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Posted February 6, 2009
So promising, but just doesn't deliver
Like a lot of the Demystifying series, I'm really disappointed in this one. The text is fewer than 180 pages (this doesn't include index, Final Exam, and so forth) which tells me that its failings are not due to simply not having enough space. <BR/><BR/>What are these failings (IMO)?<BR/><BR/>1. The text simply has too many places where he glosses over a topic without really reviewing it word for word to see if it really does explain. In other words, he could have backed up, so to speak, and gone a little slower.<BR/><BR/>2. He will suddenly throw in names of bacteria or viruses or chemicals without any preparation of them. (No, I'm probably not explaining this very well myself, but it's like he wants to be sure he mentions X without really demystifying it.)<BR/><BR/>3. He has some potentially great illustrations that had they been labeled a little better, they would have considerably helped the text. (And, to be fair, he did have several that did help the text.) And, in some instances, he failed to provide an illustration where it would have been really helpful.<BR/><BR/>4. This one is more a suggestion than a failure, but it would have been nice had he provided pronunciation help for a lot of the biological and chemical names. This, obviously, isn't a big deal on one level, but I admit that I personally need help with it and it would have been a nice feature.<BR/><BR/>Having said all this, should you buy it or not? Here I go being wishy-washy, but I guess I am glad I've read it. It really does have some value if you're trying to make senese of the subject without resorting to textbooks that, while excellent, are costly and take forever to read.<BR/><BR/>So, if you can sit down with it in some Barnes and Noble and read a chapter or two, maybe you'll feel it worth the price and time, too.
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