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on 30 July 2010
There has been a long history of comparing this book with the Shriver & Atkins competitor "Inorganic Chemistry", with a lot of snaring at the Atkins book (although the current Atkins 4th ed.n is greatly improved). The Housecroft book is excellent for its breadth of coverage, clear diagrams, volume of chemistry and detail given, and its willingness to not merely be an encyclopedia, but a teaching tool for students with a firm foundation in chemistry. And that audience difference is the crux of the difference with the Atkins book, where the balance is far more heavily towards identifying patterns of properties as a teaching tool, rather than description of cases. The chapter on d block elements fairly represents this: Atkins chapter finds patterns of reactivity/property in the first period; but Housecroft, after intro work, largely goes through Sc to Zn, element by element in detail, addressing each oxididation state and major compound class. This reference tool use is emphasised in Housecroft when in such core chapters there can often be a note that there is evidence for a particular compound but that it is not accepted, whereas the pedagogical Atkins is concerned about teaching known chemistry and not uncertainty. In my view both books are excellent but for differing audiences and needs. The Housecroft book for example lacks the excellent teaching pages from Atkins 4th ed.n (chapter 4.9-4.12) where Atkins uses the Lewis acid/base concepts to unite coordination chemistry reactivity and relates Bronsted acids to this as a special case. Similarly Housecroft lacks Atkins (found at chap. 4.6) integrative cross group comparison of metal oxide acidity, basicity and amphotericism. So in conclusion then, Housecroft is excellent, but lacking those valuable few pages of integrative explanation of reaction patterns through out the book, is (not surprisingly) not perfect.
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on 22 October 2003
i'm so impressed by the organisation of this book. All of the theory is well covered and explained, with additional information that gives an excellent oppurtunity to read around your degree. i would certainly recommend it to any chemists starting their degree. it'll see you through to the end of your course. excellent!
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on 5 June 2011
I bought this book as required by my chemistry department on starting my degree. I have now finished (got a high 2.1) and can honestly say this book was rarely used. Detail in many key areas and topics is lacking and the book is only really good for brief reference.

The layout is pretty confusing. Some topics are mixed up with others, making the text difficult to follow. The content is not categorised in a way that allows for quick note taking when trying to revise. Relative to the course organic text book (Clayden et al) this really is a poor effort. You are better off with wikipedia and the relevant OCP inorganic primers. Seriously!

d-Block Chemistry (Oxford Chemistry Primers)
Periodicity and the s- and p-Block Elements (Oxford Chemistry Primers) etc...
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on 10 January 2012
I have been at University a semester and this was one of my recommended textbooks. I feel after a semester I have barely even scratched the surface of this book and that is probably because I haven't.

It is easy to read, to the point and doesn't fill your head with all of the vocab from other subjects like maths (If I wanted to know all of the ins and outs of maths I would have done the subject), and just focuses on the information that is required for Chemistry and if you need to know more then there are most advanced texts out there waiting for you in your libraries, which is great since there is a reference and further reading section at the end of each chapter, to point you in the direction you will need to get your hands on the extra books and journals you might want to look at.

Funny enough this book actually does a better job at explaining the beginning of quantum chemistry that is required of my Physical Chemistry course than the required reading for the Physical Chemistry course itself.

I think this book is great, just have to look out at how it will fair in a year or so when we start doing the heavy stuff.
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on 30 January 2009
As with everything Housecroft that I've encountered, including the excellent general Chemistry texts for new undergraduates, there's several consistent patterns.
-Clear diagrams
-Conscise Wording
-Useful Problems
It adds up to a rather nifty book that's ideal for all chemists, either as a gateway to a specialty in that field or as a book-shelf reference text for the organic chemist who needs to a quick and easy way to fill gaps.
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on 6 January 2011
I purchased this book not too long ago as a extra source for revision during my first year of my Chemistry degree and have found it very helpful and with clear steps. Attention has clearly been given to the layout and this has encouraged me to read the book rather than just skim like most text books that are daunting and crammed full of tiny texts and complicated 45 step diagrams.
Very helpful and I would recommend for anyone studyng chemistry beyond A-Level.
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on 11 May 2009
The orginisation (particularly in the second half) makes reading this a bit of a chalenge. For example, a refrence to a figure on the next spread will be given, whilst there will be a refrence on the next spread to a figure on the prevous spread, regardless of the fact that the two figures would be better positioned on the other spread.

Personaly, I'd overhaul the whole thing - having said that there are some intresting and well written parts (sady few), and what is actualy in there is still chemistry. This makes this potentaly a good refrence book but not necassarly a good textbook for learning from.
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on 2 January 2015
Bought it for myself during my studies. It became one of my main reference books. Extremely useful and detailed.
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on 29 December 2015
Needed for Uni otherwise would not buy.
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on 22 October 2015
Good book for inorganic chemistry
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