3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
The Determination To Succeed is an autobiography written by Arvind Phukan. The author talks about his journey from growing up in India to becoming a civil engineer and living in the United States. Throughout his life, Phukan faces many challenges like obtaining his Ph.D. in just three years, going through a divorce, and becoming a professor. Phukan also speaks about his many pursuits in philanthropy and his work with the Rotary Club. Now being in his seventies and looking back at his life, he believes it was his “determination to succeed” and “Destiny” that helped him accomplish so much.
The author lays out the chapters by different stages in his life, and mostly, they were easy to read. There were parts where Phukan lists his engineer projects and what he did with them. Those parts lost me. But I don’t fault the author on this since it had to do more with my lack of knowledge on the subject than his writing ability. Besides this, his story was inspirational. His work ethic and drive to help those in need are commendable.
Hinduism and the Indian culture itself are not the focus of the book but are part of the author’s life, and therefore, integral to his story. Phukan helped start a Hindu temple and an association about the Indian culture in Alaska, USA. His mother had to check the horoscopes to see if a girl was a good fit for him to marry. Phukan also states that his second wife brought him luck, and he excelled in his life even more after marrying her. I am not a believer in this religion, but I found it interesting to see how Phukan viewed his life through it.
There were several things I thought could be better in this book, though. One is that the author has a penchant for using “etc.” when writing out a list of items. It became redundant after a while, and I thought maybe the author could reword some sentences to omit as many usages of it. On my Kindle copy, the formatting was off, and there were huge gaps between paragraphs. The author shows pictures of his life throughout the book. I enjoyed looking at them, but the captions to them were too small for me to read. There were also over ten grammar mistakes in the work.
I give The Determination To Succeed 3 out of 4 stars. Anyone who likes autobiographies or who is interested in civil engineering would like to read this book.
The Determination to Succeed
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon