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Ruminations on College Life Paperback – August 6, 2002

34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

"Always remember, college is a joke," declares Karo, who chronicled his alcohol-soaked college experience in real time via a popular e-mail newsletter. Now a graduate, he's collected his Ruminations to provide the skinny on the rituals of drinking and to terrify anyone who thinks college is for learning. It will be fairly astonishing for some readers to read that the University of Pennslyvania, an Ivy League school, "has an obsession with naked men. If you get shut out in Beer Pong, you have to run naked" or that "the dry cleaners on campus suck. They're the worst. I wear a pair of khakis, I get some dirt on them, so I take them to the dry cleaners. You know what the guy says to me? 'I don't know if we can get this out.' What do you mean you don't know if you can get this out? It's dirt! What purpose do you serve?" After a several similar items, readers will be asking themselves the same question about this book-unless fresh from Beer Pong. Yet there's also an odd poignance to looking on as the clock ticks down Karo's seemingly endless free time.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Taken from Karo's popular Web site, aaronkaro.com, Ruminations perfectly captures the college experience of a fun-loving student. Born out of e-mails University of Pennsylvania student Karo would send his friends about his collegiate escapades, the book details dorm life, how to navigate classes, and fraternities, among other aspects of college. Most of Karo's stories involve alcohol, and at one point he comments, "Hey, I've seen more ceilings than floors today!" He's dead-on when he writes about the many different types of people one encounters at college, from the types who carry gigantic backpacks to the ones who can't go anywhere alone. He doesn't take classes seriously, but somehow he ends up giving his class's commencement speech. It's easy to see why Karo's clever e-mails to his friends were widely circulated and eventually spawned his Web site. Though Karo takes partying to the extreme, and some of his comments about women are downright obnoxious, there's no denying that Karo presents an often-accurate and funny picture of college life. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (August 6, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743232933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743232937
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,856,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Aaron Karo is an author, comedian, and screenwriter. His books include "Galgorithm," "Lexapros and Cons," "I'm Having More Fun Than You," "Ruminations on Twentysomething Life," and "Ruminations on College Life." He was born and raised in New York, currently lives in Los Angeles, and always pays on the first date. Find out more at AaronKaro.com.

twitter.com/aaronkaro
facebook.com/aaronkaro
instagram.com/aaronkaro

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Harkius VINE VOICE on February 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
Wow...look at all those other reviews. Those people are seriously deluded about the nature of this book.

People, let me be straight with you. I attend school at the University of Pennsylvania. Or, as we call it, Penn. Yes, it is the "Social Ivy". No, we don't JUST binge drink (although it does happen).

If you want proof that this guy went to class, look at the fact that he actually graduated. From Wharton. The best business school in the nation. Then, he published a book about it. Calm down.

This is a fun little book. It is entertaining, it makes light of a lot of college problems, and no one who has been in college in the past decade or so is going to find it that offensive. It's entertainment, nothing more.

It doesn't purport to be a survival guide for college, and it wasn't intended to be. Instead, it was intended to be what it is. An amusing series of anecdotes about drinking at Penn. It also teaches an important lesson. Which is that Penn is no different from other college campuses.

Take it for what it is, people. Don't get all preachy.

I recommend it. It's entertaining. Pick it up. Then pass it on. I am.

Harkius
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By christina marable on April 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
It's sometimes nice to hear of novels that have humble beginnings and explore a part of life that doesn't get much attention or repsect. Aaron Karo wrote "Ruminations on college life" after writing a letter to all of his friends once a week on college life at the University of Pennsylvania. It started out as a letter to 11 friends that snowballed by the time he graduated.
The novel highlights several parts of college life, such as the drinking, the residence halls, the greek life, night activities, studying abroad and the transition to going home. at turns were laughs on every page.
I guess the reason why i liked it so much as because it looked at two groups that society does'nt really pay much attention to: youth and college students. and it seems like every portrayal of youth has it at one end of the spectrum or the other. in other words, youth is either a tragic lost generation or trying to save the world and find a cure for AIDS. These characters are just kids on the transition from childhood to adulthood and enjoy the ride. Karo doesn't fall into either one and simply describes his endeavors during his undergraduate education. It's honest and humorous. The humor is derived from his life without the drama and trouble.
There is no plot and the chapters are short. There is no real logic in the book, either. But that's what makes it so much fun to read. Life does not have a beginning, middle or end and doesn't follow Freytags pyramid. Life is more of a series of short chapters. And the characters sort of flow in and out of the book,just as characters do in real life. I have met a lot of people while in college.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Scott D Berwitz on August 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
You know when you're watching a tv show that is supposed to depict a college scene, and the actors look like they're 40...and in real life, they are married with like seven kids? Well, that's the way most college books tend to relate to college. Like they are written by someone much older who is envisioning what college MUST be like these days.
What is so great about this book is that Aaron Karo speaks not only as a real college student, but someone with the wit and intelligence needed to point out the idiocy and humor in the most fundamental parts of fraternity and campus life. I found myself laughing not only from reading the book, but from envisioning what he's talking about...either myself or one of my friends has been, at one time or another, in the situations he smartly describes.
It's a great book...for everyone. A lot of fun. And it's true - every word of it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jason Lasky on December 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
at the request of the man himself, i'm going to write a little review for one of the funniest and truest books i have ever read.
ruminations is a basic overview for all college life, from the crazy drunken nights of underage freshman to the quasi-return to normal life with the family where the college kid has to remember who the rulemakers are (the ones who, of course, fund the "education"- or as Mr. Karo put it, the drinking habits). you will laugh out loud and you will enjoy this book. while i haven't personally joined a frat and engaged in the wild drunken behavior that runs throughout the book, i have been witness to MANY fine examples of typical college behavior- Aaron Karo tells it like it is. and parents should probably give this book a read, too, if only to look back on their own experiences with a smile. thank you Aaron Karo.
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By Amazon Customer on September 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book even though I had read each of Karo's "ruminations" when I was in college. I was one of the many on his e-mail distribution (the original form of these ruminations). I used love when his next update would arrive!

Now, that I have been out of college for over 6 years, reading these ruminations take me back. They help me remember what I loved about college. The fact that I knew kids like Karo described and I sometimes partied a bit too much make it pretty easy to relate.

There are many times when you will read this book that you will laugh out loud. I loved reading the ruminations that I still remembered, (the steam room of a bathroom, asking the Med student to help an injured friend, etc.). I recommend this book for people that partied in college or are currently partying in college and want to read a light and entertaining book.
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