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Q & A: 03/30/08
Facing jail on a fake charge of cheating, Ram Mohammad Thomas tells his life story to a friendly ear. Each piece of his life broken into thirteen chapters correlates to one of the answers Thomas has managed to get correct. It is his own itinerant life that has given him the background he needs to win the billion rupees.
As preposterous as Q & A sounds, Vikas Swarup's novel is based on fact. At the back of the book, Swarup includes a brief history of a young Indian who won the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Swarup also includes the winning questions. If that isn't interesting enough, Swarup also discusses the process of writing the book and the research done .
Although the setup of Q & A sounds lighthearted, there are some depressing subjects: physical abuse, sexual abuse, child exploitation, war, autism, prostitution and poverty. It took me a couple of chapters to start enjoying the novel but once I was done, I was happy I had read it.
Readers who enjoyed Cereus Blooms at Night by Shani Mootoo and Immortal by Traci L. Slatton will enjoy Q & A.