Synopses & Reviews
"After enduring a childhood of poverty, violence and exploitation, Ram Muhammad Thomas wins a game show prize of one billion rupees. But the producers believe he has cheated and send him to the police to coerce a confession. Now, Thomas must defend his achievement and explain how a nobody without formal education won against impossible odds. Christopher Simpson's performance is both compelling and questionable; he conveys emotion powerfully but his mimicry of an Indian accent might make some listeners uncomfortable and sap the authority of the first-person narrative. Fans of the Academy Award winning film adaptation of the novel (originally published as Q&A) will find that this version offers nuanced pleasures of its own. A Scribner hardcover. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A small prison cell in India holds an 18-year-old penniless waiter from a Mumbai slum. But Ram Mohammad Thomas isn't a criminal. He is under arrest for correctly answering 12 tricky trivia questions on the show Who Will Win a Billion? Reluctant to part with the jackpot of one billion rupees, the show directors bribe the police to arrest Ram, accusing him of cheating. For how else could a poor, uneducated orphan know so much: the name of the smallest planet, global capitals, and diplomatic policy? Ram is rescued by a lawyer who draws from him the always compelling, touching and sometimes comic story of his life, explaining the source of his knowledge. An inspired performance by narrator Kerry Shale captures the spirit of this offbeat novel, a blend of high comedy and touching melancholy.