Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Mountain Shadow - David Gregory Roberts

Its the sequel to the legend of a book - Shantaram. Shantaram is a super duper book with a lot of spirituality, philosophy and referable quotes. It dealt with a criminal who ran from a prison in Australia and settled in the slums of Bombay to make a living by selling drugs and waging gang wars.

The sequel too deals with the same man - Lin and his girl friend Karla. Plot is also a continuation of the Shantaram story. There is Abdullah too who reappeared after being thought as dead for long. Lisa is married to a different man - someone famous in media industry. Lin has a bisexual girlfriend who is later murdered by Lin's enemies. Lin and karla are very much in love with each other - to the extent where they are married to different people but still think of each other's safety 24/7.

Tariq - only heir of Khader Khan dies after his house is set on fire. Gang wars become the main scene in the book. Lin leaves the gang this time as against taking significant role in Shantaram. Karla divorces her husband and goes to live in an ashram of Idriss along with Lin. There is a lot of unwanted philosophy here. Adbullah dies again due to an ambush between the police and the terrorists at Khaleed Ansari's Ashram.

Vikram, Didier, Jonny Cigar, Kavita Singh, Lettie all continue with their roles as in Shantaram even in this book. Leopold cafe holds the important stage to the plot from beginning to the end.

There are a lot of other threads like some huge family looking for a treasure in their house, a goonda police, zodiac georges, Lin's friend befriending and safeguarding a daughter of a rich Mumbaikar, a drugged young girl whose boyfriend committed suicide, Madam Zhou, a disguised waiter from Srilanka who joins Lin in Mumbai, a woman in blue hijab etc.. These stories take the intensity away from Karla-Lin main stage.

While reading, at times you feel like lost as the author seems to confuse as to what he wants to convey. There is ambiguity in many areas of philosophies and the lines are not very appealing. Idriss gyaan is not easily understandable. As such the story drifts with no conclusion or you feel there is no point the author wants to make. As a whole I was a bit disappointed as I started the book with Shantaram in mind.

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