I am wary about books that teach something. The so-called self-help books make me run a mile and never look back in that direction. It just doesn’t work for me. So when the author of this book approached me to review it, I was a little hesitant. After all, it did look like a handbook of English terms for the GRE/GMAT student and in all probability, it was meant to be that. However, I decided to take a chance and read the book and was mildly surprised at how differently a book in this genre could be written.
“English Bites! My ‘Fullproof’ English Learning Formula” by Manish Gupta as the title suggests is about English as a language and somewhat about how to master it for students and the like. So the book is about how to work on fluency, vocabulary and some tips with reference to written English. That in its truest form so to say is the summary or the gist of the book. At the same time, what got me going with the book are the anecdotes. To a large extent, the hilarious take on the language works for the book. Manish knows how to write and the language is simple and breezy. The examples with the words also are not difficult to understand and that is quite commendable when you set off writing a book of this nature.
On the other hand, what did not work for me were the footnotes at every page. They almost did not do anything for my reading experience, but I also understand the need for them in this kind of a book. The book is full of quips and quotes that the reader can enjoy and at the same time learn from (this is purely from the perspective of learning the language in a simpler manner from the book, which I enjoyed). The format and structure of the book is well done in most places.
The book promises that you learn close to 1000 new words and rightly so. Having said all of this, I would only recommend this book to people who want to know more about how to master the language for whatever academic purposes. As a read, it is fun in places and in others it is mostly average. I loved the bits about how English should be loved as a language and not be feared of. That rung true more so because I teach the language. People need to love it and not think of it as a strange and alien concept when it comes to fluency and pronunciation. Like I said, read the book only if you want to take away something from it. It could be read for pleasure, however only when it comes down to the anecdotal parts.