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Slumdog Millionaire | [Vikas Swarup]

Slumdog Millionaire

Vikas Swarup's spectacular debut novel, the inspiration for the award-winning film, opens in a jail cell in Mumbai, where Ram Mohammad Thomas is being held after correctly answering all 12 questions on India's biggest quiz show, Who Will Win a Billion? It is hard to believe that a poor orphan who has never 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.
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Publisher's Summary

Vikas Swarup's spectacular debut novel, the inspiration for the award-winning film, opens in a jail cell in Mumbai, where Ram Mohammad Thomas is being held after correctly answering all 12 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. In his warm-hearted tale lies all the comedy, tragedy, joy and pathos of modern India.

Hear the whole story behind the Academy Award-winning film Slumdog Millionaire!

©2005 Vikas Swarup; (P)2009 BBC Audiobooks America

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (831 )
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4.5 (520 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Teresa Erie, CO, United States 05-23-11
    Teresa Erie, CO, United States 05-23-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book. Not much like the movie"

    The screen play was very different from the book. The overall premise (the main character on a trivia game show, then arrested and accused of cheating) was the same, but even the character’s names are different in the book. I really enjoyed this story. I plan to check out more from Vikas Swarup.

    The narrator is FANTASTIC. I would actually buy a book by an author I knew nothing about, simply because it was narrated by Christopher Simpson, so the vocal performance would be excellent.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    debra arlington, TX, United States 12-16-10
    debra arlington, TX, United States 12-16-10
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    "Wonderful story. Puts the movie to shame"

    The book was so much better than the movie. What a wonderful story. I will listen to this one again.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marjorie Santa Rosa, CA, United States 03-23-14
    Marjorie Santa Rosa, CA, United States 03-23-14 Member Since 2010

    I enjoy literary fiction with character depth and psychological exploration. I am in my 50s, work in psychology, and love the outdoors.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Becoming a Man in India"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish. The story creates just enough curiosity at the start to keep the reader engaged and wanting more. I love the adventures in India and the quirky situations which have allowed the protagonist to know the answers to the quiz show questions. This book mixes tragedy with humor, adventure, and heart. The clever set up in the book (using the quiz show for the backdrop) allowed the author to set the stage for the telling of this young man's life. I did see the movie and enjoyed it very much but the stories were quite different in the book. This is a colorful book in every sense. I found the narration to be easy to understand despite the Indian accent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonny West Brattleboro, VT, United States 01-15-14
    Bonny West Brattleboro, VT, United States 01-15-14 Member Since 2011

    JHK

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    "Terrific book and the best narration ever!"

    I wasn't sure I was going to like this; I tend not to go for much in the way of popular culture, and the movie tie-in made me leery. Thank heavens I got over it! This is a wonderful book with great writing and characters, alternately deeply moving and very funny. There is a lot of depth here; the humanity and compassion of the book's narrator and those who help him through life far outweigh the cruelty of his enemies and the grinding poverty he strives so hard to overcome. It's simply a terrific book. Christopher Simpson does a superb job with the narration. The characters are so vivid and real, and he never hits a wrong note. Please give us more books narrated by this guy!

    I can't recommend this highly enough. Go listen to it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 12-17-13
    Dubi New York, NY, United States 12-17-13 Member Since 2011

    People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.

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    "Same Framework as the Movie, Different Vignettes"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Slumdog Millionaire to be better than the print version?

    I have the print edition of the original Q&A but I listened to the audiobook before getting a chance to read it. I cannot imagine a better example of the audio edition improving on a novel than Slumdog Millionaire, because the narrator reads in an authentic Indian voice. I hope that doesn't come off as a stereotype, but it sure made the first person narration sound so authentic (sorry to repeat that word, but there is no better one).


    What did you like best about this story?

    The same thing that made the movie so good -- the framing device of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire as the jumping off point for the backstory. The vignettes in the book are mostly different than the ones in the movie, but they are as effective -- the author knew of the changes in advance and approved them, finding them better suited to cinema, and was primarily happy that the screenplay retained his Millionaire framework.


    What does Christopher Simpson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His accent, as already discussed. But to take it one step further, he captures the wonder and enthusiasm of the narrator as he guides us through his various experiences and how they shaped his answers to the Millionaire questions (Billionaire in the book, in rupees).


    Who was the most memorable character of Slumdog Millionaire and why?

    Given a first person narrator who is central to most of his stories, and given how vividly he is brought to life by the reader, Ram is naturally the most memorable character. But what makes this book so interesting, just like the movie, is the great variety of characters he encounters in his personal journey (even if many are different than those in the film).


    Any additional comments?

    I hope it's not too much of a spoiler to note that many of the vignettes in the book are not the same as in the movie. On the contrary, look at it as a whole new set of stories to add to those that are in the movie, because they are just as good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Motes Tampa 09-02-13
    Sam Motes Tampa 09-02-13 Member Since 2011

    Audible obsessed lifelong learner.

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    "Great twisted look at the underdog"

    A very interesting read telling the story of how a boy who's roller coaster life equips him with the right trivia to win a fortune and help the people who he holds dear. It is also a Karma full story where those who do evil get what's coming to them. I have never seen the movie but after reading the book I am certain I will find the opportunity to do so.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lola865 United States 01-03-13
    Lola865 United States 01-03-13 Member Since 2012

    865lola

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    "Didn't see movie, but what a fabulous "listen"!"
    What did you love best about Slumdog Millionaire?

    compelling story, sympathetic character,


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Slumdog Millionaire?

    The scene in the apartment house when he sleeps with his arm through a hole in the wall to comfort his "sister" friend. His escape from the orphanage home after his horrific understanding of what was to become of him and his friend...


    What does Christopher Simpson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Beautiful diction...


    Who was the most memorable character of Slumdog Millionaire and why?

    Main character, but his relationships were so strong, that they were outstanding.


    Any additional comments?

    I have been raving about this audible book, and plan to buy it as gifts.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Waterloo, Ontario, Canada 07-17-12
    Nancy Waterloo, Ontario, Canada 07-17-12 Member Since 2010

    I love learning, teaching and exploring!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Decent read"

    I enjoyed listening to this novel. The novel is about a character who answers questions on a game show to win a sum of money. Each chapter reveals details about the main character's life and ultimately provides clues on how he was able to answer each question on the game show. It is quite a bit different from the movie, but still quite good.

    The narration was well done. There were many accents and voices portrayed by the narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail Lind 01-08-12
    Gail Lind 01-08-12 Member Since 2009
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    "listen to this book, you won't regret it."

    I have been telling everyone to read (or especially listen to), this book. It will be in my 'to read again later' pile. Vikas Swarup did a brilliant job in taking a story and twisting and turning in clever and yet understandable ways. Christopher Simpson was terrific wilth all the voices,. I will be looking for him again. I saw the movie after listening to the book and enjoyed it, and saw some of the story in it, but I can't give it the same raves I give this audio book. Do yourself a favor and spend a wonderful 10+ hours with it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Calgary, AB, Canada 12-02-11
    Carol Calgary, AB, Canada 12-02-11 Member Since 2009
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    "Fantastic"

    I can sure see why a movie was produced based loosely on this book. Everything about it was brilliant. I was pleasantly surprised at how different the novel was from the movie. I love how the stories within the novel all link so well. The main character, Ram's, honesty, kindness, naivety and obvious intelligence made for an unusual and interesting character and the narrator portrayed all the traits very well. I found myself following Ram around the Indian country side on Google Map and looking up many different things that were referred to in the book. It's one of those books that I'll likely listen to again someday.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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