Slumdog Millionaire, or Q&A, whatever the name is this book is about the ever changing course of life and how one’s entire life can be told as answers to 12 simple questions.
Life is simple, except when it’s not. A good Bollywood story wouldn’t be half as good without some proper tragedy, and some good comedy, and yet Q&A (adapted to the big screen under the name Slumdog Millionaire) is more than just another Bollywood story.
Life is a funny thing, and so is chronology. Both are major aspects of Q&A, where chronology means nothing and yet it means everything just not in the way you usually read a chronological story. Because Q&A is a giant flashback on someones life, in the form of question asked and stories told. But that means that life gets jumbled and yet it doesn’t because you don’t have to second guess anything for even a second when reading Q&A, you know immediately when it takes place even though the main character rarely states his age. Life is strange that way, it seems.
Life is a funny thing, with more aspects than one lifetime can count. Q&A tries to touch upon as many aspects as humanly possible, without losing the flow of the story. And the book succeeds rather well. From loneliness to hope, from boldness to madness, the main character experiences everything in life as he moves through the story. Each aspect is vital to the story, is vital to the growth of the hero. And it is this part that makes Q&A relatable to every reader, whether he/she lives in a slum or in a mansion. In the end, we are all humans trying to find our way and reading this book reminds us of this.
Ram Mohammad Thomas has just got twelve questions correct on a TV quiz-show to win a cool one billion rupees. But he is brutally slung in prison on suspicion of cheating. Because how can a kid from the slums know who Shakespeare was, unless he is pulling a fast one. In the order of the questions on the show, Ram tells us which incredible adventures in his life on the streets gave him the answers. From orphanages to brothels, gangsters to beggar-masters, and into the homes of Bollywood’s rich and famous, Ram’s story is brimming with the chaotic comedy, heart-stopping tragedy and tear-inducing joyousness of modern India.
Vikas Swarup. Q&A / Simon&Schuster / 9781439138168