Before I start reviewing this properly I would just like to say that I am calling this a “half-review” because I only read around “half” of it :O.
I am ashamed of myself.
While there are some people in this world who would yell out and look down on me for leaving a book unfinished, I really don’t give a damn. Unless it’s a good book and I didn’t have time to finish it because it was from the library.
But anyway, I just don’t really see the point of forcing yourself to read a bad book, its like you are eating a plate full of, lets say peas, and then while you are eating it you discover that the taste is peculiar and then when you inspect it further you realize that the peas are moldy- you wouldn’t then just carry on eating!
It is nothing like the movie. The main/ only similarity is the “Who want to be a millionaire” aspect of it and the “slumdog”. The rest is just different- from what I have read anyway. But because I never finished this book I’m just going to take the summary from goodreads because I would feel like I was deceiving you.
Vikas Swarup’s spectacular debut novel opens in a jail cell in Mumbai, India, where Ram Mohammad Thomas is being held after correctly answering all twelve questions on India’s biggest quiz show, Who Will Win a Billion? It is hard to believe that a poor orphan who has never read a newspaper or gone to school could win such a contest. But through a series of exhilarating tales Ram explains to his lawyer how episodes in his life gave him the answer to each question.
Ram takes us on an amazing review of his own history – from the day he was found as a baby in the clothes donation box of a Delhi church to his employment by a faded Bollywood star to his adventure with a security-crazed Australian army colonel to his career as an overly creative tour guide at the Taj Mahal.
Vikas Swarup’s Q & A is a beguiling blend of high comedy, drama, and romance that reveals how we know what we know – not just about trivia, but about life itself. Cutting across humanity in all its squalor and glory,Vikas Swarup presents a kaleidoscopic vision of the struggle between good and evil – and what happens when one boy has no other choice in life but to survive
The main character
I just didn’t connect with him. I really didn’t like him- he just annoyed me.
The writing style
It seemed childish and just poorly written. I felt as if it were just dictating what was going on rather then actually showing or telling me the story. It seemed just emotionless and flat. However having said that I did like the way that he set out the story- how Thomas’ story isn’t told in order and how they did it per question. But that just added more to the disappointment because it had so much potential.
There was just too many things that happened that would be too coincidental to have actually happened. Like how his best friend loved that actor dude and just so happened to meet him in some poor district’s movie place- because really what is the chance of a famous, rich actor going to slum districts to watch his own movies. And also going along the same scene. How stupid really is his friend?! A creepy, weird, strange “old man” joins the movie in the middle and out of the basically empty theatre decides to sit next to him. If anything like that happened to me I would be out and running before the creepy guy had a freaking chance to do anything.
Too many issues were crammed into this one book
Religion. Child abuse. Murder. Theft. Homophobia. Corruption. Torture. Bullying. Violence. Prostitution. Pedophilia.
The movie was good!
Favourite Quotes (NB these are just some of the quotes that I found on the internet which I liked because to be honest I don’t really remember reading any of them)
- “Love doesn’t happen in an instant. It creeps up on you and then it turns your life upside down. It colors your waking moments, and fills your dreams. You begin to walk on air and see life in brilliant new shades. But it also brings with it a sweet agony, a delicious torture”
- “The one conclusion I have reached is that whiskey is a great leveler. You might be a hotshot advertising executive or a lowly foundry worker, but if you cannot hold your drink, you are just a drunkard”
- “That dreams have power only over your own mind. But with money you can have power over the minds of others”
So now I am faced with a dilemma. I loved the movie and out of loyalty for it I really want to give this book a good rating. But then on the other hand I basically hated the book because it was nothing like the movie. I think overall though as a “professional” *inset string of laughter and coughing here* book reviewer I am going to have to judge this book on itself only and not let other factors such as how awesome the movie was to influence me. So here it is. Drum roll please. . . . . . 1 shuriken star. 😦
Like all book review though this is my opinion and there are probably some people in this world who would love it and if you can cope with my list of cons as I could not- you may as well give the book a chance 🙂