The Mountain Shadow

The Mountain Shadow

Book - 2015
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The sequel to Shantaram continues Australian fugitive Lin's search for love and faith in a Bombay that has come under the rule of a new generation of mafia dons and where Lin becomes trapped by his married soulmate and an increasingly violent mission.
Publisher: New York : Grove Press, ©2015
ISBN: 9780802124456
Branch Call Number: ROBERTS
Characteristics: 873 pages : color maps ; 24 cm


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Jan 10, 2016

This is a sequel to the highly successful book Shantaram. At over 900 pages I found it a little long and found myself skimming some pages. Roberts generally started his chapters with some good description that draws the reader in and ended them with some pseudo philosophical reflections that sometimes came across as sappy and really not that deep.
I do give the book credit for immersing the reader into an otherwise foreign world in India. In Roberts's hands India comes off as a place where extreme violence and corruption can just as easily be found as a spiritual awakening.
The relationship between the protagonist Lin and Karla, his love interest was the best part of the book for me.
Lin is Roberts's literary alter ego. He's a former criminal, but I would like Lin handled more objectively. It seems that Lin is kind of flawless, even though he gets into some major trouble. I'd prefer a warts and all characterization than a kind of idealized version of Roberts's own self.
This book is crammed with dialogue and not as much observation and descriptions as Shantaram, and I think it suffers for it. I liked that Shantram drew us deeper and deeper into the details of its characters and landscape. At times this simply reads like a one note crime novel with some armchair philosophy and at times grating dialogue. I give it 3.5 stars for its ambition, but for a book that took over 12 years to write, I don't know if it totally delivers on the promise of Shantaram.

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