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Slumdog Millionaire

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  20,675 ratings  ·  2,143 reviews
Ram Mohammad Thomas has been arrested—for answering twelve questions correctly on TV’s Who Will Win a Billion? Ram has never gone to school and never read a newspaper. There is no way a poor orphan from Jimmy’s Bar could know the names of the planets or the plays of Shakespeare ... unless he cheated. Rescued from his police cell by a lawyer, Ram reviews television footage ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 9th 2008 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2000)
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Sarah I think the book is definitely worth the read. True, it is different than the movie. However, just b/c it's different isn't necessarily a bad thing.…moreI think the book is definitely worth the read. True, it is different than the movie. However, just b/c it's different isn't necessarily a bad thing. The premise is essentially the same, but the background stories are mostly different. I thought it was fun learning what the next story would be, since the movie didn't necessarily give them away. It's a quick, easy read... so give it a try and decide for yourself. (less)
Abby James I really have to admire the way the screen writer created a whole new story and only loosely based it on the book (just the premise and a few other…moreI really have to admire the way the screen writer created a whole new story and only loosely based it on the book (just the premise and a few other things). It's rare that an interpretation is so well thought out. The book is simple and interesting on its own. The twist at the end is delicious and it was a compelling read. The movie on the other hand had so many layers. It was if it was a completely different novel in itself. Both can be appreciated. :)(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Megha

I should mention that this 1-star review is not at all related to my opinion of the movie "Slumdog Millionaire" which I liked much better than the book. I am glad that the movie-makers smartly retained the only decent thing about this novel that is the game show plot device and tossed almost all of the rest into the trash because that's where this novel truly belongs. This book badly needs some editing or even better, a different author. I read in some review that "Slumdog Millionaire" feels lik
...more
Amy
I was completely unenchanted with the movie Slumdog Millionaire; the story, I felt, was predictable with characters that were totally uninteresting or completely unlikable. However, much as I was unimpressed with the movie, I couldn't shake the feeling that there was the kernel of a very interesting story there, and that maybe, just maybe, I might have a good experience with the book.

I am pleased to report that I was correct - the book [u:]Q&A[/u:] is far superior to the film. A few things t
...more
Tea Jovanović
MUST READ! MUST READ! One of the books I've discovered for Serbia, and I'm very proud of doing it much before the movie is made or won the Oscar... This book has that "something" that makes you instantly fell in love with it from first sentence... And you don't forget it ages later... It took quite a time to catch readers' attention in Serbia... Although this book had many editions in Serbia, his publisher completely ignored his second novel, pitty... I still hope to find him new publisher in Se ...more
Leigh-ann
I was torn about how to rate this book. On one hand, I just loved the unusual plot, and could have easily given it 5 stars. On the other hand, wow, I don't remember the last time I read anything so blatantly homophobic. Three different male characters, two of whom are clearly identified as "gay", were predatory pedophiles who abused young boys. A third man was also a pedophile who abused young boys, but at least the author never claimed he was gay. I didn't feel any of these characterizations we ...more
Lexie
I have rarely been as ambivalent about a book as I was about Q&A. I realized about half-way through that I could put it down, never pick it up again, and not feel any remorse at all. Yet it was just engaging enough to continue reading, and I finished it. I was moderately intrigued throughout, but nothing in it lit a passion in me at all.

Basically, I'm glad I checked it out of the library.
Joe
May 31, 2011 Joe rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
My review is based on the audiobook read by Christopher Simpson, who is absolutely outstanding given his vast array of accents and vocal gymnastics. His readings adds an ingredient that would have been sorely missed without him. Having just visited India, I found I was pulled right into the vivid storyline.

