"Run Silent, Run Geek" by William Georgiades - Read full review from New York Post
Review by June Sawyers - Read full review from Booklist
“Rapkin's (senior editor, GQ) breezy and gossipy chronicle of the collegiate a cappella scene is unique. Except for some commemorative publications (such as those concerning the original and best-known group, the Yale Whiffenpoofs), little has been published in book form on the collegiate a cappella phenomenon. Primarily, this is because the current scene is new-with arrangements of pop music (rather than a concentration on traditional favorites), the rising importance of competitions, and a veritable explosion of groups in the past 25 years. Rapkin examines the recent history of three top ensembles-Oregon's Divisi, Virginia's Hullabahoos, and Tufts's Beelzebubs-and tells a fascinating story of top-flight recording opportunities, gigs paying up to $13,000, fame as far away as the Philippines, and an appearance on Letterman. The heart of the book consists of the personal stories of the men and women who organize and perform in these groups, though Rapkin also manages to explain much of the recent history of collegiate a cappella groups along the way. Recommended for all libraries.”
—Bruce R. Schueneman, Library Journal
“According to GQ senior editor Rapkin, today's lively collegiate a cappella groups boast hip-hop repertory, professional vocal arrangements, competitions at Lincoln Center and a world shrunk by the Internet. During the 2006-2007 college season, Rapkin, an alum of a Cornell all-male singing club, followed three a cappella powerhouses: Divisi, an all-girl group from the University of Oregon, the testosterone-driven Hullabahoos of the University of Virginia, and Beelzebubs, from Tufts. Each is a collective with a score to settle, a tradition to honor. Robbed of a championship in 2005, Divisi wants payback; the Hullabahoos want respect without forfeiting their frat-boy charm; and the controversial Bubs want to hone their edge.
Throughout, Rapkin engages with celebrity trivia (Heroes' Masi Oka sang a cappella at Brown) and music criticism. He profiles the cottage recording industry built from college a cappella. Most notably, he riffs through signature events and crisis moments with a snarky humor (onstage Divisi looks like "the women in that Robert Palmer video") that turns each chapter into a picaresque progression toward graduation. (June)”