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Above Average

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Above Average is the story of a middle-class Delhi boy with an aptitude for science and math but a yearning to be the drummer of a rock band. Both of which necessitate his admission to the premier engineering college of India: IIT. So, in keeping with his high grades and all that is expected of him, Arindam effortlessly graduates from being a colony kid to being amongst an Above Average is the story of a middle-class Delhi boy with an aptitude for science and math but a yearning to be the drummer of a rock band. Both of which necessitate his admission to the premier engineering college of India: IIT. So, in keeping with his high grades and all that is expected of him, Arindam effortlessly graduates from being a colony kid to being amongst an elite bunch of techies, the best of science graduates from around the country whose lives revolve around rarefied mathematical truths and the more immediate pleasures of the IIT Rock Fest. But, even as he drifts unquestioningly down the path laid out for him, a few stray incidents and some less lucky people make Arindam pull up short and reassess his life's direction.

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Above Average is the story of a middle-class Delhi boy with an aptitude for science and math but a yearning to be the drummer of a rock band. Both of which necessitate his admission to the premier engineering college of India: IIT. So, in keeping with his high grades and all that is expected of him, Arindam effortlessly graduates from being a colony kid to being amongst an Above Average is the story of a middle-class Delhi boy with an aptitude for science and math but a yearning to be the drummer of a rock band. Both of which necessitate his admission to the premier engineering college of India: IIT. So, in keeping with his high grades and all that is expected of him, Arindam effortlessly graduates from being a colony kid to being amongst an elite bunch of techies, the best of science graduates from around the country whose lives revolve around rarefied mathematical truths and the more immediate pleasures of the IIT Rock Fest. But, even as he drifts unquestioningly down the path laid out for him, a few stray incidents and some less lucky people make Arindam pull up short and reassess his life's direction.

30 review for Above Average

  1. 4 out of 5

    Soham Panigrahi

    At first i was a bit skeptical about this book considering it to be yet another book by a iit graduate who got himself into writing following an ill trend. What immediately strikes one while reading this book is the extent of honesty that the author brings to the book. None of the plots are overdone and the subtle emotions are presented as they come. But that leaves with one downside; it geeks. Having grown up in the 90's and being a geek at the core myself can relate to the protagonist on sever At first i was a bit skeptical about this book considering it to be yet another book by a iit graduate who got himself into writing following an ill trend. What immediately strikes one while reading this book is the extent of honesty that the author brings to the book. None of the plots are overdone and the subtle emotions are presented as they come. But that leaves with one downside; it geeks. Having grown up in the 90's and being a geek at the core myself can relate to the protagonist on several levels. One of those books you like because you forge a strong bond with the characters.lovely read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Siddharth Chakravarthy

    First of all, I fail to understand why this book has been stated as "Poor" by most of the reviewers. I also feel that this book doesn't deserve a rating of 2. It deserves even more. This book is strictly not for - 1) The Chetan Bhagat/Durjoy Datta fans who especially would want a story full of love,sex,comedy and masala. 2)This book is not suitable for the ones who expect a lot from a book. It's basically about the story of adulthood being forged out of adolescence; a story about wanting, always w First of all, I fail to understand why this book has been stated as "Poor" by most of the reviewers. I also feel that this book doesn't deserve a rating of 2. It deserves even more. This book is strictly not for - 1) The Chetan Bhagat/Durjoy Datta fans who especially would want a story full of love,sex,comedy and masala. 2)This book is not suitable for the ones who expect a lot from a book. It's basically about the story of adulthood being forged out of adolescence; a story about wanting, always wanting, without necessarily knowing what we want. Most of the readers have the mindset that Indian Author books are always so typical. So they have this mindset before reading such book. So ultimately they fail to recognize the good stuff in the book. According to me, This book wasn't written by the author to grab the attention of the masses. It's purely for the genuine readers of book. The book was neatly written, the emotions were beautifully expressed. It's a 300 page book and MUST appreciate the hard efforts taken by the author in presenting such a Well-written book. The pace of the story is slow. Most people would term it as "Dragging" . But it was a book which kept me hooked to it all the time. It wasn't thrilling but the characterization of the Arindam was too good and that made me care for the character. Most of the instances that happened in his life will be relatable to most of our lives. Overall it was a good read :) I don't usually rate a book 4 stars. But When i saw the overall rating for this book which was around 2.6, I felt that the author should be credited a lot for his honest, and sincere work put-forwarded by him. Hence i rated it 4 stars. Lot of people gave negative reviews for this book Because they thought "Amitabha Bagchi" was just like any other Indian author who writes typical masala type stories. But when they came across this book, they found it uncanny and rated it 2 stars. This author has a great style of writing and has wonderful vocabulary skills. As I mentioned earlier, the pace of the story is slow which actually adds to the beauty of the book. The story doesn't have a Cinematic/Dramatic ending. But nevertheless, It din't disappoint me. Please try to appreciate the authors geniune work or else loathe it politely. Don't post absurd/Meaningless reviews stating the book was bad. It would really hurt the author.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Prash Murthy

