I used this textbook for an undergraduate capstone class in molecular biology. The book is divided into eight main parts: Introduction, Methods in Molecular Biology, Transcription in Prokaryotes, Transcription in Eukaryotes, Posttranscriptional Events, Translation, and Genomes. The book is very detailed in its explanations of molecular processes and this makes it difficult to comprehend. Often, I would read a few pages and understand very little of what I read. I found that I learned more if I listened closely in class and only refered to the book for details, which is what I would suggest. Also my class focused mostly on problem based learning in molecular biology and less on memorizing molecular details. This book contains very few problems so my professor made up his own questions that he gave us and they were more helpful.
Another problem that I had with this book is that it contains probably too much experimental information. Almost every science textbook contains a little information about important discovers, but usually a little information is all that is needed. This book gives detailed descriptions of experiments that were used to discover principles of molecular biology, and I think that most and unnessary and only distract the student in what is already a confusing textbook. I understand that Dr. Weaver's aim was to introduce the experimental aspects of the subject, but I think he went a little overboard. Since this is an introductory textbook, primary principles should be focused on and specific experiments should be limited and should be found in side text-boxes instead of in the body of the text. That way, the student can read the experiments only if he or she is interested instead of having them interupt the subject matter at hand, which commonly occurs in the this textbook.
Regardless to say, I did not use this book to study from as much as I use most of my science books. Instead, I focused more on my professor's notes and questions and only referred to the book for key concepts. The book is not bad for key concepts and does contain and number of useful figures. Yet I would not recommend trying to read a chapter straight though; it is not worth it. Study the key ideas and figures instead. The remainder of the information is, in my opinion, a little advanced for an introductory class--although this book is intended for such a class--and way too wordy.