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After enduring a childhood of poverty, violence and exploitation, Ram Muhammad Thomas wins a game show prize of one billion rupees. But the producers believe he has cheated and send him to the police to coerce a confession. Now, Thomas must defend his achievement and explain how a nobody without formal education won against impossible odds. Christopher Simpson's performance is both compelling and questionable; he conveys emotion powerfully but his mimicry of an Indian accent might make some listeners uncomfortable and sap the authority of the first-person narrative. Fans of the Academy Award-winning film adaptation of the novel (originally published as Q&A) will find that this version offers nuanced pleasures of its own. A Scribner hardcover. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.