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Plants: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 26 Apr 2012
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About the Author
Timothy Walker has degrees in both botany and horticulture, and has been director of the Botanic Garden in Oxford for 23 years.
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Top Customer Reviews
Where this book goes wrong is:
- Over use of explanations or latin names in parenthesis. There is barely a sentence in this book that doesn't have detail text in parenthesis some sentences barely get a single word between a closing and opening parenthesis. The information in these does little for non-experts in the fields and actually detracts from the information.
- Too much jargon. I know that botanists have their special jargon like every field but there is a balancing point in how much of this can be presented in an introductory text. Especially where small nuances in latin pre or suffixes are sometimes the only thing that differentiates a substantially different family of plants.
- The book goes into way too much detail explaining details about a particular type of plants (e.g. the algae) without little context or comparison with the rest. Basically there are too many enumeration of attributes and characteristics that are really not that interesting in the broader picture
- The author fails in addressing and explaining the truly interesting facts that he puts forward. As an example I found it fascinating that brown algae is not a plant but an animal. But the author never explains this beyond stating it as a fact. Why? I have to look elsewhere to answer this question
I think the biggest flaw in this book is that it lacks a central storyline from start to finish. In an introduction such as this the reader needs to be taken on a guided tour of the subject area.
Sadly I cannot recommend this book.
This book covers some of the most important aspects of the plant biology - the nature and the structure of the plant cell, the evolution of the plant life, and the spread and adaptation of plants to various climates and environments. The most fascinating part of the book is the one that tries to explain the invasion of the land by plants. This is probably one of the most significant events in the natural history, and without it no other kind of land life would have been possible, and you and I would probably not be reading this book. It is quite incredible how many technical problems needed to be resolved for the plants to leave the aquatic environment and successfully adopt themselves for the life on the land. Many of these adaptations we take for granted, if we even think about them (such as the ability of plants to accumulate and store large quantities of water and prevent their desiccation.) This book does a marvelous job of describing these adaptations and putting them within the context of plant biology in general.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love the VDI series. Timothy walker is incredibly knowledgeable. A great book for biologists and particularly uni freshers like myself.Published on 20 July 2013 by Whizz