- Paperback: 339 pages
- Publisher: Springer; 1st ed. 2017 edition (July 3, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 331959320X
- ISBN-13: 978-3319593203
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,172,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
You Must Be Very Intelligent: The PhD Delusion 1st ed. 2017 Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
“A new novel about academic life is not a ringing endorsement, to say the least. But it will make you laugh. And that’s the point.” (Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, February, 2018)
“The story is immersive, and I felt like I was there with our hero every step of the way.” (Chemistry World, chemistryworld.com, January 2018)
“Karin Bodewits’ partly autobiographic book ‘You must be very intelligent – The PhD Delusion’ is a revealing, tongue in cheek tale about PhD life.” (Ulrike Träger, Metior Magazine, November, 2017)
“PhD novel is ‘wake-up call’ on supervisor-student ‘power plays’” (Times Higher Education, November, 2017)
From the Back Cover
You Must be Very Intelligent is the author’s account of studying for a PhD in a modern, successful university. Part-memoir and part-exposé, this book is highly entertaining and unusually revealing about the dubious morality and desperate behaviour which underpins competition in twenty-first century academia.
When Karin enters a high-ranked university to start her PhD she is brimming with hope and positively overflowing with grit determination to prove she is worthy. After all, she knows that only the extraordinarily learned and the astonishingly intelligent ever hold chairs and professorships... She knows researchers are idealists yearning to enrich the stock of human knowledge… She knows university is the apotheosis of civilised culture… She knows… very little…
This witty, warts-and-all tale of postgrad life in the august University of Edinburgh will strike a chord in anyone who has ever aspired to life in the ivory tower. It is a warm-hearted story of disillusionment, wherein passion and innocence are merrily bludgeoned by big egos, ludicrous farce, tawdry corruption, pimped-out brains and the sheer unreality of trying to be a grown-up in a brat’s world…
This is Karin’s humorous story, but it is also the tragic story of the modern European university system; where money and power are the amoral Gods, and the noble search for truth quietly atrophies.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
This book covers all this and more. The pleasant writing style mixed in with deadpan humor made it easy to forget I was reading a memoir-style book; it felt more like a casual blog post. Which I found refreshing – it didn’t take itself too seriously. It shed a lot of light on the process, and in a frank, sometimes brutally frank way. Love lost, tedious work, shooting kangaroos – it all adds up.
If I had to find a downside for this book; it’d be the present-tense writing style. It seemed the author stumbled with it a few times, forcing me to reread a sentence or sometimes a paragraph to fully understand their point. Since this is clearly the author looking back at events, it would’ve made more sense in past-tense.
Nonetheless, this story is crisp, realistic, and hilarious. It opens with our main character being outrageously hungover, even as she starts out what’s supposed to be the defining moment of her academic career. She’s just finished a drinking binge (with horror stories few of us are willing to admit we’ve experienced ourselves), and now she has to impress her PhD supervisor, understand the lay of the land, and make decisions about where to live… There’s a dose of real life that many don’t glamorize.
For anyone considering their academic future, considering their PhD – or who just want a funny read where we can shake our head along with the main character… this book is for you.
My favorite aspect of the book was how she explored the personal aspects of the characters lives outside the university. Graduate school can be very intense, and I often felt pressure to sacrifice my non-professional interests in lieu of my career aspirations. Reading about the real human characters in Karin’s novel, with relationships and interests they fostered outside the lab, was a refreshing and encouraging experience.
You should read this book if you are considering pursuing PhD, so that you do not enter the position with rose-colored glasses but rather make a conscious and careful choice. If you have passed through grad school, this book could be both a reminder that you are not alone going through challenges, but also that you might be luckier than others. Finally, if you supervise students, this book can be a great guide on which mistakes not to make.
Karin Bodewits’ novel takes the reader on a journey through a three-year-long PhD experience at the University of Edinburgh. I was immediately drawn into a nuanced and well-crafted story that engages with a multitude of themes of PhD life, such as a young scientist’s academic ambitions, personal struggles with friends, family and motivational issues, and insights in the often rusty university structures and codes of conduct of modern day research.
Many passages of Bodewits’ prose are beautiful and overly well written. The author doesn’t shy away from shedding light on to the most delicate parts of everyday realities of a PhD experience. These include themes such as a troubled relationship to a PhD supervisor, the international inflation of PhD students, or the highly competitive and at times very obscure procedures of getting an academic paper published in a high ranking journal.
Bodewits’ novel is a glimpse into the ivory tower of modern day academia with all of its potentials, pits and falls. This is a book for anyone interested in the everyday life of science, higher education, and the PhD experience. But it is, beyond that, also a book for anyone looking for a heartwarming young-adult story.
Most recent customer reviews
But seriously, it's a very funny, honest and thought-provoking memoir of the ups and downs of PhD student life.Read more