This book has a lot of heart. Set in the squalor of the largest slum in the world in Mumbai, India, it follows the early life of this uneducated but endearing young man who wins the fictional game show, "Who Will Win a Billion?". Q & A is a great read. It is a blend of farce, drama, and romance and holds your attention as you learn, through a series of flashbacks, how Ram managed to answer twelve random questions that made him the big winner.
Amidst the noise, filth, and squalor that comprise his existence, Ram encounters a cast of characters who use their desperate poverty to excuse themselves from ordinary standards of behavior. You can't help but root for this endearing character and share in his happy ending. As a bonus, Q & A provides the reader a deeper insight into today's India and reflects a country poised between its rich past and growing modernity. Ram, and the other young people in this book, personify this change.
I would recommend reading Q & A before seeing the movie. Already seen the movie? Read the book anyway. It's a celebration of the human spirit. Enjoy!
(Please note that Q & A will be available soon as a Bernardsville Public Library book group bag selection. A copy of the movie, Slumdog Millionaire, will be included in the bag along with 10 copies of the book and discussion questions.)
Monday, April 27, 2009
Here's A Staff Pick With No Questions Asked!
Susan Popper, staff member at Bernardsville Public Library, has written the following thumbs-up review of Q & A: a novel by Vikas Swarup:
So you think you have all the answers? For Ram Mohammed Thomas, it was his luck & misfortune that he did. By now the story is well known. Q & A is the basis for the Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire and so has taken on a new life.