Top critical review
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Great as a reference book, not so much an inorganic textbook
on 21 December 2011
I purchased this textbook as a first year undergraduate Chemistry student, when I naively thought that one had to buy all the books on the university's book list. However, I wish I had saved my money, as over the course of a 4 years Masters degree I only used this book on a handful of occasions. Don't get me wrong, this is an excellent reference book if you want to check, for example conditions for a particular reaction, but do not be fooled into thinking this a good textbook for inorganic chemistry - it is not. Perhaps, it depends on how heavily your course is weighed to inorganic chemistry, mine wasn't particularly, with more of an emphasis on organic and physical chemistry. One section I do remember it being particularly useful for was boron chemistry, in particular that of boranes and carboranes - however, this is the only instance I can think of where I actually used this book as a textbook and not just as a fact checker. For all first year undergraduate chemistry students, I would advise putting off buying this book until you have checked if your university library has it first, and only if you are going to be using it with any regularity perhaps go ahead and buy it. Despite my low rating, I do actually think this is a good book and I am in two minds whether to sell mine now having completed my degree two years ago. Although it wasn't useful for my course, I can see it coming in handy in the future for reference, but certainly not as essential as say Clayden's Organic Chemistry or Atkins' Physical Chemistry for a chemist's own personal library.