Last week I curled up with Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, a book Tim Ferriss mentioned many times on his podcast. I didn’t know anything about the book when I found it in the fiction stacks of my local library. Shantaram is a story of prison breaks, thievery, acceptance, kindness, warmth, loss, lost, love, treachery, and war. It is a book about being free.

Loosly based on events in the author’s life, Roberts' vivid descriptions of India, her life and culture, are the hearth of the book. The warmth emanates from Bombay’s smiles, Sunder village’s sustenance, the community of the zhopadpatti hutments, and Leopold’s - Bombay’s cousin to Rick’s Cafe Americain.

Here are some quotes I collected while reading the book.

Every day, when you’re on the run, is the whole of your life.

and happy always has it good appetites.

I want everything …​ the real trick in life is to want nothing, and to succeed in getting it.

In your country, Lin, don’t you know where the river stops?

The truth is there are no good men, or bad men …​ it is the deeds that have goodness or badness in them.

Prisons are temples where devils learn to prey. Every time we turn the key we twist the knife of fate, because every time we cage a man we close him in with hate.

Every virtuous act is inspired by a dark secret.

If we envy someone for all the right reasons, we’re halfway to wisdom.

Here is my sketchnote for the book, based mainly on these quotes and the theme of freedom.


December 14, 2015
Tags: booknote cuwab