Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas SwarupSlumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup

Slumdog Millionaire

byVikas Swarup

Paperback | December 9, 2008

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Ram Mohammad Thomas has been arrested—for answering twelve questions correctly on TV’s Who Will Win a Billion? Ram has never gone to school and never read a newspaper. There is no way a poor orphan from Jimmy’s Bar could know the names of the planets or the plays of Shakespeare ... unless he cheated. Rescued from his police cell by a lawyer, Ram reviews television footage of his flawless performance and takes us on an amazing tour of his life growing up in Asia’s biggest slum—from the day he is salvaged from a garbage can, to his job with a faded Bollywood star, to working as an over-creative tour guide at the Taj Mahal, to falling in love with Nita, a young prostitute. A brilliantly conceived fable with a modern sensibility, Slumdog Millionaire is a comic and charming novel that paints an enthralling portrait of humanity.

Originally published as Q&A.

VIKAS SWARUP was born in Allahabad, India, to an illustrious familythat includes several prominent lawyers. He attended Allahabad University, where he made his mark as a champion debater, winningnational-level competitions. After graduating, he joined the Indian Foreign Service and was posted to various countries, includingTurkey, the ...
Title:Slumdog MillionaireFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.72 inPublished:December 9, 2008Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1554685133

ISBN - 13:9781554685134


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! The book that got me back into reading! Absolutely loved it and felt a connection to all the characters involved. The stories for all the different questions were equally heart wrenching and intriguing. Loved it!
Date published: 2018-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Holds up to the hype Recently re-read this book for a bookclub and remembered why I liked it. Great plot that weaves many threads together. Very different from the movie, which is also good, so make sure you check out both.
Date published: 2017-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from On par with the film, a great book. Not often, but sometimes, the adaptation of a book unto the screen is brilliant. And then you return to the book and it's fantastic as well. All around thoroughly enjoyable.
Date published: 2017-07-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A stand-alone gem Bravo! This is an amazing novel. I came to know of Vikas Swarup’s writing in a reverse order. I like his other great novel “Six Suspects” and have a high opinion on his writing. I put off reading “Q&A” for a long time with the misguided speculation that the scriptwriting of the movie “Slumdog Millionaire” is identical, if not highly similar – so I thought I have seen the movie and it might be preferable to only read the book after my memory of it has faded. Now I know “Q&A” is itself a stand-alone gem, a wonderful read. There are so much more that the book can offer than the movie: denser storyline, great many more interweaving of ideas and characters. An odd side note, I noticed that “Q&A” seems to have quite a bad portrayal of gay man (hope that it was only my observation), which were not incorporated in the movie.
Date published: 2017-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A stand-alone gem Bravo! This is an amazing novel. I came to know of Vikas Swarup’s writing in a reverse order. I like his other great novel “Six Suspects” and have a high opinion on his writing. I put off reading “Q&A” for a long time with the misguided speculation that the scriptwriting of the movie “Slumdog Millionaire” is identical, if not highly similar – so I thought I have seen the movie and it might be preferable to only read the book after my memory of it has faded. Now I know “Q&A” is itself a stand-alone gem, a wonderful read. There are so much more that the book can offer than the movie: denser storyline, great many more interweaving of ideas and characters. An odd side note, I noticed that “Q&A” seems to have quite a bad portrayal of gay man (hope that it was only my observation), which were not incorporated in the movie.
Date published: 2017-07-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really good Great book and the movie is also solid.
Date published: 2017-07-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Great story, very well written!
Date published: 2017-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful This was a very heart touching read, must for all.
Date published: 2017-05-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a great book! Love the way in which there is a story behind every question!
Date published: 2017-04-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Incredible Saw the movie first but it didn't dampen the book at all, which is pretty unusual! Heavy but heartwarming at the same time.
Date published: 2017-03-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This was fantastic! I really loved this book. The plot was so seamlessly wound together. I haven't seen the movie, but the book was very unique in the way that the questions related back to his life!
Date published: 2017-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read! I enjoyed the book more than the movie. Author seamlessly moved from the past to the present. Highly enjoyable.
