Saturday, November 02, 2013

Book Review: English Bites! My Fullproof English Learning Formula by Manish Gupta

English Bites! is Manish Gupta’s debut book. The book’s blurb states: “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!”

What I liked the most about the book was the unique fashion in which it is written. The author has deftly woven his life story from an engineering college to his first job to his experience in an MBA college and finally life as a banker. In between are also interspersed tales about his personal life as well including his marriage.

As with most Indians, Manish considered the English language to be his enemy. Not surprising since English is not our mother tongue; only some have learnt it as a language at school. And unless you take efforts towards learning its vocabulary, it will continue to scare you.

However, unlike most, Manish decided to tackle the language head-on. The book is a funny account of how he managed to do that successfully. The writing style is simple and presented in the form of a story but with a lot of difficult English words thrown in whose meanings are given below each page. In addition to the meanings, the author has also provided the history and origin of the words and also their usage in a sentence. Also, the range of topics covered is huge – from medical terms to Spoonerims and from the different types of coffees to Levi Strauss jeans!!!

What, however, did not work for me was the fact that the book is a little daunting to read in one go considering there are minimum 2-3 words’ meanings to be understood in each page. Since I read the book non-stop day after day, I found myself getting distracted half-way through the book. However, it might be a good idea to keep referring back to the book on an ongoing basis to get a better grasp of the words and avoid the problem I faced.

What Manish has tried to do through the book is dispel the notion that the English vocabulary is difficult and unmanageable. Overall, I enjoyed reading the book especially as I am a huge fan of the Queen’s language and am always on the lookout for books which enlighten and educate me on the same.

* I was provided a review copy of the same by the author *