I loved the movie but I found the stories in the book far more appealing. It’s originally entitled "Q&A" which is actually the story’s format. I haven’t been teary-eyed over many stories,
...more
Trin
Wow. Simon Beaufoy really deserved that Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. I didn’t think that Slumdog Millionaire was the Best Movie EVAR! as some people seem to, but the book is just awful. Scattered and poorly written, with a narrative that relies on more farfetched coincidences than a cracked-out Dickens novel, Q&A also manages to make its protagonist completely unsympathetic, and its romance entirely unromantic. Oh, and the whole thing—the first few chapters especially—is cringingly homopho ...more
Catie
This is one of those rare occasions when I am going to have to say that I like the movie much more than the book. For one, the movie has the absolutely adorable Dev Patel. For two, I think that it was a fantastic decision on the part of Danny Boyle et. al. to edit out the homophobic stereotyping that permeates the beginning of this book.

I’ve only read seventy five pages, so maybe it gets better. I don’t know. This sort of thing tends to bother me quite a bit and I just can’t get past it.

Let’s re
...more
Kathryn
I saw the movie made from this when it was on at the cinema - Slumdog Millionaire - and I thought it was a clever premise, although overly graphic in some respects. The book is just as clever, although different to the movie, because of course movies always change things. The book is less descriptive of disturbing scenes than the movie was graphic.

It was a very interesting read - I liked reading about the different places that Ram Mohammad Thomas lived and worked, and seeing how chance encounter
...more
Abhinav
Whoa. I must start by saying that I've surprised myself by reading the last 170 odd pages in just over a couple of hours.

I suppose the premise of 'Q&A' is known to everyone who hasn't been living under a rock, having been adapted into the Oscar-winning motion picture 'Slumdog Millionaire' in 2008. But that's pretty much where the resemblance ends, because the film takes very little inspiration from the events that take place in the book, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

I say this becaus
...more
Aliaa

انا ماشفتش الفيلم -مش بشوف أفلام اصلا- بس مظنش اني محتاجة اشوفه، الكتاب رائع بما يكفي.
حاجة تاني حبيتها جدا انه بيشرح كتير جدا عن الهند، ومعلوماته بتتكلم علي كل حاجة من السنيما هناك لحد الأكلات المختلفة.
بصراحة بيبهرني جدا الكاتب اللي مش بس بيكتب قصة حلوة لا كمان بيحط فيها معلومات كتير فبيخليني اتسلي واستفيد في نفس الوقت
...more
Derek
Mar 11, 2010 Derek rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 15+
At first glance, “Slumdog Millionaire”, written by Vikas Swarup, would appear to be a story about someone that wins a bunch of cash in the Indian Slum but, it is much more than that. “Slumdog Millionaire” is written in the perspective of a young boy named, Ram Mohammad Thomas. Suspected of cheating on the game show Who wants to be a Billionaire, He is tortured until a mysterious lawyer comes to his aid. Suspicious of her, Ram flips and coin and from the toss, he decides to open up and tell his s ...more
Ev
Apr 02, 2009 Ev rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ev by: Mom
Shelves: 2009, mom
Good idea for a story. Poor, uneducated orphan kid wins a billion rupees (About $20 million USD) on a game show.

Other than that it was somewhat of a struggle to get through this book. I think it was all the Indian names. I know this book is written by an Indian and was translated into English but I had a hard time getting into it when every sentance had some Indian word I didn't know what it meant and there were no other explaining to help figure it out. Maybe if I spoke that language it wouldn
...more
The Flooze
Slumdog Millionaire (Q&A) is not a masterpiece of prose. But it is a startling and thought-provoking story, rife with social commentary.

The prologue is engaging, swiftly establishing the ludicrousness of a waiter from the slums winning a quiz show. It deftly highlights the resignation the residents of Dharavi feel towards their lot in life: the inevitability of the police taking you away; the abuses doled out by corrupt officers; the belief that you summon only misfortune if you challenge th
...more
Charity
Q & A is the book that inspired the film Slumdog Millionaire. However, the two bear little to no resemblance to each other, save for the basic premise: an orphan from the slums of India goes on a game show and wins the top prize, but the show's producers think he must have cheated, so the kid tells stories from his life that relay how he knew the answers to the questions. Aside from this bare bones outline, the book and movie are really two entirely different stories made up of almost entire ...more
Dale
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
نرمين الشامى
ابداع ... ابداع .. ابداع
رواية مؤثرة للغاية
وتبرز براعة الفكرة فى تناول حياة شخص كاملة والقاء الضوء على المجتمع الهندى الحقيقي الذى لم نعرفه من قبل وذلك من خلال اسئلة فى برنامج مسابقات

