Author: Vikas Swarup
Amazon Link: Click Here
This book is in the news nowadays because the hollywood blockbuster movie Slumdog Millionaire is supposed to be based on this. I have not seen the movie yet, but having read its storyline in wikipedia, I think this book is anyday better than the movie. But I do admit that all the hype surrounding the Slumdog Millionaire was the reason which made be buy this book from a second hand book vendor on the streets of Bangalore for just Rs. 70 (approx. $1.5)
The book is pretty good though I won't call it an exceptionally great read. I would say it is rather a collection of good short stories which are describe incidents in the life of the main protogonist Ram Mohammed Thomas. The experience from these incidents helps Ram to give correct answers and win a quiz show. But he is suspected of fraud and gets arrested. To know what happens further you need to read the book.
Most of the incidents narrated in this book and also the main storyline has a Jeffrey Archersque twist in the end. Also the author writes with a good sense of dry humor.
If you read this book without any great expectations, you will enjoy it.
Update (March 13 2009): Since writing the above post I saw the movie Slumdog Millionaire. It is well made but the script has been changed. I still stand by what I wrote - book is more interesting than the movie. Bowing to commercialization the name of the book is now changed to "Slumdog Millionaire" ! I don't see what was the need for this !