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The Accidental Apprentice

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  3,043 ratings  ·  442 reviews
From the author of the book behind the blockbuster movie Slumdog Millionaire, a brilliant novel about life changing in an instant.

Life pivots on a few key moments. This is one of them.

Sapna Sinha works in an electronics store in downtown Delhi. She hates her job, but she is ambitious and determined to succeed, and she knows without the money she brings in, her family
Paperback, 436 pages
Published January 31st 2013 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2007)
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Average rating 3.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,043 ratings  ·  442 reviews

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Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: indian-authors, 2013
Highly disappointing, much like a badly made Bollywood movie. Way too many coincidences and randomness and even the tagline on the book cover makes no sense. "What would you do if your life changed in an instant" or something like that. But the point is, the main character's life doesn't change in an instant. It does over a painstaking 6 months she insists on dragging us through if we choose to read the book.

There's a lot happening, the writing is too simple (and I never thought I would ever
Himanshu Modi
May 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
Without mincing words, this is the stupidest, most hare-brained story I have ever read. I feel like have to justify myself in using search harsh words... but having just finished the book, I am not in a pleasant mood. See, there are books that I plainly don't like. If these are popular books, I get why people who enjoy these books might do so... And when I say "I get", I do not mean it in a condescending kind of a way. It's just a plain and simple understanding that people's tastes can be ...more
Aman Sharma
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
''The Accidental Apprentice'' by Vikas Swarup was one the books I was eagerly waiting for, in the year 2013. Well to be honest, I had never ever read a book of around 450 pages in matter of 7 hours...

As his previous books, ''The Slumdog Millionaire'' & ''6 Suspects'' Vikas has managed to attract the curiosity of a reader towards this book. The story-line is very strong and gripping which persuaded me to pick the book without giving a second thought. It is a story of a girl Sapna Sinha, who
Rahul Dowlath
May 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I became a fan of Vikas Swarup after reading Q&A (in the midst of the Slumdog Millionaire hype). Wanting more, I discovered Six Suspects, becoming ensnared by his fast-paced and innovative storytelling technique.

So I was excited to find out that he had a new book out. The Accidental Apprentice comes across almost as seven distinct short stories tied together by Sapna Sinha's life-arc, and initially I put this entire structure down to a repetitive storytelling style, almost going as far as
Nicola Marsh
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2013
I haven't read Slumdog Millionaire or seen the film version but I'll certainly be doing both now.

Thoroughly enjoyed The Accidental Apprentice.

Vikas Swarup has an easygoing writing voice that is fun to read.

Loved the strong heroine Sapna and the choices she made.

And I definitely didn't see the MAJOR TWIST at the end coming.

Good read.
May 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
Sales assistant Sapna Sinha is offered a chance to change her life. All she has to do is pass seven tests. From the bestselling novel The Accidental Apprentice.
Bhuwan Chand
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
I had read Q&A, the first book of Vikas Swarup, during a train journey from Bombay to Delhi in 2006, me and my wife were returning from a memorable trip to Goa & Bombay. The book was bought and gifted to me by my dear friend GRV at one crossword shop in Bombay during the trip.

I loved that book and was pleasantly surprised when I came to know that a Hollywood director is making a movie based on the book.

Now this 'The Accidental Apprentice' seems to be written solely with the aim of
Anthony Quinones
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Murder, love, and greed: I was handed these three things on a golden platter in The Accidental Apprentice by Vikas Swarup. This novel took me places I have never dreamed of, in ways that I couldn’t possibly have conceived before reading this amazing book. This is honestly one of the best books I have ever read, in the context of character development and twist and turns.
Imagine a world where everything is stacked against you, because of one choice you made so long ago. That choice unleashing the
Sep 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: indian-authors
After the unexpected and absolutely original storyline of Q&A, expectations were high for Vikas Swaroop's second book.

While I don't distinctly remember the writing style in Q&A (I read it over 5 years ago) I do remember the feeling of "wow" at the end of the book - which is quite a bit missing in this one.
The story is fast paced and keeps you hooked though - only because you want to know what lies in store for Sapna, the main protagonist. Though way too much is happening to her to find
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-library
Interesting premise, with plot points as convoluted as a Bollywood drama. I didn't buy the main character's martyr-like behaviour and some of the supporting characters' roles are one-dimensional and only serve to explain away convenient coincidences in the narrative. Felt like too many unlikely situations coming together and by the time the ultimate villain reveal happened in a sea of red herrings, I'd already stopped caring.
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Extremely disappointing book. I had a hard time reconciling with the fact that this was the same guy who wrote Q&A. The writing is amateurish and so simple that it makes Chetan Bhagat's writing seem like Salman Rushdie. I had high expectations from the story but it was too much of a let down. It looked as if he suddenly saw a few episodes of Satyamev Jayate and decided to write a children's book on it.
Bikram Sherawat
Jan 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Finished the book in 5 hours flat, but by the end i felt the hangover of Q&A looms large over the author...too dramatic and not close to real life as the author tries to portray....
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
The is a very quick, entertaining, fun read, written by the same fellow that wrote Q&A/Slumdog Millionaire. The arc of the story is patently unbelievable but an enjoyable read nonetheless. A perfect summer read.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the books I completed over a weekend! Just couldn't put it down despite have a two year old 's constant nagging!!
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A ready script for a bollywood movie. Loved it. Unexpected ending.
The Accidental Apprentice, a story set in the bustling town of Delhi about a simple girl, Sapna Sinha who has to pass the seven tests set by a successful businessman Vinay Acharya looking for someone who can be the CEO of his ever expanding multi-million business.
And that is where it all starts.

