Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Revew : That Book About Harvard

Title : That Book About Harvard

Author : Eric Kester
Publisher : Sourcebooks
ISBN : 978-1-4022-6750-5

No matter who the person is and which educational institute it is, the first day of college always brings a multitude of emotions ranging from excitement, enthusiasm, anxiety, apprehensions to fears. As Eric Kester brings to light his own experience through that period, it feels reassuring that everyone goes through the same wave of emotions when through similar situations even if the college is Ivy League Harvard College.

It turns out to be one of the wackiest years at Harvard, and Eric Kester happens to get involved in a deluge of things spanning from cheating scheme to wooing a beauty. Attempting to adapt and fit in while trying to satisfy the expectations of football coach, making sense of professor's language while trying to keep a straight face, narrating his make believe fantasies to a child prodigy and getting the courses in calculus and other subjects out of his way, Kester stumbles through his first year in the college.

The book is every bit entertaining, full of laugh-out-loud moments and the freshness of narrative brings the much needed lightness in the otherwise tensed first day and first year in the premiere college of Harvard repute. Clearly Eric Kester has a wonderful way with words and has created a true page turner except for a couple of places when it felt like the author is trying too hard. I am sure this book will refresh the college memories of every reader.

Eric confessed in 'A Note From The Author' the beginning of the book that "he wrote this book to impress a girl. But I also wrote it to give you a candid view of a real guy trying to survive the real Harvard with a bunch of laughs along the way. And that's my primary goal here: to entertain". Not sure whether author succeeded in achieving his first objective but the latter one he did achieve and that too brilliantly. Simplicity of his language beautifully brings out the anxiety, humility and sincerity of the author. He does manage to demystify some of the aura that surrounds one of the world's most famous university.

It felt as if it is a sequel to Kaavya Vishwanathan's - How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life. The same tone of Kavvya's hilarity continues in the 'That Book About Harvard'. Kavvya's book ended with getting an admission to the Harvard School, while Eric takes this journey forward from the first day to first year in the institute.

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