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Slumdog Milionaire - A Novel

Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup was originally published as Q & A. Slumdog Millionaire, a 2008 British film, directed by Danny Boyle is an adaptation of the novel Q & A. It has won 8 Oscars, 5 Critics' Choice Awards, 4 Golden Globes, and 7 BAFTA Awards.


About the author

Vikas Swarup is an Indian Foreign Service bureaucrat, who has served in Turkey, the United States, Ethiopia and Great Britain. He is presently posted in Pretoria as India's Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa. His debut novel, Q and A, tells the story of how a penniless waiter in Mumbai becomes the biggest quiz show winner in history. Critically acclaimed in India and abroad, this international bestseller is being translated into 41 languages.

Synopsis of the story

The book opens with an 18-year-old protagonist, the book’s lovable hero, Ram Mohammed Thomas, in jail, where he sits accused of defrauding in the popular TV game show "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire? As Ram wins the Quiz show there is disbelief that an uneducated slum boy could know all the answers. The story progresses question by question, as Ram recollects through flashbacks, as to how he managed to know each answer. Ram's life story unfolds as a series of episodes ranging from the horrific to the mere tragicomic, and in a sense, one can view him as symbolic of India's lost children. The valiant Ram keeps doggedly moving forward and surviving. Each chapter is colourfully written, funny and poignant at the same time.

Theme of the story

As the author states the book is about hope and survival. Each page, each episode tells you in no uncertain wards that you can triumph over adversity, a beautiful flower can bloom in the dirtiest slum."

The narrative is straightforward and shows a confused young boy doing whatever it takes to live. And of course, the ultimate moral of the story is that those who keep their eyes and ears open in life can learn a lot about it without any books.

Awards received by the book

  • Q & A was short listed for the Best First Book by the Commonwealth Writers' Prize
  • Q & A won South Africa’s Exclusive Books Boeke Prize 2006
  • Q & A won the IVCA Clarion Award 2008
  • Q & A has been chosen as "The Most Influential Book of the Year 2008" by Kingstone Bookstore in Taiwan, the biggest chain store throughout Taiwan.
  • A BBC radio play based on the book won the Gold Award for Best Drama at the Sony Radio Academy Awards 2008

Other books by Vikas Swarup

  • Six Suspects released in July 2008 is being translated into several languages. It has also been optioned for a film by the BBC and Star field Productions.
  • A Great Event - published in The Children’s Hours: Stories of Childhood


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