Q & A – Vikas Swarup
Most of you will know this book by another name. “Q&A” was the original title of the book and when they adapted it into a film they changed the name to “Slumdog Millionaire”. But it’s not just the title that they have changed.
Much of the plot differs, the names of the characters are different except for Salim. In the film the hero is called Jalim and his love interest is Latika. In the book he is known as Ram Mohammed Thomas and his woman Nita. In the film it is Who wants to be a Millionaire? In the book it is Who wants to be a Billionaire? Remember, it plays off in India. The big prize is a billion rupees.
I recently lent this book to someone and realized I couldn’t remember what happens in the book. I mean, I know the plot more or less each chapter ends in a question asked on the show and everything before the question explains how he knew the answer. I couldn’t remember what happens to all the characters, does he get to keep the money?
This is what the book is about:
‘A former tiffenboy from Mumbai, Ram Mohammed Thomas, has just got twelve questions correct on a TV quiz show to win a cool one billion rupees. But he is brutally slung in a prison cell on suspicion of cheating. Because how can a kid from the slums know who Shakespeare was unless he has been pulling a fast one?
In the order of the questions on the show, Ram tells us which amazing adventures in his street-kid life taught him the answers. From orphanages to brothels, gangsters to beggar-masters, and into the homes of Bollywood’s rich and famous, Q & A (Slumdog Millionaire) is brimming with the chaotic comedy, heart-stopping tragedy, and tear-inducing joyfulness of modern India.’ (Back cover)
First published: 2005
Vikas Swarup is an Indian diplomat and once worked in South Africa. In 2006 his book won South Africa’s Book Prize.
What I liked about the book: I’ve mentioned the plot, each chapter revolving around each question. I liked the characters especially Salim and Shankar.