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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 July 2009
Though this book certainly looks glossy, and has many appealingly named chapters, I found this book extremely hard to digest. First off, the author has the tendency to opt for flowery and complicated words (which usually shouldn't be a problem, but in this case it just makes it hard to read) and I also found that the author asked questions (in the text, not as a revision question) and went off on a tangent without actually answering the question. (Which I found was the case when they asked why the mother does not reject the foetus. There was a really good following about a certain antigen, but the question wasn't answered.) Or in some cases, he would answer the question but you had to either re-read or look really hard, and when you're trying to do a lot of studying, this isn't exactly appealing. I also found topics such as the menstrual cycle to be not as comprehesive as I would have liked it to be, often mixing in with the luteal cycle. I would have preferred it to be separate and also not mixed in with other chapters. I did find myself conferring things he said with Wikipedia, and actually found Wikipedia to be more insightful.

That said, the book does have its pros. There is a good summary of points at the end of each chapter, and the subtitles usually offer a key point or interesting fact. The set-up is also clear.

I was lucky enough to get this book second-hand, and would definitely not recommend someone buying this full price unless they're sure it's for them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 October 2008
I disagree with the poor review this got from one contributor here. The text is very useful for understanding the key concepts of reproduction.
Inclusion of non human data is beneficial as it helps outline the key processes in a simpler model. Human reproduction & hormonal control is at best moderately understood.
It is a core text in our curriculum.

Medical student
London
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2000
This book has been a lifesaver to make up for missing lectures, giving clear information for course content, and clear explanations throughout make anything not directly covered in the course still easy to understand. This whole series of books (Essential Patholgy, Essential Endocrinology, etc etc) are very useful in covering core content, other books are necessary for extra reading and some details, but as books to buy, as opposed to borrow from a library, there are few better, especially at this price.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2005
I was sent this book as part of an OU course, so didn't actually choose to buy it. However, it has been worth it's weight in gold. The diagrams are clear, the text is relevant and well explained. After reading this book I have finally come to grips with the reproductive hormones, although sometimes at first glance it is not clear which hormones are relevant to humans or other mammals.
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on 23 November 2011
im currently looking for another book, that is in fact "essential", very difficult read. when you compare it to another book, say alberts molecular biology of the cell, this books standards is way off the the mark. you cant just jump in and read about hormones, it requires deep previous knowledge so defeats the point of the book... im an msc student
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on 1 March 2014
I expected this to be an intermediate level text but its just not as detailed as I was expecting from authors of such caliber, it seems dumbed down and over simplified. Still OK to get you started if the concepts and anatomy are new to you but I would only use this to give me basic information, I would look elsewhere for real detail.
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on 24 March 2008
I have found this book useful. It does have clear diagrams and good explanations, but it is a little overwhelming in places. I think I would be happier sticking to a general obs and gynae textbook.
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on 9 January 2013
This book is a great intro to the subject, bu I found it said too little on fetal physiology for my purposes.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Awful, absolutely awful. I bought this book on the recommendation of a friend without actually looking at it first. If you need to study human reproduction give it a wide birth as it glosses over many concepts and digresses into the reproductive systems of animals (which is hardly keeping to the essentials). Explanations of topics are not detailed and the illustrations don't really convey the information well. I made the mistake of buying the equally bad Essential Immunology and after this experience will never go near another 'Essential' title again. Definately read before buying!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 March 2011
a bit verbose at times but really the only decent text for MVST1B HR at Cambridge. great for extra material.
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