I liked the plot of the story,well that is why I bought the book in the first place.But, to actually say that is where all the excitement ends too. Everything that happens in her Life is too
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: review
If you've read Q&A (or seen its more famous screen adaptation) and Six Suspects, you'd recognise the narrative style in this as well - a series of sub plots driven by a connecting thread. In this case, an eccentric businessman sets a series of 7 tests for an initially reluctant young woman in order to prove herself capable of being the CEO of his conglomerate.
An ordinary person and her responses to circumstances that one would find familiar if one lived in India, that's pretty much what the
Moushine Zahr
This is the second novel I've read from the author Vikas Swarup. The first novel read was Meurtre dans un jardin indien. No, I didn't read his first hit novel on which the movie "Slumdog Millionaire" was based nor I haven't seen the movie. It seems that the author writes novels to be made for movies instead of literature. This novel, like his first hit novel, also has a get filftthy rich quickly for the leading character; maybe this is a new genre.

Although I rated 3 stars this novel just like
Jacki (Julia Flyte)
May 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Sapna is an ordinary girl working at an electronics store in New Delhi. When visiting the temple one day, she meets a billionaire industrialist who tells her that he would like to make her the CEO of his company, but that if she agrees she first needs to pass seven "tests" of character. Sapna is highly sceptical but agrees. What follows is a series of mishaps and adventures, each of which turn out to have been part of the apprenticeship. The story also allows Swarup to touch on many issues in ...more
Lady Drinkwell
Aug 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
I loved the book Q and A and the film SlumDog Millionaire so I was looking forward to reading this book. However I was very much disappointed. The structure is similar to Q and A as it revolves around a girl being given various tasks in order to prove her worthiness for a post as CEO of a company. The idea intrigued me.. something like a fairy tale or a legend.. however the book was very badly written in my opinion from many points of view. The tasks were completely mixed up in the heroines life ...more
Rishi Prakash
May 19, 2013 rated it liked it
You can see that the author has another movie already in mind by the time you end up finishing the first chapter! This book looks like a movie right from the start which obviously means the author has a knack of telling his story in bollywood style :-) Coming back to the book, I just stumbled into this book while looking to order my new book! I had read Q and A in 2007 and really loved it although I had no idea that time that a movie is being made on the book! I have still not read his second ...more
Colin Andrews
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book wanting to read something by the author on whose novel the Slumdog Millionaire was based. I was not disappointed, as I found it very difficult to put down once I'd started reading.

Although the basic concept of a billionaire businessman selecting a sales girl to be the C.E.O. of his business empire is pretty far fetched, the author has a compelling sense of narrative that makes even the bizarre believable. The description of locations and portrayal of the different levels of
Katherine Roberts
Aug 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
The author of this book wrote the novel that became the film Slumdog Millionaire (which I loved) so I knew I'd enjoy this. Here, plucky heroine Sapna is chosen as a millionaire's apprentice - if she passes seven tests she will become CEO of his company. She doesn't really desire power, but she can certainly use the money to help her family. As the tests continue, however, Sapna discovers they are putting both her and her family in danger - but when she is framed for murder, there is no way out ...more
Apr 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-from-india
A mediocre effort from Vikas Swarup, this novel has neither the originality of Q&A nor the creativity of . Instead Swarup has taken his inspiration from the lurid headlines of Indian newspapers and each chapter scratches the surface of an important social problem in India. As a result, the Panchayat systems, gang rape, reality TV and illegal organ transplants are all simplified into bite sized, chapter length backdrops. All this would be forgiven if the characters were more carefully drawn ...more
Richa Bhattarai
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
A pacy, (slightly) racy mystery. That is what Vikas Swarup's latest offering, 'The Accidental Apprentice', is all about. Swarup, who has already proven his mettle with the genre in his earlier novels, has come up with another winner that will appeal to the masses once again, though it does not quite achieve the heights of the former two.

The novel begins at an intriguing point, when the plot has already thickened. A young girl has been imprisoned on charges of a murder, one she apparently didn't
Jun 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! The first chapter may seem boring but hang in there, the story keeps getting better! The last few chapters becomes very dramatic rapidly, makes you not want to sleep till you know what's happening in the story! This is one of those books where you scan the previous chapters again after reading the entire book to see the link you figured out at the end of the story.

Some may find the situations are too cliche but to cover political corruption happening in the country, that sort of a
Joanie Driemeyer
Jul 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a page turner and an easy read. If you liked Q&A (slumdog millionaire) you'll like this one. It was quite similar, in that each chapter reads like a story in itself, in which the main character overcomes some hurdle & advances towards the main outcome. In this case, the outcome is a dream job which Sapna will earn if she passes seven tests. There were a couple of twists at the end. Quite satisfying.
Mar 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was planning on giving it a 1, but the last few pages made me change my mind ...

The book sucks, really. Why write a book filled with SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many cliches; so meaningless; so boring that it makes you fall asleep?

Indian authors, what has happened to you guys? Why are you commercializing your books so much?

The only thing good about the book is the ending. Nothing else. Avoid, if possible.
Aug 13, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Accidental Apprentice is a movie script written for the next slumdog millionaire - only not to be made by Danny Boyle but by Yashraj films.

Stretch has never been a problem, but when you weave it around actual events and try to write a fiction, it tends to be dismissive of the significance of the events.

But nothing much to criticise. This is not a booker aspirer and everyone who reads this knows what to expect. and it delivers.
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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
“It's a basic rule of human nature that the promise of unexpected wealth short-circuits both intelligence and common sense.” 10 likes
“God made the human body like a machine with built-in obsolescence.” 5 likes
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