Customer Review

71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This could have been so much more, 2 May 2008
This review is from: Collins Butterfly Guide: The Most Complete Field Guide to the Butterflies of Britain and Europe (Hardcover)
Having had the first edition of this book since it was hot off the press, I was eagerly waiting this latest installment; however, I am very disappointed by this edition.

It was heralded as the 'most complete guide' by the publishers; but, it is no more complete than it was in its first incarnation.
Tolman had a golden opportunity to update and improve on the best field guide to the European butterflies ever written. But he has chosen not to. The only changes are to the text/plate layout. There is no mention of the new species discovered in the past 11 years or of any distributional changes. A classic example being Real's Wood White which was found in Ireland in 2001: a species he had 8 years in which to update the text and distribution map!!!

I feel that the rendition of the plates is poorer and the figures appear slightly grainy in comparison to the original. Further why were the missing species not illustrated for the first time? At least in the original edition they were clearly marked 'not illustrated', in this book the reader has to find this out for themselves by frustratingly looking at the figures. As for errors, I have been so unimpressed by the book overall, that I have not exhaustively read it - the text appears identical to the original anyway! However, I did find it odd that the False Apollo was inserted in the Parnassius, out of any logical taxonomic order, and to compound this it is designated the 'False Festoon' on its map!

Overall, a nice book if one does not have the original, but to buy it to update your knowledge from the first edition - forget it. I would encourage anybody to search out a second hand copy of the 1997 edition, it is a better book.

I will be giving mine away, such is my disappointment.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Dec 2008 18:43:41 GMT
K. Hornsey says:
Having been disappointed by the obvious errors in the 1997 edition, I was hoping this version would be an upgrade. It seems that my original Higgins/Riley was the best after all, but is sadly now a bit out of date. Having read this and the other reviews, I shall hold off buying, and hope I live long enough to see something better.
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