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Reader recommendation: Shantaram

Monitor readers share their favorite book picks.

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I’m just starting a reread of Gregory David Roberts’s only novel, Shantaram, and am amazed to still bump into people not introduced to it or his spectacular writing. So good, in fact, that I’ve marveled at (questioned?) how an ex-heroin addict and fugitive from a 19-year Australian prison sentence could acquire the skills to keep readers hanging on every phrase and studying every sentence in this 930-page magnum opus. One can almost forgo world travel and learn about India and class-based mass society by devoting some attention to this very special read.