Ask anyone who has read it and you'll most likely, get the same reply. It's either "isn't that the Slumdog Millionaire book?" or "yeah, read it, sucked man". Enough of a reason for me to give the book a try.
Q&A by Vikas Swarup isn't your conventional run of the mills 'coincidental' fiction novel. It's pretty well crafted and elegantly put together novel with a thrilling plot which comes alive with every single chapter. The protagonist Ram Mohammad Thomas, (weird name you would say, well even that has a pretty humourous explanation) lands up in a KBC-esque (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, for people not familiar with KBC) quiz show to win a billion rupees.
Of course, being a boy from the slums, he is left to fend for himself at the show, with the help of his extensive experiences. To the horror of the producers of the show and the surprise of everyone, he manages to answer all the questions correctly and win the prize money. The producers, who weren't prepared to pay a billion rupees to the winner in the first place, bribe the police and have him arrested on charges of cheating, only to be saved later by a lawyer.
This is where the story takes off. Q&A is essentially Ram's explanation to the lawyer (whose identity is revealed later in the plot) as to how a boy from the slums managed to scrape through the maze of all the questions on the quiz (and life) without having any formal education.
The reason why most readers hate this novel is because of its literary character (rather the lack of). Granted its not literature. But then again, popular fiction isn't all about literature only is it? It's about entertaining the reader and making sure the reader has enough interest to not throw the book away after reading the first few pages. To that extent, Vikas Swarup definitely succeeds. And we must give him credit for that.
Its quite a departure from the movie Slumdog Millionaire, (the other way round it should be, but since this was a post-movie read I'll keep it that way) and frankly I like this one better!
Neglect the reviews for once and go read this book, you wont regret it.