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Slumdog Millionaire (a.k.a. Q&A) | [Vikas Swarup]

Slumdog Millionaire (a.k.a. Q&A)

A small prison cell in India holds an 18-year-old penniless waiter from a Mumbai slum. But Ram Mohammad Thomas isn't a criminal. He is under arrest for correctly answering 12 tricky trivia questions on the show Who Will Win a Billion? Reluctant to part with the jackpot of one billion rupees, the show directors bribe the police to arrest Ram, accusing him of cheating.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: It's rare that you hope for traffic on a road trip, but when I drove from New York to Boston with Kerry Shale's narration of Q&A for company, I had my fingers crossed for a back-up at the bridge. How could I tear myself away from Shale's distinct characterizations? The orphan from Mumbai, the faded Bollywood star, and the ruthless game show host - Who Wants to Win One Billion Rupeeeeees? - all made for a truly extraordinary listen. —Diana Dapito

Publisher's Summary

A small prison cell in India holds an 18-year-old penniless waiter from a Mumbai slum. But Ram Mohammad Thomas isn't a criminal. He is under arrest for correctly answering 12 tricky trivia questions on the show Who Will Win a Billion? Reluctant to part with the jackpot of one billion rupees, the show directors bribe the police to arrest Ram, accusing him of cheating. For how else could a poor, uneducated orphan know so much: the name of the smallest planet, global capitals, and diplomatic policy? Ram is rescued by a lawyer who draws from him the always compelling, touching, and sometimes comic story of his life, explaining the source of his knowledge. An inspired performance by reader Kerry Shale captures the spirit of this off-beat novel, a blend of high comedy and touching melancholy.

This novel was originally published with the title Q&A and is the basis for the movie Slumdog Millionaire.

©2005 Vikas Swarup; (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

What the Critics Say

  • 2005 Audie Award Winner, Fiction (Abridged)

"Shale's performance is brilliant." (USA Today)
"Reader Kerry Shale captures every nuance and distinction of the many personalities involved." (Boston Globe)
"This production gains much from Shale's excellent and lively performance....Shale makes it sincere, hilarious, heartbreaking, and delightful....His gifted reading, full of emphasis, inflection, and excitement, is a joy to listen to." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (596 )
5 star
 (334)
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.3 (121 )
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1 star
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Story
4.5 (117 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Moire Linden, VA, United States 02-23-09
    Moire Linden, VA, United States 02-23-09 Member Since 2002

    Life long fan of the mystery story. I like books where something actually happens, so history and biography are favorites of mine also. I also think that even good books are improved tremendously when an actor performs the narration.

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    "Great story"

    A lovely story of literally going from rags to riches. I was very surprised that this story of how the quirks of one's life can lead to being a star is now a hit movie -- I do hope that the movie kept all the humor and romance that's in the book -- and not just the horrors of the slums. (I also liked the smarmy game show host!)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Kovler 02-23-09
    J. Kovler 02-23-09 Member Since 2007

    LK

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Delightful storytelling"

    Delightful storytelling. It's about a simple Indian man who explains by a series of amazing true life stories how he won the jackpot prize on a TV quiz show. The narration in this audiobook was superb with the reader's wide range of different voices and accents that added immensely to the enjoyment of this novel. I listened to this a long time before I knew it was coming out as a movie and after hearing this version the pictures in my mind are so vivid that I don't think I need to go see the film version. If you enjoy a good audiobook no less than a movie then I advise you to try this first - you won't be disappointed!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelley Fairhaven, Morocco 01-23-09
    Shelley Fairhaven, Morocco 01-23-09
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    "Excellent!"

