Born in 1952 in Melbourne Australia, Gregory David Roberts has led a thrilling life that would not look out of place inside a John Grisham novel.
After a painful divorce and losing custody of his daughter Roberts turned to drugs to numb the pain. He says that his heroin usage did completely the opposite and only amplified every problem by creating an even bigger problem, where was he going to get the money to sustain his habit?
Roberts resorted to robbing banks to fund his habit, always dressing in a three-piece suit and making sure he kept his manners during the hold-ups, he became known as the “Gentleman Bandit”.
Roberts was captured and sent to Pentridge Prison to serve his time for his crimes in 1980.
But Roberts refused to be caged and, together with a fellow inmate, made a daring escape by climbing down an extension cord to freedom. He was Australia’s most wanted man for ten years as he hid in India evading detection.
Roberts was eventually recaptured and returned to Pentridge Prison in Australia to serve his full sentence.
If this story sounds oddly familiar don’t be surprised, Roberts based his bestselling debut novel Shantaram on his experiences and the lessons he learned. Though the novel has caused a lot of controversy, Roberts claims the experiences are truthful and only written as fiction as he feels more comfortable writing in this style than any other.
We are so excited for Roberts next release in his intended series, The Mountain Shadow is set for release in October of this year and will follow on from Shantaram’s ending. With the promise of new places and faces, as well as the return of some favourites, we couldn’t be more excited to get our hands on a copy of The Mountain Shadow!
We haven’t even had a peek at the latest title but we have been given an exclusive quote from the new book The Mountain Shadow:
“Fear is a wolf on a chain, only dangerous when you set it free. Sorrow exhausts itself in the net of forgetting. Anger, for all its fury, can be killed by a smile. Only hope goes on forever, because hope doesn’t belong to any one of us: it belongs to the first few hundred, our ancestors, whose brave love for one another gave us most of the good that we are.
And hope, that ancient seed, redeems the heart it feeds. The heartbeat of any conscious now is poised on the same choice that hope gives all of us, between shadows of the past, and the bright, blank page of any new day.”
Interesting Facts about Gregory David Roberts
- Shantaram means ‘Man of Peace’ and was the name given to Roberts by a friends mother during his time in India.
- Roberts wrote his debut novel Shantaram whilst in prison. His manuscript was discovered and destroyed twice.
- Roberts has devoted much of his life to medical efforts in the poorest parts of Mumbai by setting up free clinics and medical support for its poorest inhabitants.
- The cover image of The Mountain Shadow shows a Kali yantra, a Hindu symbol which is visualised during meditation to channel spiritual thoughts.
- Roberts wants to write a series of four books in his Shantaram series, so keep your eyes peeled for more releases!
When she doesn't have her nose buried in a book, Rachel can be found surrounded by furry friends or cooking up delicious plant-based feasts.
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