Was Karla In Shantaram Based On A Real Person?


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Iris Phillips Profile
Iris Phillips answered
According to the author's notes on the Shantaram website, all characters in the book were fictional. This naturally means that Karla from Shantaram was not based on a real person.

  • The Facts of Shantaram
Some of the events in the novel were based on personal experiences within author Gregory David Roberts' life. His criminal history, as well as his escape from an Australian prison can be easily verified in public records. Other parts are harder, if not altogether impossible, to verify.

  • Fiction
The author apparently stated that most of the story is fiction, and that only elements taken from real life events and individuals had been merged with the events and characters he created.

  • The Author
The author's life facts almost read like a novel in their own right. After becoming a heroin addict following the breakup of his marriage and losing custody of their daughter, he turned to crime to finance his habit.

He became well known as the Gentleman Bandit, or the Building Society Bandit. This was because he chose to only rob institutions that had adequate insurance. He earned the name Gentleman Bandit because he never failed to say please or thank you during his robberies.

After being caught and jailed, he escaped from the prison in Pentridge, Australia in 1980. After he was caught smuggling heroin into Germany in 1990, authorities extradited him to Australia, where he served another six year prison sentence. Roberts spent two years in solitary confinement while there.

During his time in this prison, Roberts started to write Shantaram, but wardens twice destroyed the manuscript while he was writing it. He finally finished the novel and published it after being released from prison. The name Shantaram was given to him by the mother of his best friend and means Man of God's Peace.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
You're full oh sh!t. Karla was not a real person - its stated in articles she was a made up character

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