    I haven't seen the movie, but this audiobook is a great listen! It's very funny, sometimes in a dark way, sometimes in a slapstick way...I found it reminded me of John Irving, especially Son of the Circus for the setting, the wonderfully strange characters, and the religious allusions. And that is high praise indeed...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shari whittier, CA, United States 12-27-08
    Shari whittier, CA, United States 12-27-08 Member Since 2008
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    "Chronic state of hope despite reality"

    Protaganist was simultaneously pitiful and hopeful. The human spirit is displayed in a painful, yet oddly humorous fashion. The narrator captures the attitude and personalities of the charactors perfectly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 06-15-08
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 06-15-08 Member Since 2007

    trying to see the world with my ears

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dickens reincarnated in Mumbai"

    If Dickens found himself in modern day Mumbai, he might have spun this clever tale of characters and circumstance to comment on social conditions and relations. If you like writers like Vikram Seth, Arundhi Roy and Rohinton Mistry who weave tales that are local but universal, tragic but funny, you'll like Q+A. Although Q+A is a bit lighter fare than the others' novels, great narration carries it to a 5 star listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Plano, TX, USA 06-05-07
    Kim Plano, TX, USA 06-05-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story, Fantastic Narrator"

    I downloaded this book with some trepidation; it just didn't sound like the type of story I would typically like. But I'm so glad I listened to the other reviewers and took the chance, this book is an absolute treat! So many emotions are invoked while reading this book that I have found myself thinking about it many times during the weeks since I finished it. Unlike most of the books I download, this one will stay in my ipod so I can listen to it again and again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. P. Wilson VA, USA 12-27-06
    R. P. Wilson VA, USA 12-27-06 Member Since 2004

    Finance Pro

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Q&A"

    One of the most engaging voices to render an audiobook I've ever heard. The premise for the story's plotline is exceptionally clever and engaging. The author combines wonderful dialog conveyed via a first person narrative form to cover a wide range of very adult themes and related exposition police brutality, child abuse, prostitution in India, abuse of women, and corporate and bureaucratic corruption, class discrimination)with the optimism, humanity and sense of humor of the protaganist to present a wonderful tale. But as other reviewers note - the diversity of personalities presented with perfect mix of energy, pace and tone make this audio presentation stand out.

    I've never been to India, but the atmosphere generated by the author's words, enhanced by Mr. Shale's top-notch effort, are transportive. The author's well-crafted denouement is simply a first rate treat!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vincent North Vancouver, BC, Canada 07-13-06
    Vincent North Vancouver, BC, Canada 07-13-06
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    "Wonderful story -wonderfully performed"

    I am new to audiobooks and after a handful of non-fiction, this was my first foray in trying fiction on an ipod. I am pleased to say that with good story, well told, worked well during my twice daily 30 minute commute to and from work. I have come to take full advantage of audible.com's generous samples to get a feel for the narrator before getting the download - Kerry Shale's brilliant performance of the many characters, richly portrayed through accents, intonation and manners really made this far more than simply listening to a story.

    I am starting to look for particular narrators as often as a type of book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nxp 04-26-06
    Nxp 04-26-06 Member Since 2000
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    "OK story. Magnificent reading performance."

    Most convenient of audible to let the user click on the narrator's name to see other books read by the same performer. Reviewing a book is straightforward, but with audiobooks there's more. There's a narrator and also possibly an abridgement. I suppose an audiobook could be rated sperately on all three.
    The reading performance given by Kerry Shale on Q&A is unquestionably one of the best I've heard since becoming an Audible subscriber six years ago. The storyline is OK. It's entertaining and from the start it is not hard to follow. But the real entertainment here is supplied by narrator. So, if there were seperate ratings, I'd give the story a B and give the narration an A+. As for the abridgement, well that's moot. Unless they put out an unabridged version narrated by Shale, who cares? Simple printed words, abridged or not, could not compare.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Michigan, USA 05-02-14
    Jennifer Michigan, USA 05-02-14 Member Since 2011

    You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. ~Paul Sweeney

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Wish I hadn't seen the movie first..."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes. The length of the book was excellent. It was a really good story.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Slumdog Millionaire (a.k.a. Q&A)?

    That sounds like a SPOILER to me and I don't do spoilers.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    This book is a movie and the movie was excellent. I think that I would have liked the book A LOT more but I had seen the movie and already knew what was going to happen. This took some of the suspense out that would have made it so much better.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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