Author: Gregory David Roberts
Webpage: Gregory David Roberts
Narrator: Humphrey Bower
Webpage: Humphrey Bower
Publisher: Hachette Audio UK
Website: Hachette Audio UK
Genre: Action / Adventure
Listening Length: 43h (943 pages)
Synopsis: Gregory David Roberts, an armed robber and heroin addict, escapes from an Australian prison to India. There he lives, briefly as a foreign tourist, and falls in love with a beautiful, enigmatic woman, until he is the forced to move into a Bombay slum. He becomes involves with the Bombay mafia and his desire for freedom is compromised by the demands of the mafia boss and time spent in an Indian jail.
Excellent! This book was recommended to me, but when I saw the size of the tome, I must admit, I was put off. I am a slow reader and the size, in excess of 900 pages, would have taken me months to get through. Fortunately, I was saved by audio books. It still took me a number of weeks, but it was worth it. This is a brilliant novel, full of thoughtful narrative and a plot that sweeps widely through the slums, tourist centres, countryside and dark underbelly of India, into the wild landscape of Afghanistan and (via memories) to the brutal prison system of Australia. The characterisation is wonderful, greatly helped by the wonderful narration by Humphrey Bower, in particular, the different voices he gives the different characters. The dialogue is strong and helps to develop both the personalities of the players and the plot lines. One thing I was unable to do was visualise the setting and the landscapes, but I think this was more to do with the fact that I was listening to, rather than reading the book, because the description was there and very poetic in places. This is a highly recommend book.
What others thought at the time of writing
Amazon.co.uk: 1,343 reviews, of which 92% were 3* or more, giving an average of 4.6*
Amazon.com: 3,115 reviews, of which 94% were 3* or more, giving an average of 4.6*
Goodreads.com: 121,644 ratings (10,877 reviews), with 96% of 3* or more, giving an average of 4.3*
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