Previously released under the title ‘Q&A’, the story of Slumdog Millionaire has become an international sensation following Danny Boyle’s critically acclaimed film of the same name. Vikas Swarup‘s uplifting yet somewhat disturbing book was written in only an incredible two months and brings to life the unique sights and sounds of Mumbai’s slums.
The audio book is beautifully narrated by Kati Nicholl and Kerry Shale, who really succeed in bringing Swarup’s masterpiece to life. The story revolves around the childhood and adolescence of two young brothers from the Mumbai slums, one of whom goes on to become a contestant on a television quiz show. Against the odds, the main character, Jamal, makes it to the final question, worth the almost unimaginable sum of twenty million rupees. Fearing cheating, an interrogation ensues in which details of the boys’ life are revealed in tracing his apparently obscure knowledge back to his youth running around the Mumbai slums and the often terrible things that happened to him along the way. We travel with Jamal as he meets his Bollywood idol, experiences first hand the Hindu-Muslim riots, is forced into street begging by a local gangster and finally finds a job as a ‘chai wallah’ in one of Mumbai’s many international call centres.
The delightful audio ultimately tells a story about love in difficult circumstances but there is not an ounce of cliché in it. One of the most original books to appear on the audio scene in a long time, Slumdog Millionaire will enthrall you from the very beginning and you will struggle to switch it off. The sounds and vitality of urban India are brilliantly captured by the narrative making listeners feel that they are in the heart of the action throughout.
Slumdog Millionaire audio book (6 hours and 7 minutes in duration) is available to download now to your iPod, Mp3 Player, Computer or CD.