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Q and A (2005) by Vikas Swarup

Danny Boyle has filmed this little cracker of a book, and this is what I thought of it way back in 2006.
This is a brilliant idea for a book and I’m amazed no one thought of it before.

A poor, uneducated waiter goes on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” (it’s not called that for copyright reasons) and wins the jackpot. Because of his background the producers are convinced he has cheated and his is arrested by the Mumbai Police who try to extract a confession.

We pick up the narrative as he explains to his lawyer how he knows the answer to each question from his life experiences.

Each chapter tells us how he garnered such information, for example he was a runner for a bookie and thus knew how many centuries a certain cricket player had knocked up in his career.

Swarup manages the plot brilliantly because Our Hero Ram’s story can’t be told in chronological order due to the sequence of the questions but we get a great insight into Indian life and all it’s quirks and contradictions.

This book explains, in a non patronising way how things are in this great country.


About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.


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