The Mountain Shadow

The Mountain Shadow

eBook - 2015
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Shantaram introduced millions of readers to a cast of unforgettable characters 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, the new mafia leadership has become entangled in increasingly violent and dangerous intrigues, and a fabled holy man challenges everything that Lin thought he'd learned about love and life. But Lin can't leave the Island City: Karla, and a fatal promise, won't let him go.
Publisher: New York : Zola Books, 2015
Branch Call Number: Overdrive
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc
ISBN: 9781939126238


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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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