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Q & A


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The warm-hearted comic story of a penniless waiter from Mumbai who became the biggest quiz-show winner in history!

About the Author

Vikas Swarup is a member of the Indian Foreign Service and is based in Delhi. Q&A has won many awards, and is translated into 40 languages so far. It is the book behind the mult-Oscar winning film, Slumdog Millionaire. His second novel, Six Suspects, is available as a Black Swan paperback and ebook and is soon to be made into a film.


This production gains much from Shale's excellent and lively performance. The text could easily have been overdone but Shale makes it sincere, hilarious, heartbreaking and delightful. Ram Muhammad Thomas-a young orphan with no formal education-correctly answers all 12 questions on Who Wants to Win a Billion? and is arrested and jailed when the unscrupulous quiz-show producers, reluctant to pay out the winnings, accuse him of cheating. In order to prove his innocence, he recounts his life story in 12 interludes, each eventually explaining the extraordinary circumstances that taught him one of the answers. Ram's life, full of horrors, becomes an allegory for all the problems of the lower classes in India, and the fantastic situations that lead him to win the quiz show take on mythic proportions. Ram's appeal lies in his childlike openness and wonder, and that of the story lies in hearing a full life unwind from the tiniest of details. Each tale is peopled by memorable characters-some recurring-and Shale gives each a distinct voice. His gifted reading, full of emphasis, inflection and excitement, is a joy to listen to. Simultaneous release with the Scribner hardcover (Reviews, July 11). (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"This brilliant story, as colossal, vibrant and chaotic as India itself... is not to be missed" * Observer *
"Poignant, funny, rich... with an utterly orignal and brilliant structure at its heart" -- Meg Rosoff, author of HOW I LIVE NOW
"Mingling broad humour with incisive social comment, Q&A is absorbing and richly entertaining reading" * The Times *
"This lively picaresque novel has an original and telling premise... a colourful portrait of Indian society is painted with remarkable lightness and wit" * Sunday Telegraph *
"A hugely successful mixture of satire and intrigue" * Independent on Sunday *
"Swarup is an accomplished storyteller" * Daily Mail *
"An engaging and surprisingly informative read" * Telegraph *
"This novel is part homage to the larger-than-life Bollywood film industry, and the characters and story are so engaging that you really have to read on to find out how it all comes together in the end" * Derby Evening Telegraph *
"One of the most delightful reads i've enjoyed in years" * Shashi Tharoor *
"Q&A is popular fiction at its best and brightest. The prose is efficient and the characters are briskly drawn in strong, sharp colours. Swarup clearly understands his job. As an exercise in genre, the novel is a triumph and that was before the movie-makers got to work" -- Robert McCrum * Guardian *

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