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Thursday, September 26, 2013

English Bites by Manish Gupta: Review

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(*Complimentary review copy provided by author)

Being a Majors student in English, it's obvious that I absolutely love the language and the literature that comes with it! In fact, my love for literature was one of the main reasons that I chose to go for an English Honours course, following it up with a Post-Grad (Major) in English.


But that does not mean I'm a know-all in the language. I did score my highest ever score ever, that too in English, when I got a neat 97% in English in my boards..But that was a long time back, and till date, I'm always interested and open to learning more of this language and discovering literature that's interesting and varied enough.

So when I got this mail in my mailbox from author Manish Gupta asking if I would like to review his book, what got me interested was the title - English Bites. On doing a bit of research on Google, I realised that some were calling it a fun book, some were calling it an autobiographical book, while some others were calling it a self-help book! Thank god I didn't base my judgement based on the 'self-help' tag, as I stay off that genre and it would have meant that I would have kindly turned down the offer.

On a quick chat with the author, I was hooked on...the book was about his own adventures with English and how his experiences made him pen this fun and filled with information book on the English language! I wanted a look....

Details about the book:
Title: English Bites
Author: Manish Gupta
No. of Pages: 250
Publishers: Penguin

As a special gesture that I loved about Manish Gupta as an author and as a person was the fact that he had sent me the book gift-wrapped, with a special note attached, congratulating me on the birth of my second baby! I was touched! Thanks Manish :-)

A look at the cover and I immediately realised why this book would be one hell of an interesting and informative read:

The cover jacket says:

Is the English language your biggest nightmare? It was Manish Gupta's. Until he decided to cheat and beat the system. Today he is a smooth-talking banker and has written a unique English learning guide that is easy to read, super effective and hilarious. So, whether you're a vernacular speaker, a GRE/GMAT/CAT/XAT aspirant or just a language nut, English Bites! will expand your vocabulary and improve your verbal ability. It may even help you love the English language a little more!
  • Adds over 1000 new words to your vocabulary
  • Includes easy ways to expand your word bank
  • Improves your GK with amusing trivia
  • Uses fun learning tools like jokes and anecdotes
Let me begin by telling you that I've read a lot, and I mean, A LOT of books in all the years that I've been around (I'm never without a book!) and English Bites by Manish Gupta is a one-of-its-kind, in fact, I think I can say a first-of-its-kind book on the subject (since I've yet to come across or read about a book that talks about the English language the way Gupta does!)

About the book:

The book comes across as a fresh, fun and really intelligent look at the English language. For those of you who've studied English as a main subject post-school, you've read books that talk about the history of the language and how it's evolved, just as I've read them. But trust me, this isn't a 'telling' of facts or something that you can even remotely relate to having read earlier.

This book comes as an extremely knowledgeable read, a book that talks about the complexities of the language, especially for those who do not have English as their main subject or may not, for whatever reason, feel very comfortable with it, but still want to gain some proficiency, for professional or any other reason.

What the author has very smartly done is, to incorporate real-life personal experiences about the author's own difficulties with the language, and how he went about creating a method, fun, simple, intelligent and quite innovative, that helped him tackle and I must say, master, the language.

When you read Manish Gupta's book, you'll be surprised to realise that there are so many pages of information and understanding of the language that you didn't realise till now. I mean, being an English Majors student, though I know I'm learning new things about the language every day, I was quite surprised to see how many of the clues I myself had missed, and how much interesting it was to learn these!

Once you read the book, you absolutely can't help but share them with others - you absolutely have to tell it to others!

Some may feel that this book is only for those who wish to go to a higher level with the language, or for those who have a good knowledge of the language and are looking to learn some more. I would beg to differ. I feel this is a book that anyone with a basic understanding and knowledge of the language should definitely read.

It's interesting, it's fast to read, it's witty and extremely engaging.

There were a few parts in the book that I did feel got a little too stretched, or could have a bit more writing, and some places I felt were left off suddenly, but that's in no way to say that these were flaws - these are just a few suggestions that I, as a reader, felt would take the book to a higher rating than what it now already deserves.

The book is definitely going to add to your collection, and author Manish Gupta proves he really is knowledgeable in the language! A Must-Read! 


- Debolina Raja Gupta