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Q & A: A Novel Paperback – August 12, 2008


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Whiskey & Charlie deals with the complexities of sibling relationships: By the time twins Charlie and Whiskey reach adulthood, they're barely speaking to each other. When Charlie hears that Whiskey has been in a terrible accident and is comatose, Charlie can't make sense of it. Who's he without Whiskey? Learn more about author Annabel Smith
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (August 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743267486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743267489
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"It was an inspired idea by Vikas Swarup to write Q & A...A broad and sympathetic humanity underpins the whole book."
-- The Sunday Telegraph, London

"Vikas Swarup weaves a delightful yarn. With an easy style, Q & A is sweet, sorrowful and funny. An enchanting tale."
-- The Sunday Tribune, India

"This page-turning novel reels from farce to melodrama to fairy tale."
-- You Magazine, London

"A very clever story told very cleverly and at a relentless pace."
-- The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia

"Swarup is an accomplished storyteller, and Q & A has all the immediacy and impact of an oral account."
-- Daily Mail, London

"[A] rare, seemingly effortless brew of humour, drama, romance and social realism...Swarup...has achieved a triumph with this thrilling, endearing work which gets into the heart and soul of modern India."
-- The New Zealand Herald

"Q & A is that rare novel that chugs along on the parallel tracks of being a rollicking read as well as being a polished, varnished, finished work of impressive craftsmanship."
-- Hindustan Times, India

About the Author

Vikas Swarup is an Indian diplomat who has served in Turkey, the United States, Ethiopia, and Great Britain. Q & A, his first novel, is being translated into eighteen languages and is due to be made into a film. Swarup currently works in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi.

Customer Reviews

Well written and an interesting subject matter - different.
A. Carroll
When i finally got to the end of the book, i would have never guessed that it would end the way it did which is another reason why i love the book.
Chris Kofoed
Comedy and tragedy mingle to make this story powerful and highly entertaining.
Jessica B. Baker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Book in hand at all times on March 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
I decided to read this book after seeing Slumdog Millionaire. I enjoyed the film so much I rushed out to get the book, but I have to say (and this has only been said once before about Forrest Gump book vs movie) that I enjoyed the movie more. The author has told a wonderful story about this young boy Ram and all the extensive trials and tribulations he has gone through in life. As is in the movie they jump back and forth between the past and present circumstances to determine if this boy did indeed know the answers to the questions on the gameshow. What the book has that the movie didn't was better background stories. I knew more about Ram, Ismail, and the people in their lives. There were several parts of the movie that, although not at the time, were better explained in the book. I did find at times it was difficult to pinpoint what time period in Ram's life that he was referring when he flashed back. It didn't follow an order and unless you have really good Indian knowledge you had to refer back several times. What the movie had that the book didn't was better descriptive elements, probably due to director's and screenwriters collaborative visions. I would have loved to read the screenplay too! All in all I would recommend reading the book then seeing the movie not the other way around. I found it was a little hard keeping it straight in the first few chapters not referrring back to the film. I would definitely recommend buying the book. Enjoy!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Misha Volkov on March 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
After seeing Slumdog Millionaire, I told myself that I had to read the book. The book is wonderfully written and brings the same emotional energy from the film into writing, however most of the stories are extremely different. It is very clear to see how the book influenced the movie, but just don't be surprised on how different it really is. All and all, it was a fantastic read with a great ending that keeps you on your toes.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marcus Bush on May 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
...and the movie won god damned Best Picture of the year!

This book is unlike any other. Unlike the film, the characters in Q&A are believable, placed in an unflinching environment, pitted against very real circumstances. Whats more is that the character is easy to relate to, smart, and strong willed, while still affected by the daunting effects of emotion and acts accordingly to whatever outstanding circumstance (None of which are far fetched, considering the location) Swarup creates.

The story will not only borrow your heart during the time that will fly by while Ram Mohammad Thomas tells you about his hardships, but it will give you a real insight into the culture of Mumbai, India.

This is a must read! You will not be displeased!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Ellington VINE VOICE on September 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
I want to start this by saying that I like tragic stories. I love drama and heartbreak and emotional connections through horrible situations. I can't deny it, but it sucks me in and holds me close. That being said, there comes a point where your incessant badgering of tragedy upon tragedy becomes manipulative and unsuccessful. I faced that problem while reading Vikas Swarup's `Q & A', the inspiration for Danny Boyle's Oscar winning `Slumdog Millionaire'.

This is one of those rare occasions where the movie is better than the novel. That isn't saying a whole lot, since the film was mediocre at best, but it is saying something.

First of all, to anyone who wants to read this book because they loved the movie, beware. This book is VERY different. The same core plot is there. A young boy has won India's `Who Wants to Win a Billion' and has been arrested on charges of cheating. Now he has to explain how a poor waiter could have possibly known all the answers to the questions and he takes us on his journey through life. That is where the similarities stop. Many (most) of the stories he tells are not in the film. The love story is not there (there is a small love story unveiled at the very end of the book, but not like the one in the film) and all the jovial lightheartedness of the film is missing in the book. Instead, we are faced with chapter after chapter of tragic surroundings that heap upon the reader with each passing sentence.

Children are molested, people are murdered, women are abused, money is stolen, children are maimed for financial gain; life is hopeless.

All of this could be forgiven had Vikas Swarup not been such a lazy writer.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nagronsky VINE VOICE on May 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
After I saw Slumdog for the 2nd time, I noticed the "based upon the novel" in the credits, so the next time I went to the library, I scored. (The librarian didn't even know they had the book. I knocked the book out in less than a day, literally could not put it down. It's outstanding, and would have made a great, great movie.
Slumdog Millionaire is "based" upon Vikas Swarup's debut novel, "Q&A". BTW, Amazon know-it-alls, the title is Q&A, NOT Q & A!!
Both the film and the book have to do with a young Mumbai orphan who is snagged by a scumbag named Maman(who cripples orphans to make them be able to beg more effectively), who eventually works as an unofficial guide at the Taj Mahald, and who eventually wins on a TV game show(partly by answering a question about the Colt revolver). That's pretty much all the movie has in common with the book.
Much like "Forrest Gump", the general plot of the book was taken, adapted, and adapted well. The book "Forrest Gump" was OK, nothing special. The movie was beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed "Slumdog". I loved "Q&A"!!.
Again, some adjustments were done simply for dramatic effect. Look at "The Natural" and "On The Waterfront": both movies end happily, while both books end dismally.
For what I think is the most glaring and cheesy ending change, check out "Midnight Express": the real escape, stealing a boat at night then drifting ashore only to have to(unowingly)cross a minefield was changed to a brutal killing for no good reason, and Billy Hayes(author of Midnight Express) has totally distanced himself from the movie.
I don't see why the gun violence was in Slumdog, when in the book, it was just good old-fashioned blunt instruments & knives, excepting a fine scene on a train that would have been well included in the film.

I'll wait until the DVD of Slumdog gets down to $5. I scored a copy of Q&A last night for $11.49. COOL!!
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