Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Q&A by Vikas Swarup

Author: Vikas Swarup
ISBN # 055277250X
Publisher: Black Swan
First Published: 2005
381 pages

Eighteen-year-old Ram Mohammad Thomas is in prison after answering twelve questions correctly on a TV quiz show to win one billion rupees. The producers have arrested him, convinced that he has cheated his way to victory. Twelve extraordinary events in street-kid Ram’s life – how he was found in a dustbin by a priest; came to have three names; fooled a professional hit-man; even fell in love – give him the crucial answers…

I wasn’t convinced that this would be “my kind of book”, but I have never been happier to admit I was wrong. Q&A is both heart-warming and gripping story that takes the reader on a tag-along tour of Ram’s life whilst commenting on religious bigotry, child abuse, poverty, exploitation, espionage and Bollywood culture.

This is one of the most interesting and unusual novels I’ve read in a long time - well worth picking up if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary that explores deeper issues from a different angle.

There is talk of Q&A being adapted for the big screen and I, for one, would definitely go to see it.

Rating: 8


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