Slumdog Millionaire - Summary and Key Ideas

"Slumdog Millionaire" is a novel about a young Indian boy from the slums of Mumbai who becomes a contestant on the Indian version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" and is accused of cheating due to his success.

The target group for the book "Slumdog Millionaire" is likely adults and young adults who enjoy dramatic, rags-to-riches stories with cultural and social themes.

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Slumdog Millionaire

Key ideas


A tortured quiz show winner finds hope and a chance to prove his innocence through the fearless intervention of a young woman lawyer.


Ram was an orphan raised by a priest and learned about church.

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In the face of betrayal and exploitation, two boys' escape from a sinister boys' home to freedom.

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Ram's journey with a fallen starlet, Neelima, reveals a tragic tale of abuse and suicide.

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Despite Balwant Singh's fabricated war stories, his tales inadvertently educate Ram, aiding his unexpected quiz show success.

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Ram's protective love for Gudiya drives him to extreme actions and unexpected intelligence.

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Colonel Taylor's secret surveillance of his servants backfires, making him a "persona non grata".

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Ram's selfless acts of kindness amidst tragedy and harshness ultimately serve as his saving grace.

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Ram's shared past with Salim becomes a lifeline, highlighting the enduring power of their friendship.

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A voodoo tale of sibling rivalry, guilt, and unexpected death also served as a quiz show victory.

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Despite deceit and trials, Ram's unbroken virtue leads him to victory and a heartwarming reunion with his long-lost sister.

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Ram's journey illustrates that destiny is shaped by inner virtue and conscious decisions, not mere chance or gimmicks.

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Summary & Review

"Slumdog Millionaire" by Vikas Swarup is a gripping tale of life, luck, and destiny. The protagonist, Ram Mohammad Thomas, is an orphan from the slums of Mumbai who becomes a contestant on a game show and wins a billion rupees. The story unfolds as Ram is accused of cheating and he recounts his life experiences that helped him answer each question correctly. The book is a vivid portrayal of the harsh realities of life in the slums, the corruption in Indian society, and the power of knowledge and experience.

Vikas Swarup

Vikas Swarup is an Indian diplomat and writer, known for his work in the Indian Foreign Service. He has served in various countries such as Turkey, the United States, Ethiopia, and the United Kingdom.

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