Sunday, 30 November 2008
I never used to read books. I don't know why? In my younger days I was too busy playing sport or climbing trees. Then I got to High School and they made us read set books and the teachers set exams on the books and asked questions like 'What is the deeper meaning of a man hiking through a sweltering jungle with a block of ice?'. That just totally put me off books.
Then I started reading autobiographies/biographies and got inspired by the real-life stories and experiences and how those experiences shaped people's lives. And through reading these type of books I realised just how much I had missed out by not reading and how my spelling, vocabulary and general knowledge really did improve with every book. (So the teachers/mom/dad were right!)
Anyway, for my birthday, the girlfriend bought me a book. Shantaram. It's quite simply 933 pages of brilliance. It's by far THE best book I've ever read. Based in Bombay (now Mumbai) it makes me want to visit the city and its inhabitants. Even with the horrible terrorist attacks that have recently taken place, I'd still go tomorrow if I had the money. Watching the news reports on the attacks, it feels like I know every street and building they're talking about, as if I'd already visited.
Gregory David Roberts has the ability to make slum life seem appealing. And it's easy to forget that he's a convict on the run, at times wishing I could meet someone like him on the street.
Clearly I don't have the right to be a book critic but take my word for it. His book will change the way you see and hear the world. Whatever you do, don't Google or YouTube his or the books name. It will ruin the story. Just buy the book NOW, you won't be able to put it down.