay (“Bombay, even now, is a city of words”) The Mountain Shadow is the much anticipated follow up to Shantaram, appearing more than 10 years after Shantaram found wide acclaim. It is a tome – nay, a mountain of a book – at well over 800 pages, and it will inevitably invite comparison with the latter, as Lin, once again, is the main protagonist, together with some of the characters from the first book. There is still Leopold, the real life café in Colaba (its strapline: “getting better with age”) where many of the characters still hang out. Lin is now working for the Sanjay Corporation creating forged passports. Bombay is full of mafia style operations, all vying for business and power. Lin has one final task to fulfil for his old boss Khaderbhai, down in Sri Lanka and thereafter he will be a free man to pick and choose his own path. But with Lin’s history of violent encounters is this purely a pipe-dream? In the first book Karla with the green eyes was Lin’s huge love but when the story picks up in The Mountain Shadow, he is living with Lisa. However the shadow of Karla hangs heavy over his new couple relationship and the cracks begin to undermine any chance of something longer term. The book is populated by a mêlée of exotic Moulin Rouge-style characters – Madame Zhou and her henchmen from Shantaram, for example, are still around. Lin is still trying to make good but he grapples with his irascible temperament and finds himself in many a scrape, caught up in the violence perpetrated by The Cycle Killers and general gangland warfare. At times, it certainly brings the Dan Dare out in him. There are many subplots and encounters going on to keep the entertainment flowing – even a nod to love detectives, as expounded in the great novel The Case of the Love Commandos by Tarquin Hall, in that Naveen sets up an agency for lost loves. Overall a rich stage of characters, settings and action. So, does this sequel work? The lyrical quality of the first book is still evident in parts and the prose can still assault the senses: “The allure of the perfume gave way to the sugared sense of firni, rabri, and falooda sweet shops. The glittering splendor of bangle and bracelet shops surrendered to the gorgeous fractals of Persian carpets..” The author does indeed know how to write a story, evidenced by the success of Shantaram. But in this book the construct slides across the pages, delving into the dark souls of the gangs, rather like a Hieronymus Bosch painting, then rising to quasi-philosophical heights, Idriss atop his mountain holding court with Lin and Karla in attendance. The narrative relies heavily on dialogue between the characters to move the story forward – perhaps 70% of the book, at a guess, is speech, which actually can be quite a labour to read – and tedious. It is also punctuated by innumerable quotes and aphorisms that left me scratching my head: make what you will of “Fear is a wolf on a chain, only dangerous when you set it free” or “living alone as a freelancer in Bombay…is a cold river of truth” and “My happiness was a cheetah, running free in a savannah of solace” and “Happiness abhors a vacuum” to “Love and faith, like hope and justice, are constellations in the infinity of truth”. Oh, and “crime is feudal”, indeed; but you no doubt get the drift. Ultimately there is a fair amount of drug use throughout the book, but the chemical rides are clearly much more entertaining and enthralling to the characters themselves than they are to the reader looking in. Shantaram was a tightly woven page turner. The Mountain Shadow is a loosely woven series of chapters (91 in all) that sadly freeloads on the success of the first novel. It is apparently the second book in a trilogy, so here’s hoping that there is a return to form in book number 3.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rama

    Note: I read the author's own edition, available at themountainshadowebook.com. Lin is back, and better than ever, though that isn't saying much: he still finds himself working for the Bombay mob, still fighting (literally) to survive, still trying to figure out a way to lift himself out of a bad situation. And he's still missing Karla, though I won't give any spoilers there. Like Shantaram, The Mountain Shadow is a beast - almost 900 pages for the novel, with another 100 for deleted scenes and Note: I read the author's own edition, available at themountainshadowebook.com. Lin is back, and better than ever, though that isn't saying much: he still finds himself working for the Bombay mob, still fighting (literally) to survive, still trying to figure out a way to lift himself out of a bad situation. And he's still missing Karla, though I won't give any spoilers there. Like Shantaram, The Mountain Shadow is a beast - almost 900 pages for the novel, with another 100 for deleted scenes and other bonus material in the author's edition - but unlike Shantaram, there are no slow parts, no discursions that can tire you out. The action is much more focused, and the prose is so polished it glitters. You'll be highlighting multiple sentences each chapter; the author has lived a big life and thought deeply about it, and there are tons of observations and comments that really resonate. The biggest surprise is how funny this installment is; sometimes, I wished that a little more of the undercurrent of sorrow and regret from the first book had made it into this one. But Lin has moved on with his life, and I'm glad he isn't back on heroin and living in the slum. If you haven't read Shantaram, it's probably better to start there, though newcomers have all the information they need to know what's going on. But if you've read the first book, you'll know stuff about the characters and their relationships that gives greater dimension to the story. I'd say I can't wait for the next book, but since that might be another 10 years....well, maybe I'll reread Shantaram!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    Terrible, absolutely rubbish. I've never been more disappointed in my life. 5 years of waiting for this!? This book is nothing at all like Shantaram. It's way too superficial and I didn't feel any connection towards the characters. All Lin seemed to do was fight, boast and let us know how in love with his bike he was.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ksenia

    Cheap and pretentious philosophy of the new age / marijuana revelation kind. The book would only benefit from cutting it out. No Shantaram this one.

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