رام محمد توماس شاب او مراهق يتيم سمى بهذا الاسم نظرا لكونه مجهول الاصل والنسب وخوفا من التسبب فى فتنة طائفية تمت تسميته بأسماء تجمع الطوائف الرئيسية فى الهند (الهندوس- المسلمين-المسيحيين)

عاش حياته متنقلا بين الاعمال والشوارع والمدن واشترك فى مسابقة لربح مبلغ بليون روبية
واستطاع الاجابة على 13 سؤالا وهو الذى لم يذهب ي
...more
Anne
I finished reading Q&A this morning, a thoroughly enjoyable read and a real page-turner. If the film, Slumdog Millionaire, based on this novel is anywhere near as good, then it will be one to watch.

Q&A begins with Ram as the winner of the largest prize in a TV quiz show, he is arrested on the grounds of cheating as nobody believes that a waiter in a restaurant in Mumbai could possibly answer all twelve questions correctly.

The following twelve chapters are based on incidents that have ha
...more
Melissa
I saw Slumdog Millionaire before I read the book it is loosely based upon. This time, the movie was better than the book. The episodes in the book were much worse, much more disturbing than in the movie. (I'm so tired of books that have boys sexually abused by perverts. Why can't a villain be a villain without being a pervert?) The movie kept a certain level of comedy and humor alongside the darkness. The book didn't manage to do that, and it didn't have the romantic storyline that connected the ...more
Nicole
As a huge fan of the movie, Slumdog Millionaire, I was very excited to read the book on which it was based. However, the only similarity between the book and the film is the general plot of a young man in the slums who goes on a game show and answers questions that are related to his life experiences. The relationships between the characters have changed, almost all of the questions have changed, and the love story is completely different. I still enjoyed the book, although the dialogue is often ...more
Zack
I saw the film a few years ago together with my mother, and I was amazed by the story – almost as much as I was amazed by Dev Patel and how wonderful he is. So, when I learned it was based on a book; it didn't take me long to go to the library in an attempt to find it. However, even though the library claimed to have it, it was nowhere to be found. Until the other day when I found it on a shelf way off where it's supposed to be. Talk about faith.

Ram Mohammad Thomas has just been arrested. Why? F
...more
سوسن الجبري

رواية ممتعه جدا وفيها تصوير لحياة الفقراء والمشردين بشكل فعلا واقعي ومحزن :(
الرواية رائعه لكن للاسف فيها بعض الاحداث الي ما اقدر افسرها غير بأنها " فلم هندي " .. مثلا في كون المحامية هي غوديا وكون مقدم البرنامج هو نفسه الشخص الي عذب الممثلة و بائعه الهوى الي يعرفها توماس .. يعني وش هالصدفة !
بس غير هذا الرواية فعلا ممتعه و انصح بقرائتها في حالة الوصول لحالة الملل من القراءة لانها بترجع لك الحماسة للقراءة من جديد ..
Federica
Blog Stories Review: http://storiesbooksandmovies.blogspot...

Pochi film sono riusciti ad avere un successo pari a quello di The Millionaire. Caratterizzato da un cast sconosciuto (o quasi) e da una colonna sonora in perfetto stile indiano, la pellicola diretta da Danny Boyle ha conquistato ben 8 statuette all'edizione 2009 degli Oscar. Niente male, vero? Appassionata ed incantata dal film, solo dopo parecchi anni ho scoperto l'esistenza di Le dodici domande, romanzo di Vikas Swarup da cui è sta
...more
Sakinah
What a book!!
Why on Earth should I wait 4 years and 9 months to read this marvellous story.
I bought it in April 2010 and I had just watched the movie then and decided to read it when I forgot the movie.

