Why is a penniless waiter from Mumbai sitting in a prison cell? Is it because: a)he has punched a customer; b)he has drunk too much whisky; c)he has stolen money from the till; or d)he is the biggest quiz-show winner in history? Ram Mohammad Thomas has been arrested. For answering twelve questions correctly on Who Will Win A Billion? Because a poor orphan who has never gone to school cannot name the smallest planet in the solar system, or the plays of Shakespeare. Unless he has cheated.
Ram prepares his defence by reviewing TV footage of the show, and takes us on an amazing tour of his life. From the day he is rescued from a dustbin, to his encounter with a security-crazed Australian colonel, and a spell as an over-creative guide at the Taj Mahal, Ram's survival instincts are infallible. Stunning an audience of millions, he draws on a store of street wisdom and trivia to provide him with the essential keys, not only to the quiz show, but to life itself Set in modern India, Q AND A presents a kaleidoscopic vision of the struggle of good against evil, and what happens when one boy has no choice left in life but to survive
VIKAS SWARUP is an Indian diplomat who has served in Turkey, the United States, Ethiopia and Great Britain. He is presently posted in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi. Q&A is to be published in twelve countries worldwide; film rights optioned preemptively. He is at work on a second novel.
A colourful portrait of Indian society is painted with remarkable lightness and wit.
A hugely successful mixture of satire and intrigue. Independent on Sunday
Mingling broad humour with incisive social comment, Q&A is absorbing and richly entertaining reading. The Times
An engaging and surprisingly informative read. Telegraph
"A very clever story told very cleverly and at a relentless pace."-- The Sydney Morning Herald,
"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