The Mountain Shadowby Gregory David Roberts
In this highly anticipated sequel to the contemporary classic Shantaram, Lin continues to search for love and faith in a changing Bombay.
Gregory David Robert’s epic debut novel, Shantaram, introduced millions of readers to the heart of India and the hidden heart of Bombay through Lin, an Australian fugitive, working as a passport forger for a branch of the Bombay mafia. In The Mountain Shadow, the long-awaited sequel, Lin must find his way in a Bombay run by a different generation of mafia dons playing by a different set of rules.
It has been two years since the events in Shantaram and since Lin lost two people he had come to love: his father figure, Khaderbhai, and his soul mate, Karla, married to a handsome Indian media tycoon. Lin returns from a smuggling trip to a city that seems to have changed too much, too soon. Many of his old friends are long gone, his girlfriend—the radiant American Lisa—is spending more and more time with her partners at her art gallery, and the new mafia leadership has become entangled in increasingly violent and dangerous intrigues. But Lin can’t leave the Island City: Karla, and one final mission, won’t let him go.
A love story of hope, humor, and the philosophical quest for the wisdom of our common humanity, The Mountain Shadow is a sublime, all-consuming novel of our extraordinary human struggle for love and faith, truth and redemption.
“Reconnect with Lin, the hero of [Shantaram] . . . and re-immerse yourself in his vibrant and captivating world of love, friendship, and anger. Shantaram is, in the minds of many, a classic, and it seems certain that Roberts’ latest will take readers on an adventure just as epic in scope and feeling.” —Bookish
“Roberts’s sequel to Shantaram defies easy categorization, one of its many charms. The dashing here Lin, an Australian fugitive, is worldly, two-fisted, rides a motorcycle, has a social conscience, quotes great writers and, as the book opens, struggles bravely to get over his lost love, Karla . . . He narrates his interactions with many larger-than-life street types in an energetic and often salty first person . . . . Roberts keeps the action moving and the narrative engaging . . . This series of robust, retro capers with contemporary trappings will have readers feverishly turning the pages.” —Publishers Weekly
“Shantaram was consummate traveler-chic, a must-have in any guest house for backpackers, from Dublin to Delhi . . . Roberts is brilliant at creating a sense of menace and projecting the constant tension of the escaped convict, living on his wits, waiting to be murdered or betrayed at any moment. Shantaram is the kind of chap who hides extra knives at the end of his bed, always needs three escape routes and adores his motorbike as much as his girlfriend. But crucially, he is also a man who loves and understands India . . . Lin, the hard man, is full of compassion for those with nothing and writes about their lives with tenderness and joy . . . If you have ever set off with your backpack, free as a bird, you will enjoy this book. As nostalgic as a chai in a Paharganj guesthouse or a trek in the Himalayas, it is nearly 900 pages of pure escape.” —Sunday Times (UK)
“The first book was a hit, and this volume will follow suit.” —David Keymer, Library Journal
“Shantaram was an unlikely publishing sensation . . . the book possessed a grittiness and vividness that helped Roberts sell four million copies around the world . . . The book has gone on to occupy a distinctive–and deserving–place in an emerging genre of Bombay noir . . . The Mountain Shadow . . . is likely to please many Shantaram fans . . . The book glistens with the shine of firsthand experience . . . Few authors can write as authoritatively about the anguish of confinement, the terror of a prison riot or the psychology of rotten cops . . . He has undeniably created a genuine universe, a teeming underbelly of larger-than-life characters with their misbegotten schemes and drifting lives.” —Akash Kapur, New York Times Book Review
A Southern California Independent Booksellers Association Bestseller
A Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Bestseller
We walked on into an even darker lane, turned the last corner in the maze and emerged in a wide, open, sunlit courtyard.
I’d heard of it before: it was called Das Rasta, or Ten Ways.
Residential buildings and the many lanes that serviced them surrounded the roughly circular courtyard, open to the sky. It was what you would call a private public square.
Residents leaned from windows, looking down into the action of Das Rasta. Some lowered or pulled up baskets of vegetables, cooked food, and other goods. Many more people entered and left the courtyard through the wheel-spoke alleys giving access to the wider world beyond.
In the centre of the courtyard, sacks of grain and pulses had been heaped together in a pile, twice the height of a man. The sacks formed a small pyramid of thrones, and seated on them, at various levels, were the Cycle Killers.
In the topmost improvised throne was Ishmeet, the leader. His long hair had never been cut, according to Sikh religious tradition, but his observance of Sikhism stopped there.
His hair wasn’t held in a neat turban, but fell freely to his narrow waist. His thin, bare arms were covered in tattoos, depicting his many murders and gang war victories. There were two long, curved knives in decorated scabbards tucked into the belt of his tight jeans.
“Salaam aleikum,” he said lazily, greeting Abdullah as we approached his tower of thrones.
“Wa aleikum salaam,” Abdullah replied.
“Who’s the dog-face you’ve got with you?” A man sitting close to Ishmeet asked in Hindi, turning his head to spit noisily.
“His name is Lin,” Abdullah replied calmly. “They also call him Shantaram.”