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on 23 December 2003
This book is an excellent introduction to geology for the interested amateur. Not only does it explain geological theory and processes in a clear, concise way, but it also gives practical advice for undertaking your own field trips.
Additionally, this is one of the companion books recommended for the Open University geology course S260 (and in fact David Rothery wrote some of the material for this course too!). If you are thinking about taking this course, then a good plan would be to buy this book, and also Teach Yourself Volcanoes, and to read them during the winter before you start the course - this will give you a solid headstart and introduce you to many of the concepts you will be meeting in your studies.
I agree with a previous reviewer that the book would be improved by a more detailed study of minerals, but as it is pitched as an introductory text it really cannot be faulted in this regard.
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on 8 January 2007
If you've always fancied knowing a bit about how the landscape came to look how it is (and how it continues to evolve) then this is the book for you. The theory is expressed clearly and simple diagrams illustrate the ideas in the text to ease understanding, giving you a good overview of all the main areas of geology. But most importantly, it's a thoroughly good read - I couldn't put it down - and it can only leave you wanting to learn more and test your knowledge in practice.
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on 8 January 1999
A good, comprehensive, step-by-step guide to the fundamental subject areas of geology. This book deals primarily with the theories behind geology and uses a wide variety of interesting examples to assist understanding. Some helpful diagrams are included although the photographs could be improved. Avoids detailed and more advanced chemical explanations.
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on 21 June 2010
I enjoy doing jigsaws. Sometimes you spot an interesting piece, then find a couple of adjoining pieces thus ending up with a little island of meshed pieces that remain unconnected to the wider picture. This is an analogy for my knowledge of geology prior to reading the book here reveiwed. It consisted of a lot of interesting islands of knowledge which were isolated from each other with no continuous thread connecting them. This book, however, filled in the gaps and unified the picture such that I can now say I have a solid grasp of most, if not all, of the fundamental areas of geology. This, of course is an implied claim of the series title. I estimate my knowledge is now around UK A-level Geology standard. With a little more work I could achieve a high grade pass at A level.
I found each topic to be presented in a lucid and interesting way. The use of english was particularly good with a little warm humour appearing from time to time.
One thing that the book really established in my mind was the inherent instablity of geological systems, albeit when viewed on a geolical timescale. We see a mountain chain etc. and know that it has existed for our lifetime, for the lifetime of our father and grandfather, and for the lifetimes of our great-great-great-etc.-grandfathers. It will exist also for a similar timespan into the future with little relative change caused by erosion or earthquakes or volcanism. This is all viewed on our human timescale - a timescale incomparabley short compared with the immensely long swings of the geologic pendulum. Rocks, cooked deep in the earth's mantle at huge temperatures and pressures, emerge at the surface finding themselves in a pressure-temperature regime far removed from that at which they were created. No wonder they are unstable, just waiting to morph into some other rock-form.
For anyone like me who has a little background and would like to further it, this book is a must. Persons starting from scratch would also gain a great deal from a reading. Having finished the book I straightaway re-read it. Being interesting, lucidly presented and enjoyable to read this was no chore and greatly increased the information gained. I don't think I have learned as much from any science topic book as this one. I cannot recommend it enough.
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on 22 January 2013
required reading for my course, it was useful during my course, reasonably priced and arrived on time for my course.
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on 27 January 2016
very good
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