Sunday, May 16, 2010

College in a Nutskull compiled and edited by Professor Anders Henriksson

He's back. Anders Henriksson, author of The New York Times bestseller Non Campus Mentis (retitled Ignorance Is Blitz), returns with even funnier, nuttier, more outrageous material culled from the actual exam books of real college students. And it's a hoot that covers all subjects of the core curriculum, including: American History: "The Underground Railroad was built as the nation's first public transit system." Art: "Cubism is art from Cuba." Religion: "Moses led his Islams out of Egypt. Bananas from heaven arrived to feed the hungry people. These events are described in the Book of Zeus." Philosophy: "Plato did his thinking in the Cave of Al Gore." Economics: "The theory of surplus value is Marx’s idea that you always shop with coupons." Music: "Bach's sacred choral music includes the B Minor Mess. . . . All one million of his famed works can be found in his BMW. He had over one hundred children and was, of course, very famous for his work with his organ. Two of his successful sons were Jesus Christ Bach and Bacherini." Literature: "Jay Gatsby moved to East Egg because it would be a good place to raise his chickens." And Psychology—or is it Theater Arts: "Most people are either straight, gay, or thespian."

Published in the irresistible form of a spiral notebook, a pure parody of a course-by-course study guide (complete with doodles), College in a Nutskull is stuff that just cannot be made up—bloopers and blunders and desperate attempts to bluff the right answer, woven together to give a hilarious, unintentionally brilliant report on the state of American higher education. A comedy, that is, for anyone not paying tuition.

Once I figured out what the premise of College in a Nutskull was (people's test/paper responses that are horribly inaccurate, hilarious mistakes etc) I was really looking forward to reading it. And while it was a lot of fun I would definitely point out that this should be used as a coffee table book, don't try to read it in a sitting or even really a spam of a few days (yes I totally did that) because it does begin to get repetitive but reading from it now and again I think would be a great idea.

This might make me fodder for the book but here's the three ways I reacted to the passages in the book.

1. I totally knew what the correct information was and found the person's answer to be really funny!

2. I wasn't exactly sure what the right answer was but I knew what they had written was definitely wrong.

3. I know nothing about this subject matter so I'm not really sure what's funny about this.

So obviously some sections I liked better than others, art being my favorite. The history section is pretty lengthy but that makes sense since the man that compiled and edited it is a chairman of a history department.

While I understand why the format and binding of a spiral notebook was appropriate I really do not like spiral spines for reading, the pages snag on the rings and it's hard to keep the pages flipping. I think maybe a better solution would have been to have the book look like a composition notebook, it would still look like a notebook but with better binding! I do like that the inside was laid out as a notebook as well, with doodles, pictures, handwriting in some places etc.

Overall this might be a fun coffee table book for those interested in scholarly humor.

College in a Nutskull was released on April 8th
Genre: Humor
3/5 Stars
Review copy provided by the publisher


  1. I enjoyed this book and really thought it would make the perfect bathroom book.

  2. That sounds like a fun concept for a book. Over the years, I've had some teachers/professors share some of their favorite wrong's cool that somebody collected and compiled a bunch.

  3. Sounds hilarious--love terrible essays and the like. I can't wait to pick it up for myself.


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