    This book is not for the average Chetan Bhagat fans- who like a good mix of drama, sex, fight and cheap thrills. This is a book for above average readers or more serious readers, the ones that like bookers, etc.I always doubted the mass market would appreciate this book. The getting into IIT, the rock band,insults from the professor on how average the class was, PhD application recommendations, experience at Johns Hopkins University as a PhD student, the peer group comparisons and the inferiorit This book is not for the average Chetan Bhagat fans- who like a good mix of drama, sex, fight and cheap thrills. This is a book for above average readers or more serious readers, the ones that like bookers, etc.I always doubted the mass market would appreciate this book. The getting into IIT, the rock band,insults from the professor on how average the class was, PhD application recommendations, experience at Johns Hopkins University as a PhD student, the peer group comparisons and the inferiority complex - every bit is as true as a sensitive soul could feel. His descriptions of Baltimore and Seattle are accurate- I have walked the roads around Johns Hopkins , where he gets his phd and find that he has kept it real to the last level of detail.Kind of makes me wonder this is more than "Semi"-autobiographical. Guessing by others' comments, it must be true of his description of Delhi as well. The beauty of this book is in its honesty- especially, the description of vulnerabilities of Arindam. The other guy getting into IIM after realizing he was not the best at algorithms and cant get a reco from professor -is very real. Some people fiercely want to be number 1 or not compete at all. The only part that I found hard to believe was the bit about the brilliant techie who holds on to an orphan kid ( or something like that - it has been 2+ years since i read the book) and is willing to sacrifice his career to take care of the kid. At the end of it, the book radiates sadness, which is true of a lot of brilliant people. Absolute happiness has never mattered, it is all about relative happiness. How much you have doesn't matter, how much more you have than your neighbor or friend does; and this delta is directly responsible for happiness.With the academically bright, things that lead to happiness are- more publications, more research grant, phd from a better ranked university, how quickly you get tenure; Well, comparison is a way of life for us Indians. Of those books that have "novel by an IITian" on front cover, I have found this to be the only book to belong to "literary" segment. Most others have been written to appeal to mass segment. I wish Amit Bagchi the very best for his upcoming works.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anupama K. Mazumder

    It is a nice read, written in simple, lucid English... you can just read through the uncomplicated prose style without thinking too much about it.. you know what I mean.. the Chetan Bhagat kind of effect... easy going and simple. Amidst the easy flow, there are some very deep sentences. The characters are portrayed fairly, although one feels like reading through a time machine… flashback and present, past and future get referred in the same flow… incidents diverge, and unite once more. What I didn It is a nice read, written in simple, lucid English... you can just read through the uncomplicated prose style without thinking too much about it.. you know what I mean.. the Chetan Bhagat kind of effect... easy going and simple. Amidst the easy flow, there are some very deep sentences. The characters are portrayed fairly, although one feels like reading through a time machine… flashback and present, past and future get referred in the same flow… incidents diverge, and unite once more. What I didn’t like is the ending. That is perhaps the problem when you are accounting someone’s life.. it hasn’t ended, and hence, your story has no proper end as well.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Vidya

    An average book, definitely not above average. The flow frequently jumping from flashback to present to future is annoying at times. I could complete the book since I always find it interesting to know about the life in IIT and that of IITians and IIMs! Otherwise pretty boring.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anagha

    So far. Not bad. I mean its interesting. The way of writing is simple. 'I might not be good-looking, but I'm definetly above average...' Well said!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Pradeep sharma

    not readable .....boring

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gauri

    It is just like any other indian writer books.. Base like Chetan Bhagat.. I read it because my father told me to read Indian writers' books.. But.. Seriously... I didn't like this book.. at all... I just dont like these kind of books.. MANY PEOPLE would be against my opinion and i am going to make myself more clear that not EVERY indian writer is bad or of not my liking, it's just that i felt this book was not of the standard and was somewhat similar to Chetan Bhagat's books.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kartik Khare

    Much better depiction of IIT Culture than Chetan Bhagat's novel although the sexual activities inside campus have been exaggerated.The novel doesn't proceed in usual way but is a culmination of various incidents in author's life.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Parth Bakshi

    pathetic has tried to replicate chetan bhagat ....failed miserably

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rishabh Mittal

    Won't suggest you to read this book. The cover description inspired me to pick this book, but it turns out to be another IIT story, nothing new. Skip this one!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chidambaram Annamalai

