LONDON - British-Indian author Salman Rushdie has slammed the plot of the Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire" as a "patently ridiculous conceit."

Writing in Britain's Guardian newspaper, Rushdie said that the central concept of the film Ğ that a boy from the Mumbai slums manages to succeed on the Indian version of the television show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" Ğ "beggars belief."

"This is a patently ridiculous conceit, the kind of fantasy writing that gives fantasy writing a bad name," the author of "The Satanic Verses" wrote in an article published Saturday.

’The film has a plot that defies belief’
Rushdie said the central weakness of the ***** which won eight Oscars last month including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay, was that it was adapted from Indian diplomat Vikas Swarup’s novel "Q&A," itself "a corny potboiler, with a plot that defies belief.""It is a plot device faithfully preserved by the filmmakers, and lies at the heart of the weirdly renamed 'Slumdog Millionaire,'" Rushdie wrote. "As a result the ***** too, beggars belief."

His critique was part of a lecture on film adaptions of books, and the novelist was critical of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Reader as well.

Rushdie, who was born in Mumbai, concluded his long lament about the quality of film adaptations of books by writing, "We can only hope that the worst is over, and that better movies, better musicals and better times lie ahead."

Last month was the 20th anniversary of the Islamic death sentence imposed on Rushdie for alleged blasphemy following the publication of "The Satanic Verses."