I enjoyed the movie and it has an impact on me but the book is much more enjoyable and has a greater impact.

The author did a great job by telling the story first then see the question on the show. It makes me more alert and I was trying to guess the question before reaching the question-reveal
...more
Koel
You can read the html version of this review at http://anaroiterbookreviews.blogspot.....

The brouhaha on Slumdog Millionaire hasn’t fully subsided yet and I have already forgotten the name of the book which inspired the Academy award winning film. I was looking at the cover of the book Q and A – by Vikas Swarup and I felt there was something familiar about it. Had I heard about this book? I still could not remember. I finally looked at the cover and decided to take it.I know you are not supposed
...more
Scurra
Finding innovative hooks for short stories has been a staple of literature for centuries (think the Canterbury Tales, the Decameron or the Arabian Nights.) In Q&A Swarup has found a doozy, utilising a format most readers will be able to easily relate to whilst springing continual surprised in the non-linear timeline. Even when you know a particular story is due to be told, when it arrives the details are always fun. And the punchline is fantastically plausible and consistent with the establi ...more
Katie
I get pretty obsessive about keeping my books and my movies separate. There are rules, you see, and without rules defining how books and movies should interact, I just don't know where we'd be. As a nation, I mean. So as such, it's imperative to follow the following:

Rule #1: Always read the book first. It's critical that you visualize the story and the characters on your own without, say, Jennifer Aniston's face in your mind.

Rule #2: When we're talking about fluffy lite-reading books, the movie
...more
Wendy
It was a spur of the moment decision to read Vikas Swarup’s novel when I did. I tend to prefer to read the book before seeing the movie it is based on, but I hadn’t known until recently that the movie was actually based on a book. In cases like this, when I really want to see the movie in the theater, I often times will just go ahead and see the movie anyway. The book will have to wait. Fortunately, I was able to get my hands on a copy of Slumdog Millionaire, so titled after the movie no less. T ...more
Bonnie Jeanne
Interesting premise. An Indian waiter, Ram Mohammed Thomas, wins the big prize in a television game show and is promptly arrested. Game show producers claim he cheated to win, but it is not secret the prize will bankrupt the production company, so the cheating charge is pretty much a necessity.

The arrested young man is visited by a stranger, a woman who says she wants to help him. She wants him to explain how someone with so little formal education could have won the game show quiz. He tells he
...more
Najmuddin
Sebagai orang yang tidak percaya kepada kebetulan seratus peratus, aku agak skeptikal dengan jalan cerita novel ini. Berjaya menjawab 12 soalan untuk memenangi 1 billion rupees, hanya kerana tuah dan kebetulan, adalah mustahil bagi aku. Tidak logik.

Namun, setelah semakin lama menyelam di dasar penceritaan buku ini, aku sedar, soalan-soalan yang dijawab itu bukanlah fokus utama cerita ini. Ia hanyalah pentas untuk mementaskan realiti kehidupan seorang kanak-kanak yatim piatu dan manusia-manusia y
...more
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Vikas Swarup was born in Allahabad (India) in a family of lawyers.

After his schooling, Vikas attended Allahabad University and studied History, Psychology and Philosophy. He also made his mark as a champion debater, winning National level competitions. After graduating with distinction, he joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1986, motivated by an interest in international relations and a desire t
...more
More about Vikas Swarup...
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“Love doesn't happen in an instant. It creeps up on you and then it turns your life upside down. It colors your waking moments, and fills your dreams. You begin to walk on air and see life in brilliant new shades. But it also brings with it a sweet agony, a delicious torture.” 130 likes
“And for the first time in my life, I saw something new reflected in the eyes that saw me. Respect. It taught me a very valuable lesson. That dreams have power only over your own mind. But with money you can have power over the minds of others” 30 likes
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