Date published: 2009-10-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Different than the movie But certainly not it a bad way. I picked up Slumdog Millionaire (formerly Q&A) after I saw the award-winning film under the same name. I knew from perusing Wikipedia that the book and the movie had a lot of differences, so I treated them as two separate entities. The movie was lovely and touching and completely fascinating. The book was the same. I absolutely adored the vivid characters and the storyline. Ram Mohammad Thomas (Jamal in the film) shows that even people brought up in a world where they aren't given the opportunity to follow a higher education can still become some of the most intelligent people in the world. The book follows the theme of destiny. Ram is in the right place at the right time to learn the exact thing that he needs to learn in order to answer the next question. His life is *interesting* and he is so personable that you can't help but love him. Vikas Swarup is an excellent writer. He gave life to every single character in the story. Whether it was Ram or some random person that crossed his paths. Slumdog Millionare (formerly Q&A) is well worth the read. It is well worth the time spent because it is *worthy* writing. It is writing with a purpose. Evocative and rich. Pulling at your emotions in such a way that you want to get angry, yet you still keep coming back for more. Brilliant.
Date published: 2009-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Fantastic Read from Beginning to End! Vikas Swarup's novel was chosen as our latest book club book and I am so glad that it was! It probably wouldn't have been something I would have picked up on my own, but it was a fascinating read! Ram Mohammad Thomas' life story takes countless twists and turns and certainly paints a picture of life in India's slums. I couldn't help but feel instantly attached to Ram and cheer him on throughout the novel. Swarup writes about Ram's life experiences and how he could possibly know all of the answers to trivia questions asked on a television game show. Each chapter shares how Ram knew the answer to another question. The novel was fantastically written and the story was heartbreaking and truly powerful.
Date published: 2009-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup Book Review of Slum Dog Millionaire by Annette Dunlea This international bestseller was written by Vikas Swarup. It is published by Black Swan and its ISBN is 9780552775359. It was previously published under the title Q & A and it is now a prizewinning movie. This wonderful first novel has been translated into 35 languages and is also a stage musical. It is the story about a boy from the Mumbai, Ram Mohammad Thomas who appears on a TV show quiz to win a prize of one billion rupees. Ram answers all the 12 questions correctly and wins the jackpot but nobody believes that the boy from the slums could know the answers without cheating. He does not get the prize instead he is thrown into prison. He must defend himself against this charge. He is released when his solicitor bails him out. She transpires to be an old friend of his and she demands proof of his innocence. His education was the degree of life ducking and diving in the slums of India. They go through the quiz question by question and he explains how he knows the answers. Each answer represents an episode of his life and many of these ordinary events come together to form a great climax, the quiz. I recommend this modern tale of India. Reviewed by Annette Dunlea author of The Honey Trap and Always and Forever.
Date published: 2009-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Complete Page Turner! Slumdog millionaire begins with the winner of the largest prize in a quiz game show being arrested on the grounds of cheating. Nobody believes that Ram Mohammad Thomas - an orphaned uneducated waiter in a Mumbai restaurant has answered all twelve questions correctly to win one billion rupees. The book is divided into chapters based on each question which Ram Mohammad Thomas was asked in the game show. Each question in the game show relates to a slice of Ram Mohammad Thomas's past and all these slices are quite enjoyable to read in a first-person narration form. The author attempts to expose the underbelly of the Indian society with his depiction of homosexuality, brutality, decrepit living conditions, racism, and deceit. This makes the book that much more enjoyable but saddening at the same time. I did have to re-read certain parts a few times especially when the author introduces new characters and references them in later chapters. Also the Indian cultural terms for clothing and such was a bit confusing so I had to look those up as well. However, in spite of this, I found Slumdog Millionaire to be a thoroughly enjoyable read and a complete page-turner
Date published: 2009-04-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Impossible to put down! I couldn’t help but lose myself in Vikas Swarup’s Slumdog Millionaire. The stories plot never rests as Ram Mohammed Thomas relives his experiences of abandonment, poverty, wealth, death, rape, and love in a world and culture far from familiarity. However, I am drawn to this unfamiliar territory. The author’s style of writing was so intricately done that each of the stories are like detailed short stories which depict the lessons learned by Ram Mohammed Thomas. The style of writing reflects how it is our experiences that define who we are and how knowledge lives in experiences. It is what we do in our life that makes us who we are and Vikas Swarup makes us aware of the enthralling problems and struggles of today’s society. It shows how the poor, uneducated, and illiterate are able to know and experience more than the educated.
Date published: 2009-04-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amateur writing with fantastic plot The novel, Slumdog Millionaire by Vita Swarup was an interesting book that lets the reader enter a world that few outside of the slums have seen. Slumdog Millionaire is about Ram Mohammed Thomas, a young man who wins “Who Will Win a Billion game show. He has never had formal education or read a book. Each of the questions in the game show is related to his experiences in his life. The book begins with our main character, Ram Mohammed Thomas being accused of cheating on the game show. He is arrested and tortured until an unexpected female claiming to be lawyer saves him. His lawyer shows Ram the DVD of the show and he begins to tell how he knew the answer to each question. While the novel has a fantastic plot and lush descriptions, its faults, bad writing, poor characterization and questionable themes, are hard to ignore. Because this is a work of fiction, the author needs literary devices. He is too eager in describing every little detail so he