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
Q and A (the book's original title) is a novel of vast scope and tremendous depth, full of irony amid tragedy, and hope surrounded by despair. The "story" of its main character, "Ram Mohammed Thomas," is the equivalent of at least a dozen stories, and gives the reader/listener SO much more than the movie, Slumdog Millionaire, could ever hope to do. For those who saw the movie, listening to the novel will be an entirely different experience.
There is something in this novel for everyone to relate to, I believe, and what makes it all so marvelous is the writing talent of its first-time novelist, Vikas Swarup. Mr. Swarup has given us all a look into contemporary life in the big cities of India, through the eyes of a boy badly used by that life. In doing so, he educates while entertaining us with a plot filled with incredible coincidences, and surprise conclusions that keep us on edge, and eager for more. That's what I can say about the book alone; add Christopher Simpson's amazing array of voices and accents that match up with characters coming from various social classes and regions, and this Slumdog Millionaire becomes an un-put-down-able "listen."
I like this kind of book. There's a huge mystery to be solved. Hints and details are given in *unchronological order* (If you like that style of presentation, Google search: "Haruhi novels"). Those hints/details are told with believable amounts of embellishments by the unreliable narrator who is at the center of this huge mystery. (Since I can only listen to audiobooks a chapter at a time, I found myself mulling over possible clues scattered throughout the novel and was rewarded for my analysis efforts in the end). Decent and lovable characters die horrible deaths just as easily as random NPCs from the street. Oh, and the story takes place in India. India! How many books on Audible take place in India? From someone who really knows India? Sure, Vikas Swarup may be yet another US-born Indian, but the details he writes in sounds credible enough.
This audiobook is masterfully read by Christopher Simpson, who is absolutely outstanding given his vast array of accents and vocal gymnastics. His reading adds an ingredient that would have been sorely missed without him. Having just visited India, I found I was pulled right into the vivid storyline.
I loved the movie but I found the stories in the book far more moving. It's originally entitled Q&A which is actually the story's format. I haven't been teary-eyed over many stories, but this one really touched my heart. The narrative jumps around a bit, but it all still plays out quite powerfully. The movie is based on the dynamics from this book, but I wish it used a few more of these stories (while politically, I can understand why they didn't). Ram Mohammad Thomas (Jamal in the movie), is still quite unforgettable. Salim and the host of other good and bad guys and all of their stories will stay with me for a long time. Even the charismatic TV show emcee has important history; I loved it. It's heavy at times, but a powerful read.
Avid reader, loves suspense, classics, and any books that are well written no matter the genre.
I loved this book. Great Narrator. Great Story. I havent seen the movie yet (wanted to read the book first) but can understand why a screenplay was written based on this book. The story has terribly sad moments but is injected with humor at the same time and is definitely one of those "feel good" types of stories.
Emotional adventure, educational regarding the life conditions of many in India. A brilliant and original concept for telling this amazing story. This story describes an extraordinary child's overcoming of political, social, and moral corruption in India.
I love learning, teaching, and exploring!
This novel is about a man being accused of cheating on a trivia type game show. It is presented in an interesting fashion; each chapter details a life experience which helped the main character answer one of the trivia questions. I found the book to be well written and interesting although a little bit sad to see the hardships that the main characters and his friends experience. The novel is quite different from the movie, although the idea is similar.
The narration was very good. I was very impressed with all of the accents and voices expressed by the narrator.
As others have noted, the book is longer, different, and more interesting than the movie. The characters are more thoroughly drawn out, and the link between each story and the money that Ram wins from each question in the contest is more clear.
In each story, Ram loses something. Or more specifically, he voluntarily gives up something in order to help someone else. The contest is how he gets paid back for his lifetime of suffering and generosity.
The narration is interesting, with a variety of Indian accents. I enjoyed the movie for the images of India, but I enjoyed the book for the characters and the morality play among them.
I generally avoid fiction. This time I just wanted to know what all the hype was about. I haven't seen nor do I plan to see the movie, but the audio version of the novel was quite a surprise. The writing is amusing and the reading is excellent.
Essentially, this is the story of one Ram Mohammad Thomas (yes that is an interfaith name) who wins a billion rupees in a quiz show. He is accused of throwing the quiz and the novel explains how he "obtained" the answers.
The story-line is a little contrived, but it doesn't matter. The reader is repaid many times over. The humor is wonderful and the stories will keep the listener's attention. If you tolerated Forest Gump. there is much more here for the interested.
Slumdog isn't high brow, but is an entertaining listen. Take a chance, relax, and enjoy the trip.
Semi retired magazine editor and part time university adjunct instructor who is often distracted by his 10-year-old daughter.
At times I was going to award this book three stars. At other times, it was five. I finally settled on four because the story and characters were riveting but the narration left me missing phrases at a time. Accents can certainly contribute to the atmosphere of a reading but when they compromise understanding, they've gone a bit overboard. A major plot revelation very near the end caught me by surprise and it probably should not have. In my mind that gave Swarup some extra points and pushed the stars to four. With the exception of that surprise, most of the rest of the book was pretty easy to predict. The author made it easy for the listener to put himself/herself in Thomas' place and that meant some good listening. I look forward to seeing the movie adaptation of this book.
compelling story, sympathetic character,
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...
Main character, but his relationships were so strong, that they were outstanding.
I have been raving about this audible book, and plan to buy it as gifts.
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