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Q and A

by Vikas Swarup

A fast, easy read which takes you on an effortless journey round modern India, from the slums to Bollywood. The central plot device is how a kid who never went to school comes to know the answers to questions on the biggest TV knowledge quiz. This is fun and will keep you guessing - but the real interest for the reader, just as for the boy, is what you learn along the way. And despite the bleak surroundings of much of the story, the boy's personality and values make this a feel-good read.

Extract

Without even trying I become their leader. Not because I was bigger, not because I was more aggressive, but because I spoke English. I was the orphan boy who could speak and read the magic language, and its effect on the officials was electric. The head warden would ask how I was doing from time to time. The stern cook occasionally obliged me with a second helping. Gupta never called me to his room at night. And the doctor instantly put me in the isolation ward without the usual delay, thereby preventing me from infecting the whole dormitory.

Parallels

The No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
- by -
 

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