Harman Patil (Editor)

Gregory David Roberts

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit


Gregory David Roberts cdnnewsapicomauimagev16867df5f8aaa96dbc58e8f

Gregory John Peter Smith21 June 1952 (age 64)Melbourne, Australia (

novelist, charity organiser and screenplay writer

Princess Françoise Sturdza

Shantaram, The Mountain Shadow, Shantaram Reading Group Guide: Pack of 15, Shantaram Msr, Crime and Refuge

Mira Nair, Hanne Nabintu Herland, Khaled Hosseini, Jojo Moyes, Johnny Depp

Shantaram gregory david roberts part 1

Gregory David Roberts (born Gregory John Peter Smith; 21 June 1952) is an Australian author best known for his novel Shantaram. He is a former heroin addict and convicted bank robber who escaped from Pentridge Prison in 1980 and fled to India, where he lived for ten years.


Gregory David Roberts TOP 25 QUOTES BY GREGORY DAVID ROBERTS of 158 AZ Quotes

Gregory david roberts on the power of the book


Gregory David Roberts 1000 ideas about Gregory David Roberts on Pinterest And the

Roberts reportedly became addicted to heroin after his marriage ended, and he lost custody of his young daughter. In his efforts to finance his drug habit, Roberts became known as the "Building Society Bandit" and the "Gentleman Bandit", because he had chosen to rob only institutions with adequate insurance, he would wear a three-piece suit, and he always said "please" and "thank you" to the people he robbed.

Gregory David Roberts Amazoncouk Gregory David Roberts Books Biogs Audiobooks

Roberts believed at the time that in this way he was lessening the brutality of his acts, but later in his life he admitted that people only gave him money because he had made them afraid. He escaped from Pentridge Prison in 1980.

Gregory David Roberts Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts JoV39s Book Pyramid

In 1990, Roberts was captured in Frankfurt after being caught smuggling heroin into the country. He was extradited to Australia and served a further six years in prison, two of which were spent in solitary confinement. According to Roberts, he escaped prison again during that time, but relented and smuggled himself back into jail. His intention was to serve the rest of his sentence to give himself the chance to be reunited with his family. During his second stay in Australian prison, he began writing Shantaram. The manuscript was destroyed by prison wardens, twice, while Roberts was writing it.

Writing career

Gregory David Roberts Gregory David Roberts AKA Gregory John Peter Smith Aussie

After leaving prison, Roberts was able to finally finish and publish his novel, Shantaram. The book's name comes from the name his best friend's mother gave him, which means "Man of Peace", or "Man of God's Peace".

There is debate as to how much of Shantaram is based on true events or is a conflation of real life and fantasy. On that aspect of Shantaram and of the follow-up novel, The Mountain Shadow, Roberts has stated:

Some experiences from my life are described pretty much as they happened, and others are created narratives, informed by my experience. I wanted to write two or three novels on some bare elements from my life, allowing me to explore the themes that interested me, while keeping the narrative immediate by anchoring it to some of my real experiences. They’re novels, not autobiographies, and all of the characters and dialogue is created. It doesn’t matter how much of it is true or not to me, it’s how true they are to all of us, and to our common humanity.

Roberts lived in Melbourne, Germany, and France and finally returned to Mumbai (Bombay), where he set up charitable foundations to assist the city's poor with health care coverage. He was finally reunited with his daughter. He got engaged to Françoise Sturdza, who is the president of the Heart for India Foundation. Roberts also wrote the original screenplay for the movie adaptation of Shantaram.

In 2009, Roberts was named a Zeitz Foundation Ambassador for Community. Ambassadors help raise awareness and shape activities in their areas. In 2011, Roberts stepped aside as an Ambassador due to the pressure of other commitments but continues to assist the Zeitz Foundation as a Friend.

The follow-up novel The Mountain Shadow was released on 13 October 2015 by Little Brown.


Gregory David Roberts Wikipedia

Similar Topics