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Mushrooms Paperback – Unabridged, 18 Aug 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; Unabridged edition (18 Aug 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330442376
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330442374
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.6 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'A long-awaited update to a popular identification guide...this
new edition is most welcome. This is a fine book'
-- The Garden

'Classy book...An unsurpassed reference guide.' -- Jackie Foottit Hull Daily Mail Jackie Foottit, Hull Daily Mail

'Comprehensive guide to the fungi of Britain... Just in time for
the mushroom season.' -- Gardens Illustrated

'This is the ideal book for any enthusiast who wants to know more' -- Daily Mail

'To call it the mushroomers' bible is to understate the reverence
enthusiasts have for it...' -- The London Review of Books

'sets the benchmark for works of mushroom identification...the
essential encyclopedia for mushroom hunters and anyone interested in the
subject.’ -- Country Smallholding

About the Author

Roger Phillips is an award-winning photographer with a reputation spanning thirty years. He has consistently pioneered the use of colour photography for the reliable identification of natural history subjects, and has wrtten more than 20 books dedicated to this purpose.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Heltor Chasca on 16 Oct 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For someone who appreciates flora and fauna AND good books - This is a fantastic buy. As a relative beginner to the world of fungi, this book ticks all the boxes for a reference book (so probably a bit big for the field). There are loads of information (basic and advanced) on each fungus and of particular interest to me: The common name of most of the fungi is included. Our fungi have been named with elaborate and humorous names which I find easier to remember than the Latin name. I mainly have a culinary interest in mushrooms and this has great notes on edibility and the fact that you need to know which ones CAN'T be eaten, so congratulations on a truly great piece of work.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By G. Stogdon on 21 Oct 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like many people, the original edition of this book was my first field ID book on fungi. Being so familiar with it's structure, it is really easy for me to locate something I've found in Roger Phillips' book. The simple key at the beginning usually gets you straight to the right section of the book to identify your mushroom. Happily for me, the structure of the original is preserved in this new edition.

As I have progressed with my mycophilia over the years I have acquired most of the readily available field guides on the market. This is the inevitable curse of the mushroom hunter. There are always a number of species covered in each new guide that do not appear in the others. I am always seeking the one perfect field guide. The truth is, you often need to check a particular specimen in several, but I always come back to the Phillips.

The key to this book's success must be the consistently high quality of the photographs. He is a fantastic photographer and despite (or perhaps because of)his insistence on removing the specimens to a studio, these images capture accurately the essential details of each species. Compare the perhaps more erudite Encyclopedia by M. Jordan, where each example is photographed in situ; I find I am often hardly able to recognise the fungus in front of me from the image captured in the shifting natural light of Jordan's less adept photography. Phillips maintains his attention to quality images in this new edition, with many new entries to the guide.

Hats off to this most excellent of mushroom books and its author.

P.S. If there is one perfect book on fungi ID, relevant to the UK, then J.Breitenbach and F.Kranzlin "Fungi of Switzerland" would be the one. However, this is now in 6 weighty tomes at about £90 a volume. Not exactly a portable field guide then.
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126 of 131 people found the following review helpful By Christopher J. Sharpe on 8 Sep 2006
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In the early 1980s, when Pan published Roger Phillips' pioneering Mushrooms and Other Fungi of Great Britain and Europe I immediately purchased a copy for identifying British fungi. At the time it was revolutionary in the use of photographs that allowed the author to depict mushrooms much more accurately than the paintings of earlier guides. Until recently, it was still one of the top field guides to this region (also check Courtecuisse & Duhem, and Jordan). I still use this volume a lot for identifying American fungi, both in the tropics and northward. Although I have over 200 field guides of different sorts on my shelves, this remains one of my all time favourites.

This current book, Mushrooms, supersedes the older Phillips guide - although I will not be parting with mine. It follows the format of the original book quite closely, but is now slightly smaller to make it more of a field guide - about the same size as Skinner's Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles and, although still won't fit into a pocket, it is much more manageable than the older A4-sized book. There are 1,250 photographs, all of the excellent quality one associates with the author. Some 200 extra species are treated.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By MC on 4 Dec 2011
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For anyone contemplating this book, I'd shell out for a second-hand copy of Phillips' original:

Mushrooms and Other Fungi of Great Britain and Europe (A Pan original) (Or at least buy it in addition.)

The original book is vastly superior for the following reasons:

1. The 'visual key' to the main families. In the original this spans a double-page spread and therefore gives an idea of their appearance and dimensions relative to one another. This is entirely lost in the updated version.

2. The quality of photography. The differences between species can be so subtle, you really need accurate photography to make a judgement. Considering when the original book was first printed (1981) it must have been an enormously expensive undertaking using conventional photography and reprographics. The detail of the original photographs is exquisite, the colours are realistic, and moreover consistent throughout the book.

Some pictures in the updated edition have been re-shot digitally, and all have been compressed to reformat them into the updated (smaller) page size. A big mistake, in my view. Firstly for the loss of fine detail in compression, but also the way that digital photography renders colour compared with film.

The updated book has wide variations in colour rendering throughout. Rather tricky for the novice to compare species photographed using different techniques... I think Phillips should have re-shot all pictures at the new size and for consistency of colourisation, but he didn't.

Editing and referencing in the 'updated' version is sloppy too - some text refers to the wrong picture (and species) entirely.
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