Q & A
by Vikas Swarup
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. He has 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 has cheated. Rescued from his police cell by a lawyer, Ram reviews television footage of his flawless performance and takes us on an amazing tour of his life growing up in Asia's biggest slum - from the day he is salvaged from a garbage can, to his employment with a faded Bollywood star, to working as an over-creative tour guide at the Taj Mahal, to falling in love with Nita, a young prostitute. With a fable-like narrative zapped with a witty 21st-century sensibility, Q & A is a darkly comic and charming novel that delves beneath its compelling premise to examine life's profound dilemmas. Brilliantly conceived and executed, Q & A paints an enthralling picture of humanity in all its guises.
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