The Apocalypto Kid Goes to College Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin Readers’ Favorite Five Star Book Review
Certain events deserve to be recorded because they involve something exceptional. In The Apocalypto Kid Goes to College, Grant Harper Reid relates his experience as a young black man trying to graduate from college. His story began when he left Lincoln University after only three days, and when he discovered that his family has been evicted without informing him, he enrolled at Marquette University. After only one year there, he decided to move closer to his family and asked to be transferred to Bard College. These places are just the setting of this story, and it is up to the reader to embrace all the feelings and people the author will encounter.
The experiences that Grant Harper Reid shares with us are the most striking aspects of The Apocalypto Kid Goes to College. The author recounts them in such a way that the reader will get the impression that he is writing about something that has happened recently and is still fresh in his memory. This spontaneity and originality are the reasons why the book hooked me from the very first page. I was curious to learn more about the author's path to graduation and the people he would meet along the way. The ones that impressed me the most are Darby (Harper Reid gets attached to her at Marquette) and Petra (he falls in love with her at Bard College). I recommend this book to all those who appreciate well-written memoirs.
The Apocalypto Kid Goes To College by Grant Harper Reid
Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers’ Favorite
The Apocalypto Kid Goes to College by Grant Harper Reid is an intriguing autobiography about one man’s quest to get a college education. Upon graduation from high school, Grant attends Lincoln University. However, after only three disappointing days at Lincoln, Grant returns home to Teaneck, New Jersey. To his surprise, his family has been evicted from their home. He ends up sitting on the sidewalk with his luggage. Determined to follow his dream, he decides to enroll at Marquette University far away in the mid-west. What follows is a tumultuous journey as he experiences the struggles of being a black student at a predominantly white college campus. The awkward teenage boy has to grow up fast and become a mature college graduate. This is his story.
Grant Harper Reid’s The Apocalypto Kid Goes to College is a life story that focuses on the author’s unusual journey in getting a college diploma. It is a record not only of the events but of his thoughts, emotions, and intentions during the five years that he spent in three different universities. Narrating in the first-person, the author’s literary writing style is casual, as if talking to a close friend. I found it fascinating that he could describe the settings and the characters in such vivid detail after all these years, warts and all. This a memoir about persistence and personal growth despite the odds. This book should inspire readers not to give up easily on achieving their dreams in life.
There's the honesty author Grant Reid doesn't care what anyone thinks, opposite of political correctness or imitation of anyone else's style, no adherence to what's cool or acceptable, all his own thing) and poetry I remember from his film work at Bard College. Just what I was hoping to find!
In “The Apocalypto Kid Goes to College,” Mr. Reid revisits remarkable places and times and does them justice and then some, bringing the ambiance and especially the people to the page vividly- where they seem at times even more lifelike than the real thing. That’s Grant Reid’s gift of language. He can make us perceive in a heightened way, get our senses and mind working better than usual. That’s his art at work. But most of all it is the story, his own experience of youth that works on the reader, keeps him or her riveted, book open, everything else pushed away to let what he says come through without distraction, at full force. What the author gives us, honestly, openly, with a kind of innocence or wonder this reader found compelling, in fact beautiful, is the world through the lens of his character at age twenty. It’s quite a feat he has pulled off, and reflecting on it I see that his excellent sleight of hand is the superimposing of the personal and the objective worlds. As we read and consider Grant Reid’s point of view (which I can guarantee is unlike any you’ve known before, at least not up so close), we revisit our own thoughts and feelings about the world we inhabited along with him- at least I did, having gone to the same college in the same years- and wonder in turn that there was so much more to see.
Grant Reid has done us a service in sharing what it is no exaggeration to call a spiritual journey, the story of a man coming of age, with all the pain and joy that involves. “The Apocalypto Kid Goes to College” is an adventure Mr. Reid makes ours as well, an account of risk taking, fear and faith in himself and in something beyond. This memoirist doesn’t pull punches. He’s frank about his own fumbles, shortcomings, rough in his self-criticisms, yet we share with him the confidence that he will grow strong. We watch him learn, root for him, come to care for the underdog hero. And his clear-eyed, unflinching self-appraisal makes his depictions of others, both praise and criticism, ring true. The book resonates with truth. And it is also funny as hell throughout. And to call the language colorful may be the understatement of the year. Do yourself a favor and help yourself to “The Apocalypto Kid Goes to College” on the double.
Advice to the reader: Don’t hurry. I found the memoir hard to put down but forced myself to read slowly, both to miss nothing and to portion the pleasure out over a few days. Who wants to eat a delicious feast- dessert, maybe a rich cake a better comparison- in one sitting, even though you easily could!
Dr. Grant Harper Reid is an excellent writer. I have enjoyed his other two books "Rhythm For Sale" and "The Harlem Bible". But this book is so riveting because I met him at Bard College and graduated two years ahead of him. People, Dr Reid writes with great animation, clarity and directness. He gave me memories. I did not realize what he actually was experiencing, but I knew upon first meeting him that we would remain friends a long time. If he was seated before me, I would give him a big brotherly hug. We both had our own deep experiences and like him I had to keep mine to myself.
Everything Dr. Grant Harper Reid is writing about is absolutely real.
All I could say is that it takes courage to write about these deep-rooted experiences with such vividness and truth. Excellent job Dr Grant Harper Reid. Wow I thought your first two book were amazing...this one is a deep dive. God Bless You and I am glad we were divinely directed to meet each other at Bard College and here we are today. We lived through some rough stuff, but we are older and can actually talk about it.
This represents one of the Milwaukee abandoned Industrial Lots images where the author roamed when he attended Marquette University. He used to cry & pray there at night with his Holy Guardian Angels. Boy did he ever need their protection.