The Squirrel
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Shantaram

5/5, 5 from 2 reviews
Abe Books ISBN:
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Australian convict and ex-junky escapes prison and flees to India.
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  1. usedtocare
    Shantaram
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Apr 29, 2018
    I read 3 or 4 books a week. I write and I have been published.
    I was given this 1000 page magnum opus a few years ago from a professor of English Literature I was fucking.
    We broke up shortly after and somehow this hardcover brick escaped the ensuing purge.
    I am no longer young and there are too many celebrated authors for me to waste my time on first efforts of one hit wonders.
    I moved 3 times and this brick seemed to cling to me despite my lack of interest in cracking the hymen of its spine.
    A few years later, I found myself on the Trans-Siberian Express from Beijing to Moscow and was forced to use my light (pre-kindle) portable library as toilet paper.
    By the time we reached Irkutsk I had nothing left to read or to wipe with.
    I traded an Ipod for this book knowing it would get me through 4 days of birch trees on the Siberian steppe..
    I did not care which purpose it would ultimately serve.
    If you felt Oprah's judgement influenced your opinion of A Million Little Pieces stop reading and get the hell out of my review.
    I don't give one unwiped shit if this story is fiction or not.
    This book is not high art.
    Its literary structure is a disaster.
    It meanders so discretely through first drafts that should have been at least 3 separate attempts at a book.
    HOWEVER, if you want to embark on a journey that will haunt you for the rest of your life...
    READ THIS BOOK.
    150 pages in, I was so deeply attached to the characters that I would have sold my body for 10 grams of loperimide or a wheel of brie.
    Its almost impossible to share the impact of this book with anyone who has not read it.
    If you have not read it, put down whatever is on your bedside table and let your inner Walter Mitty escape.
    If you are not taking sick days to finish it then embrace your mediocrity.
    You don't deserve this book.
    I have nothing further to offer than the excellent initial review provided.
    READ THIS BOOK and PM me your scorn if you disagree with my bait.
    2 members found this helpful.
  2. The Squirrel
    One of the greatest reads of all time
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Apr 24, 2018
    Pros
    • + Great quotes, excellent prose, fantastically interesting, beautifully descriptive,
    Cons
    • - Only 944 pages, not as true as you are first led to believe
    This book is said to be loosely based on a true story, and as such has come under much scrutiny for being more fiction than the author initially led on..

    Though it doesn't deal exclusively with the main character's drug use, there is a chapter or two which provides a very vivid depiction of his heron use and subsequent withdrawal. All in all though this remains one of the greatest reads for me to date, fiction or not it is exceptionally well written and contains a wealth of quotes for you to ponder over in the years to come, well worth a read.
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