Friday, February 27, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup

In Slumdog Millionaire, Ram Mohammad Thomas has been arrested for allegedly cheating on the TV game show Who Will Win a Billion?. He has answered all twelve questions right and is entitled to a billion rupees. He's done so without ever having attended school or read a newspaper. The producers of the show assume that he has somehow cheated and have had him arrested. As he and his lawyer watch a tape of his performance on the show, Ram relates the details of his life about how he goes from a baby abandoned in a garbage, to bartender, to a tour guide at the Taj Mahal and beyond.

I adored this book. Parts of it were poignant and compelling, while other parts were quite humorous. Vikas's characters were convincing; I rooted for Ram and Salim all the way to the end. I laughed; I was moved to tears; I cringed at the brutality. While it is a work of fiction, it serves as a reminder of the despicable things human are capable of and the deplorable condition under which some people live. I also loved the first sentence of the book. I believe it's going to become a classic: "I have been arrested. For winning a game show." You just have to read more after reading that.

In general, I love to read books set in other countries. New cultures; new languages. I particularly find books set in India fascinating. I never tire of them. Their culture is so different from my own that I learn something new with each book I read.

This book was previously published as Q & A. The one I read was the movie-tie in edition and features a P.S. section at the back. It includes a biography of the author, an interview with him as well as other fascinating material. It's well worth the read.

I'd highly recommended this book.

I also saw the movie based on this book. While I'm not a big movie goer, I decided to see it because it's won so many awards and I was curious after reading the book. I'm so glad I did. It was sensational. Not as good as the book, in my opinion, but definitely worth seeing. My husband loved it and wouldn't stop talking about it. Now that I've seen the movie, I'd really like to reread the book.

Want to know more about this book? You can Browse Inside or read a synopsis.

For more information about the movie, visit the website. The site has music, so if you are at work, turn down the speakers. ;)


  1. My interest is definitely piqued! I've seen the previews for the movie and I intend to read the book first, but the movie does look sensational!

  2. I'm glad I came across your review. I wanted to know a bit more about this book as the movie sounds intriguing.

  3. I'm glad you found it, too. ;) I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.


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