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Q & A: A Novel by Vikas Swarup

Q & A: A Novel (original 2005; edition 2008)

by Vikas Swarup

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Title:Q & A: A Novel
Authors:Vikas Swarup
Info:Scribner (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library

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Q & A by Vikas Swarup (2005)


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Slumdog Millionaire is a novel about a poor Indian boy who manages to participate in a TV quiz show and win a huge amount of money. ( )
  Boris_Greff | Mar 8, 2018 |
Review: Q & A by Vikas Swarup. 08/17/2017

This was a very clever story, well written with great developed characters. The setting takes place in the slums of India and the story is witty, charming and captivating. Swarup seems to be a confident author, who weaves tragic stories with a sense of humor, wholesome cynicism, while creating and understanding what it takes to create a good story.

The story begins with Ram Mohammad Thomas arrested for cheating on a game show. How could an orphan from the slums of India know the answers to every question? Plus, what kind of person would have a name like Ram Mohammad Thomas? An unusual explanation for the reader was in order to interact with India’s citizens Ram needed all three names to live among the citizens of India. So, the choice was three religious names of India so that Ram could use each one separately depending on the area of India he was in and which name to use to survive.

The focus is on young Ram Mohammad Thomas who is an average uneducated poverty stricken guy who works as a waiter but wants to be a millionaire. Ram decides to sign up for a game show that will pay a billion rupees to the person who can answer twelve questions right. Each question answered right brings Ram to a higher amount of rupees each time he answers a question right but if he gives a wrong answer he loses what ever money level he is up too and the game is over. I like the way the story was organized by asking a question and the author following through with a scene or scenario where the situation surrounding Ram helped him with getting the right answer.

So between each question we learned more about Rams coming and goings, his interests, activities and how he survived living in India. The detailed creative small scenes between the questions were often tragic and occasionally humorous which helped the reader to understand how a poor orphan boy who spent most of his life either running from someone or living in a chawl (a low price small place to live) could survive. I didn’t feel like the story was going to end well but I was wrong and I thought the story was great and I was satisfied that the ending brought a sense of closure for Ram Mohammad Thomas. ( )
  Juan-banjo | Nov 20, 2017 |
This book took me months to finish, but only because school got in the way (ew). I did like it, and while I can't decide between it and the movie, I think I did like it in different ways. It almost felt like two different stories - definitely had to get used to that. But I did enjoy it. ( )
  erinla | Oct 31, 2017 |
I saw the movie that was based on this book many years ago and didn't remember anything about it except that I liked it a lot. After I was a few chapters into the audio book, I started re-watching it and realized how different it was from the novel. I didn't finish my re-watch but I did just finish the book so I can't really comment on the differences but, wow, what a good book.

There are some intense moments and a few bits that made me tear up - either with sadness or joy or relief. I'm happy I had the opportunity to listen to this book. I think parts of it will stay with me for a good long time.

I'd give it 4.5 but rounded down on Goodreads because some of the flashback portions were difficult to figure out where they fell on the timeline. ( )
  amcheri | Oct 3, 2016 |
I haven't seen the movie, but this was a wonderful book. Clever and well written. ( )
  Superenigmatix | Aug 16, 2016 |
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For my parents Vinod and Indra Swarup and my late grandfather Sri Jagadish Swarup
First words
I have been arrested. For winning a quiz show.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Originally published as "Q & A," reissued in 2008 as "Slumdog Millionaire" to match the title of the film based on it.

This is the novel the film is based on. please do not combine the film with this work.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
When Ram Mohammed Thomas, an eighteen-year-old waiter from the slums of Mumbai, wins one billion rupees on India’s newest imitation of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, he is arrested almost immediately. Having offered a prize they are incapable of dispensing, the producers face bankruptcy unless Ram is convicted of cheating. A confession should be easy to obtain; after all, the chances of an uneducated orphan guessing twelve correct answers are astronomical. Even Ram’s lawyer, Smita, is sceptical at first – but behind each answer is a tale from Ram’s remarkable life, and as each tale unfolds, she comes to understand the luck he has made for himself.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743267486, Paperback)

Vikas Swarup's spectacular debut novel opens in a jail cell in Mumbai, India, where Ram Mohammad Thomas is being held after correctly answering all twelve questions on India's biggest quiz show, Who Will Win a Billion? It is hard to believe that a poor orphan who has never read a newspaper or gone to school could win such a contest. But through a series of exhilarating tales Ram explains to his lawyer how episodes in his life gave him the answer to each question.

Ram takes us on an amazing review of his own history -- from the day he was found as a baby in the clothes donation box of a Delhi church to his employment by a faded Bollywood star to his adventure with a security-crazed Australian army colonel to his career as an overly creative tour guide at the Taj Mahal.

Swarup's Q & A is a beguiling blend of high comedy, drama, and romance that reveals how we know what we know -- not just about trivia, but about life itself. Cutting across humanity in all its squalor and glory, Vikas Swarup presents a kaleidoscopic vision of the struggle between good and evil -- and what happens when one boy has no other choice in life but to survive.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:38 -0400)

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"Stunning a television audience of millions, Ram draws upon a store of street wisdom and accidental encounters that provides him with the essential keys not only to the quiz show but also to life itself"--From publisher description.

(summary from another edition)

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