Monday, 16 March 2009

Q & A by Vikas Swarup

A darker story than its film spin off 'Slumdog Millionaire' but with a similar structure of the question asked and then the story. The experiences Ram Mohammad Thomas has had in life enables him to be able to answer the questions as he takes part in the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Arrested by the police he has to prove he is innocent of cheating by recounting how he knows the answers to the questions because, as an orphan slum dweller, how could he know. As he says "The brain is not an organ we are authorised to use. We are supposed to use only our hands and legs"

Modern India as experienced from he bottom of the pile travelling from Mumbai, Delhi and Agra backwards and forwards in Ram's life. (differing from the film which is a linear story). Confronted by dacoits, employed by aging Bollywood stars, exploited, shown kindness and friendship, discovering love and tragedy. All these things make Ram the person he becomes, an extraordinary everyman.

This is a pacey book with a compelling narrative looking at the underside of society but ultimately it is that old fashioned thing a fable of good triumphing over evil.

Verdict - Good read

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I want to read this book! How come you don't have any comments at your I post? That is very beautiful!