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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Q & A by Vikas Swarup


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.

This book has been interpreted into a movie under the name of Slumdog Millionaire. It has multiple changes such as deaths that wasn't there or name changes, etc. The pictures underneath are from the movie.




My rating: 3.5/5  

Have you ever seen a Q & A video? I have. Have you ever seen a quiz TV show? I have. Have you been to India before? I have (I was born there) Have you been to jail before? I have. What no, I haven't!


I am going to Italy for two months this summer and unfortunately there will not be consistent Wi-Fi and being the planner I am I have gone to pick out 3 months before summer about 23 books to read from my parents library and had the pleasure to find a ton of books, including Q & A. For Easter break during a week my family and I have been trekking unfortunately I wasn't allowed phones (again what is it with no technology or Wi-Fi?). And because the book I was planning to read is on there I couldn't read it! Yay me! And that is the story of how I ended up reading Q & A.

My thoughts about this book is confusing. I absolutely loved it but some parts was too much for me. It is written in the perspective of a young man's mind so it is kind of normal for him to have certain thoughts. *Cough* pervert thoughts *Cough*. The excessive amount of sexual, perverted and so on details could have been avoided. They made me cringe and get annoyed.


Don't worry, it wasn't just that. It made laugh and sad. I was completely engrossed in it. I couldn't even leave it. I was surprised of the cruelness (is that a word?) the main character,  Ram Mohammed Thomas, had to endure at such a young age. The fact that he had to work to survive at 11 or the fact that he got taken by the mafia that sent children to collect money is horrible. I wanted to cry for him which might have happened if it wasn't for the fact that he is in a better condition. 

The characters felt real and not a bit too heroic to me. My favourite character is Salim. He is Ram's best friend that is naive and extremely gullible. He is too cute and nice not having seen the cruelty the world has to offer even though he has experienced more than I have and I admire that. 


The plot of the book is a very simple way to introduce a story in my opinion. It is the perfect outline for a story. I was impressed by the writer's style of writing and appreciated its simpleness. I haven't watched the movie yet but will certainly do so. Vikas Swarup is a very good author in my opinion. He is a diplomat working as the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs of India. He has written about 4 books but most famously known for New York times best seller Q & A. 


I highly appreciated this book but will not give it the 4/5 it deserves as some parts of the book made me squirm and cringe. I recommend this book to everyone interested in a short airport read, I will try reviewing the movie if possible in a matter of time,I have heard a few changes have been made but will still try talking about it and referring it to the book as much as possible. This book contains many different ingredients such as romance (quite a bit (1 chapter) which I didn't feel the need to talk about), action and laughs. I will be happy to hear if you, dear reader, ever read it. 

Love,

Srishti   




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