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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 5 October 2008
At first glance, this book appears to be great. It has an easy to understand layout, lots of detailed descriptions, and a handy plastic cover to keep it clean- perfect for chucking in a rucksack while you're off mushroom hunting.
However, so many of the mushrooms I've found while out and about haven't been in the book. It seems to include very rare fungi but not ones which seem to be very common in this country! So now I'm going to have to invest in a new one. Great book if you want to read about mushrooms but not very good if you actually want to identify them.
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on 26 July 2008
This is a fantastic book. I love it! The plastic cover makes it excellent for outside use. It covers most of the more common mushrooms and the descriptions are easy to follow and exciting to identify your new finds. I would thoroughly recommend this book for people who like myself are just beginning a new fascination with mushroom hunting. A more comprehensive mushroom encyclopedia is necessary too for identifying those musrhooms that aren't covered in this book. Buy it, use it, find them, cook them.
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on 13 November 2009
This book is great within its own niche - namely a field guide that be carried around by someone who already knows a little bit about mushrooms to help identify finds while outdoors. My copy stays in the car so is always near at hand when I'm out and about.

It has a number of nice features - photos are good, it has a useful visual calendar of when the mushroom might be found, and when it refers to a defining feature that is illustrated, there is a number in the text that refers to a numbered pointer on the picture which makes it very clear what is being referred to.

This is not a book for those just getting started, and I would always rely on a comprehensive guide like Roger Phillip's Mushrooms back at home. But it's a handy text to have in your mushroom book portfolio.
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on 26 October 2010
This is a fantastic book, no doubt about it.

I've got 8 fungi books in total, including the Phillips one etc, and I can say that this is my favorite book to take out hunting.

No single book is good enough to trust your life to in my opinion, and so I would encourage you to buy as many books as possible for cross referencing, and also check the internet.

But anyway, back to the book.

The book fits easily into an inside jacket pocket, trouser side pocket, handbag, etc. And the book has a plastic cover to give some protection against the elements / ground. Thus it fills the criteria of being a field guide. The book is ordered by mushroom type, so you quickly learn that all the Boletus, Leccinum, and Suillus are at the front of the book, all the brackets are at the back etc.

Each page in the book is dedicated to one mushroom, and the main identifying features are explained in text as well as with pictures. The mushroom features are numbered so you can go through and check for each feature in a systematic manner. Each mushroom also has a "typical features" sentence which succintly states the most prominent way that mushroom is different from others, which is also useful.

Each mushroom also has a section on "similar species" so you know what to look out for.

I saw that another reviewer gave it a bad mark, because it didn't have False Deathcap (Amanita Citrina) in it. Well OK, but just pickup pretty much any other field guide and you'll find similar omissions. This is inevitable for a field guide since there are so many different types of Fungi out there. It's always going to be a compromise for the editors to know what to include. I'll just say that from my experiences foraging that almost all of the mushrooms you'll find in abundance in the UK, are in this book.
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on 5 October 2010
This is a nice little book to bring to the forest but if you want to identify a mushroom which is not in this book (and that is very likely to happen), you will need another bigger book.
The layout, descriptions, photos and illustrations are good but it needs to have more mushroom species to be really useful.
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on 12 January 2012
I don't really understand why this is not rated as highly as say the River Cottage or even Roger Phillips. River Cottage has some recipes and Phillips cover many more mushrooms. But to actually get into the nitty gritty of identifying mushrooms this is the best. With diagrams and photos highlighting distinct characteristics you can be more confident of identification.
It also clearly highlights the similar mushrooms, when you see how similar some poisonous and edible are, it might make you leave them alone.
Also what it doesn't do for better or worse, is be obsessed with spore colour, when you are out in the woods you can't do a spore print.
Another worry is the different views on edibility. The very edible Wood mushroom from River Cottage is highly carcinogenic in this book
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on 10 January 2010
This is a great little book. I had been using the consise book of fungi, for many years, and when asked to recomend a book, could not find one anywhere. I got this book as a substitute, and found it at least as informative. the layout is good and the pictures excellent. the notification of sculls and cutlery, to denote poisoness or edible is a fun way of remembering which the fungi is which. the descriptions are clear and concise. all in all, a great little book.
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on 8 November 2012
I have the excellent book by Roger Philips but it is certainly too large and heavy to walk around with. This, however, fits in my pocket, and is plasticised to make it water resistant if not entirely waterproofed. Layout is good, descriptions seem accurate with good references to edibility, photographs are clear and frequently show different stages/aspects if necessry. I like the fact that it comments on potentially mistakeable similar fungi. So far most common (whatever that means) fungi are included BUT there are thousands so it must be incomplete. Even Philips does not include them all. I have yet to see a better field guide. Please let me know if you know of one.
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on 16 September 2013
Great if you want to understand mushrooms and fungi, bought it for my dad who has a lovely bit of woodland, however having the confidence to pick mushrooms is another thing as many of them look alike, but extremely handy to keep on you. very good service
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on 10 February 2012
Some good dpoints to this book; the plastic cover, the month clock (of when the fungus fruits) and the sections on key aspects of each fungus but I have noticed a few mistakes over the several years I've owned it. I can't remember specifics now as it's been relegated to the back of the shelf since I noticed the mistakes. I always cross reference with all my books before eating anything I pick and just not sure I trust this book enough anymore. It's a shame as it's a great book for the field and well laid out
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