seemed to forget to add in literary flair. Much of the writing is quite dry- there are very few metaphors, similes, or anything stylistic. The characters are simple and flat. The characters are not interesting. It is the events that happen to them that are interesting. All Swarup’s characters are either good or evil. Two recurring themes that overemphasis are pedophilia and homosexuality. Due to Swarup’s tone and flat characters, the reader gets an odd sense of homophobia from the writing. Instead of exploring more of the effects of racism, sexual abuse and poverty, some parts of the story seemed irrelevant and unnecessary. One chapter focuses on voodoo and another on espionage. What redeems the novel are the narrative structure, fantastic plot and the detailed descriptions. The book is not written in chronological order but, in a style that everything falls together near the end. Each chapter begins with a flashback of Ram’s life and then flashes back to the game show where the question asked is related. The plot is exciting and mesmerizing. The main protagonist never gives up and does anything to survive. He encounters a pedophilic priest, a homosexual actor, an alcoholic neighbor about to commit incest, an Australian spy, child slavery and a suicidal employer. The plot keeps you wondering what will happen next. Despite the fact that Vikas Swarup had never even been to the slums of India, I found the descriptions in the book shocking and realistic. Swarup filled the book with descriptions of poverty, racism, sexual abuse, violence and death. Some of the incidents that happen in Ram’s life are horrifying and others tragic. Two parts in the story where description really stood out to me are when kids are crippled and send out to beg for money on trains and also when Ram’s friend is dying from rabies.
Date published: 2009-04-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent book This book was really good, however is pretty much not at all like the movie. The basic plot is the same but the character's life is completely different. It was a great book, though i didn't like the end, but it certainly doesn't dissapoint and is an absolutely great read.
Date published: 2009-04-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Interesting! I saw the movie and then read the book. I was a bit disappointed that the although the premise of the book is the same, the story is not really like the movie. Of course there are always differences, but the movie was a love story and the book really has nothing to do with that. The cover of the book is very misleading. It should only be used as advertising for the movie. I did enjoy reading the book, the stories were very interesting and it was definately a good read.
Date published: 2009-04-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful. That's the only word even close to being able to describe this book. The struggle of Ram Mohammad Thomas' life, from the origin of his name to the heart pounding finale of the game show, W3B ("Who Will Win a Billion?") is a story that will charm you, make you laugh, cry and fall in love with falling in love. It's a classic tale of a man who is born into poverty and achieves his goals through a masterful and very believable example of Deus Ex Machina. "Slumdog Millionaire", formerly published as "Q&A" shows us that there is no rock bottom, only an endless pit of despair, and it is with love, persistance and experience that will allow you to start the long journey to the top. Humanity is a major theme in this book, and if you're looking for a smack in the face with reality, this is the book you should buy. There is a certain lack of flow between chapters, but then if there were, the story itself would have been quite boring. Unsurprisingly, the movie is much different than the book, but the movie is still just as beautiful, just not in the same ways. I strongly suggest you watch the movie before reading this book, a total backwards gesture against principle, but believe me, is it ever worth it.
Date published: 2009-03-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Once I realized that it wasn't the movie...then I could enjoy... At first I was upset that it wasn't like the movie. He had no brother...he didn't even have the same name..So I had to tell myself that to read it as its own story...Once I did that..I really enjoyed this story..
Date published: 2009-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow This will go down as one of my most favorite books ever. The writing is fantastic. The story flows and moves easily from one chapter to the next. I am the type of reader that reads every word, I don't skim and if I find myself skimming (Snow falling on cedars) I do not enjoy the book. I found myself re-reading passages, not because I didn't "get it" the first time but just because I was wanting to read it again. This is an incredible book which tells a fascinating story and is very much a worthwhile read.
Date published: 2009-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A beautiful and heartbreaking story Having now seen it sweep the Oscars, I knew I had to read the story behind the movie. I'm so glad that I did! The story is wonderful - each chapter based on one of the winning questions in the gameshow Ram Mohammed Thomas participated in. How did he know the answers, never going to school, and being so young? Through his life experiences, and the lives of others, he weaves a tale of tragedy, laughter, and hope. Every twist had me on my toes, I couldn't put it down. I laughed when he was asked some of the questions on the gameshow, realizing just how lucky, or unlucky, he had been to have experienced enough to realize the answer. A beautiful story, with a beautiful ending. I couldn't have been more satisfied with the ending, with a spectacular twist that left me grinning for hours later. If you enjoyed the movie, or just were curious like me, pick up this book!! It was worth the puchase, by far.
Date published: 2009-03-03

Editorial Reviews

“That rare novel that chugs along on the parallel tracks of being a rollicking read as well as being a polished, varnished, finished work of impressive craftsmanship.”