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The Mountain Shadow - Gregory David Roberts

Posted on 22nd September 2015 by Rachel Johns
A review of the breathtaking sequel to Shantaram by bookseller Rachel Johns, who received an advance copy.

Shantaram is such an epic tale, loved by swathes of readers. On receiving my advance copy of the sequel, I wondered just how Gregory David Roberts was going to match it...

But match it he most definitely has.

‘The Mountain Shadow’ returns us to Lin’s Bombay in a heartbeat. Although it is set just two years later, this drug-charged world of violent mafia dons and gang rivalry has changed beyond recognition.  His beloved Karla is now married to a slippery media tycoon.  Kandarbhai, founder of the mafia group he belongs to, who had a pivotal role in his previous life, is dead - and it is here that the author’s observations of human relationships are astonishing. Lin is described as “the wounded son with two fathers – the wounded one he was born with and the one his wounded heart chose”

Working as a passport counterfeiter, Lin creates new lives for Iranian professors, Nigerian, Afghan his involvement in organised crime.  When he returns from a brief smuggling trip to Goa, he realises that most of the friends that bound Shantaram are now dead, allegiances and old alliances are now broken and Lin must find his own freedom from now on if he is to extricate himself somehow … 

Although the dialogue between gang members feels slightly more Hollywood than reality, the rest of Roberts' writing is so beautifully fluid and descriptive, it takes just seconds to immerse yourself completely back into this crazy mixed up world where not even your closest friends can be trusted and your lover isn’t your true love.

The book stands on its own, but reminds me constantly of elements of The Beach, Fight Club, and Trainspotting. However, this isn’t just another ‘gangs and violence’ novel - it is about trying to change your life's direction and deciding who goes with you when you are at the crossroads.' 

It is a glorious tale!

Pre-order your copy of The Mountain Shadow now - it is realeased on the 13th October.


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