    Really interesting book for anyone who has been through the competitive examination complex in India, and even more so for someone who emerged from an undergraduate education in IIT with an academic career (PhD followed by more suffering) in mind. Personally it told me how much of the totality of this experience is entirely commonplace. The characters and circumstances inhabiting this book are easily recognizable in my own version of the same experience some 15 years later. Yet so much is the sa Really interesting book for anyone who has been through the competitive examination complex in India, and even more so for someone who emerged from an undergraduate education in IIT with an academic career (PhD followed by more suffering) in mind. Personally it told me how much of the totality of this experience is entirely commonplace. The characters and circumstances inhabiting this book are easily recognizable in my own version of the same experience some 15 years later. Yet so much is the same. We end up wanting the same things, chase the same dreams, find ourselves unhappy for the same reasons. Really interesting book. I would think that much of what is described and what is discussed would be lost on someone who didn't share the same experience, which in a way lessens the value of this book. Nevertheless I recommend you to read this with this in mind.

  13. 4 out of 5

    D.

    It reads with the clarity of semi-autobiography, a young life honing its focus and determining a direction. Couched in terms of college years in a field difficult to relate to (CompSci) in a far removed locale from my own lived experience (Delhi), anecdotes from childhood and adolescence are woven in as needed to flesh out just how poignant certain moments are for the narrator, in ways that only seem possible as an early twentysomething. Navel-gazing, one-sided reminiscences well outside my usua It reads with the clarity of semi-autobiography, a young life honing its focus and determining a direction. Couched in terms of college years in a field difficult to relate to (CompSci) in a far removed locale from my own lived experience (Delhi), anecdotes from childhood and adolescence are woven in as needed to flesh out just how poignant certain moments are for the narrator, in ways that only seem possible as an early twentysomething. Navel-gazing, one-sided reminiscences well outside my usual reading choices, but an interesting change for all that.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Saisudha Acharya

    To be fair, Above Average was better written than Chetan Bhagat's Five Point Someone. Then again almost anything is. The story develops far too slow for my taste, and although I really did appreciate his style, I simply could not stay awake through a single chapter. Also I seemed to have to force myself to pick it up and read it - like as if it was an assigned reading.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Debarghya Paul

    Lost in a crowd of iit grad authors, this was actually one of the better books. Sadly it didn't become too popular as it was neither cheesy nor dealt with romance. The prose is brilliant in parts. But the real letdown is the plot. It's as clueless as the young protagonist of this book. That probably is the biggest letdown of this book, which otherwise could have been decent.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chinmaya Kher

    just finished the book and i shall improve its rating from 3 star to a 4.5....i will not say it an outstanding book but hey i can relate to it totally. also the fact that the protaginist lives in the place my home is, it was like revisiting home all over again. nostalgia!! but otherwise also the story's good, nothing dramati, yet something nice!! yup nice is the keyword!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Manish Goel

    It felt very natural reading it ... every character of story taken up and dealt with across past and present. On the surface, it feels like a tangled mess .. but I guess that's how life is ... tangled with various character, with their own stories .... A very very nice read ...

  18. 5 out of 5

    siddhesh

    It's a touching story -- simply written, but with a good feel for its characters and their conversations -- about how easy it is to dream big when you're young and equally easy to start compromising as you grow older.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sharon D

    Bagchi is almost a simplified Ghosh... His earnest and intent shall impress and satisfy the reader. Characters we relate to and moments we've been through are delicately arranged to create a lovely piece of writing.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jwala

    It's a touching coming-of-age story. I liked the book most when the protaganist describes delhi as he sees it. The downside of the book is perhaps the strange disconnected manner in which it is written.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Paushally Mozumder

    way..below average!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Umesh Kesavan

    Reads more like extracts from an IITian's personal diary. The writer's understated style of writing is a pleasure .Wish a proper plot had been woven to compliment his style.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Upasana

    Not highly disappointed by the book but was definitely slow.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    A good book if you would like to know more about life at IITs.Overall a quick light read,just felt the way it was written- the present to flashback and then again move forward quite confusing

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tanaya

    this book sucks!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shreyas

    It's really..a ridiculous book. It's honest , but ridiculous. Glorification of Cliche is an understatement.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Murtaza Kuwarawala

    One of the most boring books I have ever come across. Another one of those IIT kind of book. Stay away from it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mehul

    pathetic

  29. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    1719389 although enjoyable enough, I didn't finish it -- not compelling enough -- gave it to my Mom who read it and said it was good.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Uma

    read only if you are understand geekiness

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