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Slumdog Millionaireby Vikas Swarup
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Slumdog Millionaire's" eight Academy Awards have brought deserved attention to the novel upon which it was based: Vikas Swarup's "Q&A," which itself has now adopted the movie's title. Previously available only in abridged form, it has just been produced in an unabridged version, magnificently narrated by Christopher Simpson, an actor who specializes in characters from the Indian subcontinent.... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) Simpson is a master of accents, not only the Indian of the book's narrator but also those of the diverse characters who troop through the book's plot, which is more complicated and enthralling than the movie's. They include full-blown Americans, strangle-palated Australians and toffee-nosed British. Although, like the movie, the novel includes cruelty, pain and injustice aplenty, it is also, like the movie, a thoroughly entertaining melodrama and here, in audio form, an engaging tall tale wonderfully realized by this many-voiced narrator. Powers, who reviews audio books for The Washington Post Book World, writes a literary column for the Boston Globe. Reviewed by Katherine A. Powers, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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About the Author
Vikas Swarup is an Indian diplomat who has served in Turkey, the United States, Ethiopia, and Great Britain. Q & A, his first novel, is being translated into eighteen languages and is due to be made into a film. Swarup currently works in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi.
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