“Shantaram”, and the rule of three.. – Omne Trium Perfectum..

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I’ve just finished reading a really good novel: Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts. I don’t mean to write a complete review, – but I was extremely amused, delighted with certain passages, – passages that exemplify The Rule of Three :

The rule of Three .. is a writing principle  implying that “things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things“.

Omne trium perfectum.., or everything that comes in threes is perfect..


Grabbed from http://tinyurl.com/nt4a3x3

Before I get to the book, here are a couple of “threes”, – (and keep in mind: this blog is deeply serious on the one hand, deeply appreciates humour and a good, liberating laugh on the other, and.. hmm.., how do I make that “a three”..).

  • Thesis, Anti-thesis, Synthesis..
  • Past, Future, Present..
  • Sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll.. / Wine, Women, and Song..
  • lies, damned lies, and statistics..
  • Suggestions.. ?

Without revealing much, I’ve picked this from one book-description:

“Shantaram is a novel of the first order, a work of extraordinary art, a thing of exceptional beauty. If someone asked me what the book was about, I would have to say everything, every thing in the World”.

Ok, – here – from the book, – is a characterization of the Human race, that I found extremely amusing, and not entirely wrong..

THE WORLD IS RUN by one million evil men, ten million stupid men, and a hundred million cowards..

The evil men..
are the power—the rich men, and the politicians, and the fanatics of religion—whose decisions rule the world, and set it on its course of greed and destruction. There are only one million of them, the truly evil men, in the whole world. The very rich and the very powerful, whose decisions really count—they only number one million.

The stupid men..
who number ten million, are the soldiers and policemen who enforce the rule of the evil men. They are the standing armies of twelve key countries, and the police forces of those and twenty more. In total, there are only ten million of them with any real power or consequence. They are often brave, I’m sure, but they are stupid, too, because they give their lives for governments and causes that use their flesh and blood as mere chess pieces. Those governments always betray them or let them down or abandon them, in the long run. Nations neglect no men more shamefully than the heroes of their wars.

The cowards..
are the bureaucrats and paper shufflers and pen-pushers who permit the rule of the evil men, and look the other way. They are the head of this department, and the secretary of that committee, and the president of the other association. They are managers, and officials, and mayors, and officers of the court. They always defend themselves by saying that they are just following orders, or just doing their job, and it’s nothing personal, and if they don’t do it, someone else surely will. They are the hundred million cowards who know what is going on, but say nothing, while they sign the paper that puts one man before a firing squad, or condemns one million men to the slower death of a famine.’

The rest of us.. all six billion of us, do pretty much what we are told..

“Shantaram”, needless to say, is somewhat philosophical, but boils it down to three basic questions:

  • Where did we come from?
  • Why are we here?
  • Where are we going?

I wouldn’t say the book offers any convincing answers to these three big questions, but you might learn a lesson or two…, –  for instance:

that those we incarcerate are human beings.. and deserve to be treated with dignity. Some of them, after all, may be exceptional. Some may even possess genius..”

Other than that.., – well, you’ll have to read all 900 pages and find out for yourself.., but I assure you that, besides being contemplative, “Shantaram” is a great story, and most entertaining..

Happy reading :)

Gass, Ass or Grass.. , –  noone rides for free.., – or do they..

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