This guide has been my greatest help in identifying mushrooms. It has a section guiding the mushroom enthusiast to understanding all there is to understand about mushrooms, followed by 1751 excellent color illustrations (colored drawings). The descriptions are short but concise, focused on the most important characterisctics of each fungus. Though the guide covers only a part of the fungal world - it would take a multi-volume encycopaedia of fungi to cover most of it - I consider it a great work that should find its way to every mushroom fan's bookshelf. However, people who consider microscopic characters indispensable should know that this book does not offer any such information. NOTE: As some reviews seem to refer to a different book, which -as it seems- is not as good as this one, I wish to make clear that my review is for the book that has 1751 colored drawings of mushrooms (not photographs). I don't know how this book got mixed up with that other one, but if you're thinking of ordering, make sure you get the 1751-colored-drawing book. I also think it's unfair that, due to this strange mix-up, this book got some bad reviews and low voting.
Two of the reviews below are for a later guide published under the Wildlife Trust banner, which is smaller, has fewer species and is a photographic guide.
THIS BOOKS IS NOT A PHOTOGRAPHIC GUIDE - it covers many many species, and has a full key. The drawings are very good. If you can find a copy, I think it is worth having, together with, say, the Philips book (which is photographic in nature, but the photographs are good quality as is the text.) However, it is not for the faint hearted - but then neither are funghi - a little practice with the techniques described and using the key will take an interested amateur a long way.
For those interested in the larger fungi for more than what they may taste like with eggs and bacon, this is still the the Fungi Field Guide to beat. Superb drawings and covering over 1000 species that occur throughout Western Europe. The text is little thin but a lot of information can be found in the detailed keys. The book I carry with me.
Nice illustrations and very real selection of mushrooms of NW to Central and Eastern Europe. This is the field guide No. 1 at present. For all fungi-lovers, but also for university students and teachers with an appropriate text information about ecology and habitat preference of mushrooms.
I have no trouble in recommending this handbook. For the amateur it is invaluable but it would also be very helpful to the professional mycologist. There are almost fifteen hundred excellent illustrations to help in identifying most of the types of fungi one is likely to come across in Britain, Ireland and western Europe. It is probably the best of the various Collins handbooks on the subject.