That Book About Harvard: Surviving the World’s Most Famous University One Embarrassment at a Time
I decided that the best approach to my journey across the Yard was to walk as if nothing was wrong, like I was some foreign student who hadn’t quite learned the proper outdoor etiquette of America. It’s difficult to act casual, though, when a microthin piece of 85 percent cotton is the only material left standing between your privacy and dozens of mental measuring tapes. The absence of a shirt didn’t help my confidence either – I was so so pale I could’ve gotten a sunburn from a full moon. While I tried to maintain a façade of self-assurance, internally I was drowning from embarrassment. I was also starting to regret buying these Incredible Hulk boxers.
Eric Kester was pleasantly surprised to be accepted into Harvard his senior year of high school. This book hilariously chronicles his freshman year, with all its mishaps and embarrassments and some touching moments, as well. If your freshman year begins with you having to walk across campus in your boxers, it can only get better from there, right? Not necessarily!
This book is primarily written to entertain and amuse, and it does so very well. It is full of funny stories, and Kester has quite a way with words. His ability to laugh at himself serves him well, and his style means there are few pages that don’t at least produce a smile, while many produce out-loud laughter. You may feel sorry for all the things that befell him, but not sorry enough not to laugh your butt off about them.
That said, the book also reveals what Harvard is like, and Kester’s struggles to fit in. I could relate to his story in many ways, having been in the same situation – a freshman at an elite school, coming from a background where I was the bee’s knees into one where I was low-to-average. It’s a big kick in the confidence, and while I handled it better than he did, those parts rang very true. (Although admittedly, there were a few times that the teacher in me – yes, I teach college students now – wanted to smack him upside the head and say “You’re doing this to yourself, idiot!”) This book, incidentally, makes me very glad I did not consider Harvard – it doesn’t paint the most beautiful picture of the school, and I imagine the administrators are cringing!
That Book About Harvard is a fun romp through the perils of college and is well-written and full of laughs. I hope to see more from Kester in the future, and I must say that after all that searching his freshman year to find his place, he has most certainly found it in humor writing!
Buy It: You don’t need a Harvard degree to enjoy this book – just a sense of humor!
That Book About Harvard
$14.99 (Paperback), 352 pages