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Book Club: Slumdog Millionaire, Also Known as Q&A, by Vikas Swarup 2009-03-06 07:30:40

Buzz Book Club: Slumdog Millionaire (also known as Q&A)


Hi, Buzz Book Club readers! I loved the film Slumdog Millionaire, and over the past few months, it's been a delight to watch this Danny Boyle movie work its way into the hearts of many — including, of course, the Academy Awards voters, who named the film this year's Best Picture.

The film also won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, and in doing some research into the film, I learned that the book it draws from is pretty different from the big-screen version — which, of course, made me want to read it. That is why I've made my March selection Slumdog Millionaire (originally published as Q & A) by Vikas Swarup.

For those of you new to my book club format, here's how it works: I announce a new book each month. Every week I suggest chapters to complete by the next post (which, in this case, will go up every Friday in March). In these weekly Book Club posts, I'll posit a few discussion-provoking questions for you to respond to in the comments section.

To read the description of the book and to get the first assignment, read more.

The synopsis for Slumdog Millionaire reads:
"When Ram Mohammad Thomas, an orphaned, uneducated waiter from Mumbai, wins a billion rupees on a quiz show, he finds himself thrown in jail. Enter attractive lawyer Smita Shah, to get Ram out of prison and listen to him explain, via flashbacks, how he knew the answers to all the show's questions. Indian diplomat Swarup's fanciful debut is based on a sound premise: you learn a lot about the world by living in it (Ram has survived abandonment, child abuse, murder). And just as the quiz show format is meant to distill his life story (each question prompts a separate flashback), Ram's life seems intended to distill the predicament of India's underclass in general."

The first assignment: Read from the prologue through the chapter titled "10,000 Rupees — A Thought for the Crippled." (Stop before the chapter "50,000 Rupees — How to Speak Australian.") We'll chat about this section next Friday, March 13.

A brief note about finding the book: It's been republished as Slumdog Millionaire with the cover you see above, but you may still find it as Q&A with a cover like this. The assignments should be the same either way, but just me know if you have questions.

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