Q & A

Q & A

A Novel

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Vikas Swarup's spectacular debut, which provided the inspiration for the award-winning film Slumdog Millionaire , is a page-turning and beguiling story of love, perseverance, and drama.

Vikas Swarup's remarkable debut novel opens in a jail cell in Mumbai, India, where Ram Mohammad Thomas is being held after correctly answering all twelve 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.

Ram takes us on an amazing review of his own history--from the day he was found as a baby in the clothes donation box of a Delhi church to his employment by a faded Bollywood star to his adventure with a security-crazed Australian army colonel to his career as an overly creative tour guide at the Taj Mahal.

Swarup's Q & A is a charming blend of high comedy, drama, and romance that reveals how we know what we know--not just about trivia, but about life itself. Cutting across humanity in all its squalor and glory, Vikas Swarup presents a kaleidoscopic vision of the struggle between good and evil--and what happens when one boy has no other choice in life but to survive.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2008, c2005
Edition: 1st Scribner trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780743267489
Branch Call Number: PR9499.4.S93 Q13 2008x
Swarup, V
Characteristics: 318, [5] p. ; 20 cm
Uniform Title: Q and A


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Aug 21, 2014

I picked up this book because I enjoyed the movie. I will say it is pretty different from the movie so I enjoyed it on that level because I wasn't always sure what would happen next. I found the writing a bit clunky and because each chapter jumped in time and place it was a bit disorienting until about halfway through when you started to piece together what was happening. I did like this book, but I really didn't love it.

Indigo_Cobra_8 Jun 20, 2013

It took me a few chapters before I got into the story, but wow, what a story. There are so many twists and turns, and some parts are a bit unrealistic/unbelievable, but I guess that's part of the message the book sends about fate and destiny.

May 10, 2013

Even after watching the movie I found the book really exciting. I would say I enjoyed the book much more than the movie!

The story is a boy from Mumbai's slum who goes onto answer an incredible number of questions in a "who wants to be a millionaire" like quiz show.

While the novel is fiction, much of it is based on fact and speaks to life in India and the dichotomy between the lives of the rich and the poor.

Apr 17, 2013

This is a tremendous first novel - just for that, it would stand out. Yes, some of the details were changed for the movie, but they`re two different art forms and the adaptation stands true to the original. They`re both excellent. Strongly recommended.

May 02, 2012

This is the book that "Slumdog Millionaire" was based on. And pretty loosely based too. The movie takes the concept of the gameshow and shows how Ram, the main character, has arrived at the point of being able to answer a set of increasingly obscure questions, despite his being an uneducated tea wallah. The actual questions and experiences related to the answering of those questions differ hugely between the book and the movie and so consequently, even if you've watched the film, the book is fresh and never, never dull. An excellent read.

Apr 09, 2012

Easy read. Good story. I like how the focus in the novel is more about Thomas' life as opposed to the film, where the focus is the love story. Some detailed descriptions about the realities of life in India.

raminjoker Mar 06, 2012

The book is the one which Slumdog millionaire movie is made upon.
very weak in literature and metaphoric expression. Though a good source of reference about miseries of life in India.

fluffarama21 Dec 01, 2010

This will be discussed July 27, 2011 at the Frisbie Senior Center.

Oct 07, 2010

This is a brilliantly written book and makes the film very pale in comparison. In fact there is barely any similarity between this and the film and I'm glad because I thought Slumdog Millionaire was a poor tranlsation and went the hollywood route. I was disappointed as Danny Boyle is a good director and has done some very good movies.

Still, the book is a rare gem and one not to be missed!

Oct 02, 2010

Best book I ever read! once you've read a few pages you can never stop. There are some differences between the movie and the book, but they are both excellent.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Feb 05, 2012

ukiuq thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Quote
AmandaVollmershausen Mar 16, 2013

“One does not question a miracle.”


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at MBLN

To Top