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The Accidental Apprentice by [Swarup, Vikas]
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The Accidental Apprentice Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews

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Length: 449 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

'Sapna Sinha is an archetype of the new India. She has a degree but has to work as a sales girl to support her mother and sister. Then one of India's richest men chooses Sapna to take over as CEO of his vast corporation if she can pass seven tests. Gripping stuff…' -- The Times

'Sapna, a resourceful Delhi shop assistant struggling to support her mother and sister, is approached out of the blue by a tycoon who offers her a job as CEO of his company provided she can pass seven unspecified tests. In the process she confronts some of India's most deep-rooted problems, from corruption and child labour to forced marriage. It gets off to an exciting start and ends with a spectacular twist' -- Mail on Sunday

'Vikas Swarup's debut novel, Q&A, became the wildly successful movie Slumdog Millionaire...This, his third novel, is a tale of a young woman's moral fortitude against the corruption of modern India...she is brave and fierce and we like her...Swarup's voice has a magical quality an essential kindness, a likeability...Like the Bollywood dance at the end of Slumdog Millionaire, it is oddly uplifting and joyful. The film rights are no doubt already sold'-- The Sunday Times

'...a lowly Delhi shop assistant is set to inherit a fortune but not until she completes seven trials set by her shady benefactor'-- Time Out

'Sapna's tests confront her with great social forces that ebb and flood over the precarious turf of middle-class India, and Swarup is able to skim them right from the surface of India's current mediascape: more reality TV shows, this time for singing talent; brutal conservatism embodied in village councils that cast errant young lovers to their graves; a lone Ghanhian's fast, a stance that 'snowballs into an avalanche' of protest against corruption... 'Hope is a recreational drug, giving you an artificial high based on a dosage of unrealistic expectations,' Sapna mutters in a low moment. Other characters refer to the ways the hope drug is administered: bogus equity, talent shows, the actual lottery. Sapna, whose name means 'dreams' is from a generation of young Indians spoiled by two decades of buoyant and liberalised growth. The fear is that, in times ahead, those spoils will go to someone else. What else to do then but go to the temple, fold your palms, and pray for someone to tap your shoulder?' -- Financial Times

'A complex, challenging and deeply moving tale of following our dreams until they come true by the bestselling author of Slumdog Millionaire' --Press Association

About the Author

Vikas Swarup is the author of the bestselling sensation Q&A, which was filmed as the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire, and Six Suspects. His novels have been translated into more than forty languages. Find out more at www.vikasswarup.net

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 904 KB
  • Print Length: 449 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (25 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0098MDDAU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #132,742 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this to read because it had been chosen by Woman's Hour as a serial, which suggested it was a good book. I am baffled by it. It is childish and cartoonish, full of ridiculous happy chances, with a denouement worthy of Scooby-Doo. Is it really meant for grown-ups? I have read many young adult novels with more subtle characterisations. The writing is awful - an over-excited mass of cliche: crowds roar, cars race, fines are hefty, scandals are hushed up, hotels are always swanky, mansions are always enormous, skylines always spectacular. The author's great gift is to rattle along with his ridiculous yarn with magnificent confidence, dragging the reader along with him. For this he should be saluted.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Possible a 4.5; it's very different and I certainly didn't spot the twist at the end. My only carp is that some of the tasks are solved too easily.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A cleverly written book which you will think you know will end in a certain way. Almost certain to be made into a film. Read the book first.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this novel, but feel it was more for a teenage reader. It was dramatised on the radio, but I missed several days, and I sent for a copy of the book as I had been enjoying it so much, but it had been adapted, and the acting and pace were superb. Perhaps like his other book it would be better as a film?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just like 'Slum Dog Millionaire' this book takes the main character through a series of trials. Very entertaining and destined for the big screen.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Enjoyed the book but a little farfetched
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This author had a considerable success with Q andA (Slumdog Millionaire so what did he do, he wrote the book again and I was foolish enough to buy it. I couldn't believe he would do that, so I read it. He may have changed the characters and what the main character had to do to gain success, but it remained a rehash of his earlier success. I won't read anything of his again, he obviously lacks imagination and plots.
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Format: Paperback
3.5 stars, but I’ll round up to 4.

I’ll be honest – I read this because I enjoyed the book and film of Q&A / Slumdog Millionaire. I liked the sound of the plot, and I fancied another trip to Swarup’s India.

Having just finished, I have mixed feelings about The Accidental Apprentice. The ‘what if’ that drives it all is a good one: what if… a rich man offers you his multi-billion company? Pass his tests, and you get the position of CEO. A great wish-fulfilment scenario. This is what happens to Sapna Sinha, a sales assistant in a Delhi electronics store. Sapna’s family are struggling to pay their bills, her mother is mourning a husband and daughter, and her sister dreams of fame and fortune, leaving Sapna head of the family.
Initially reluctant, circumstances force Sapna to accept the CEO’s offer, and the tests begin. But they are not what Sapna was expecting.

Sapna’s world is a well-created one, I could see the cities, the slums, the villages that she journeys through. I liked her – she’s smart and well-read, demonstrates her spirit and resourcefulness and shows herself to be an admirable person. Her sister Neha and mother are harder to like – neither gets enough page-time to be wholly sympathetic, though Neha gets a few scenes to become a little less two-dimensional.

The story itself gets quite episodic – each ‘test’ gets its own chapter, and you can see some ‘twists’ coming. They are enjoyable though – I let the sillier parts of the story wash over me, as I was enjoying the idea of the tests and seeing if I was right about my guesses. Lots of Sapna’s friends seem remarkably well-placed (geographically as well as career-wise) to assist Sapna just when she might need them, conveniently. Coincidence, as in Slumdog Millionaire, plays quite a big role.
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