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on 8 January 2012
I bought this book prior to starting a chemistry degree at York, and have so far found it indispensable. I must begin by admitting my skepticism, buying the newly released first-edition of a book written largely in the department I am attending, however the book has proved its worth many times over.

This text is clearly aimed at A-level and first year degree students, and with its target audience in mind, the book begins at the basics and works through all essential areas of chemistry for anyone from the lay-person to the first year undergrad student, and also performs admirably refreshing the memory of second or third year undergrads. The book begins at a basic level, introducing the student gently to concepts, and uses mathematics in such a way that reinforces rather than intimidates. Worked examples and real-life applications are used intelligently to aid understanding and hold interest. This book is one of the rare few I have used in my three years as an undergrad that has been read cover to cover, giving a very broad - and appropriate - introduction to all areas of chemistry. An almost unique feature in academic chemistry texts, this book is distinctly readable.

I'll pull no punches, however, and admit that this is a basic book. As a chemistry student, this book performs exceptionally well as an *introduction* to all areas of chemistry, but towards the end of first year you will require increasingly specialised texts. Think of it as a stepping stone, aiding the transition from A-level to degree level chemistry and serving as a solid foundation on which to build on. I have yet to see another undergrad level general chemistry text which is as broad, thorough and yet also clear without being condescending. For those studying another area requiring a grounding in chemistry, I cannot recommend this book enough.
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on 16 November 2011
This book is great, it is concise, easy to read and it links parts of Chemistry together so you can begin to put together the bigger picture that is Chemistry.

As anyone in their first year of a Chemistry degree and the courses that run along side pure Chemistry you will know that a lot of the more advanced publications can be a little too overwhelming in terms of vast quantity of data.

For example you want to look up molecular orbital theory and suddenly you have integrals and wave functions coming at you from all directions and it is hard to pick out what you need and what you don't since not every course and year does the same thing.

This book helps get around this by giving you a firm foundation on which to build your knowledge. Instead of inundating your senses with mathematics and problems that you aren't expected to tackle (yet) it lets you look at a subject with as little confusion as possible. This means if you don't understand something the first time around you can read this and get that prior understanding, you can then go on and read the extra information in the more advanced texts to pad out your knowledge. It makes the transition from A-Level student to Chemist that little bit smoother, in my opinion anyway.

If you are the sort of person that prefers to jump in at the deep end and just thrash out the knowledge then this book probably isn't for you. If you are like me and prefer to get to where you need and gain as much knowledge as possible, with well rounded understanding and have a fun time on the way then just buy it.

I would probably say it is a little expensive but then again this is a large book and so in the end you will get a lot of use from it so it is probably worth it overall.

There are also a lot of real life examples which are very interesting in some cases and shines a light on some of those very obscure areas of science. I mean what the hell is a nanotube? Read this book and you will find out.

I'm glad I bought this book and I'm sure you will as well.
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on 15 June 2009
This is a well written book which works from the persective of a student reader and covers most of the ground of general undergraduate chemistry (organic, inorganic and physical). The explanations in the main text are accompanied by well written, short marginal reminders of what particular terms mean and where (in the book) more comprehensive explanations may be found. Unlike many general chemistry books it does not asume that you have remembered absolutely everything up to that point and it gives the reader gentle reminders of the sorts of things which ought to be thought about.

The practical implications of particular chemical concepts are well written, are placed in break out boxes and are not too long. Some of the explanatory photographs are even half humerous, such as the section on molecules which have a right and left handness aspect to them where the point is illustrated by showing a pair of American cowboy boots. The molecular diagrams are fantastic as are the diagrams generally and, for the price, it is a good university level text and well worth getting.
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on 18 October 2011
I was interested in reading up on some chemistry for a bit of light reading, and thought this book was to good to be true. However upon receiving the book (within 24 hours of ordering on a sunday afternoon!) it is every bit as good as it looks. It covers a vast array of topics, with each being explained very well. Everything is well presented and easy to read, I fully recommend this book for anyone who is searching for reading material regarding chemistry, be it for studying A-level or degree level chemistry or even a bit of light reading, I think it will satisfy my chemistry needs for a while now.
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on 27 February 2013
I bought this to use as a reference text alongside my Open University Chemistry degree materials and it serves that purpose really well and in many places it exceeds the OU material. It covers all the main aspects - organic and inorganic chemistry, molecular orbital theory, aromatics, mechanisms etc. Does the job as a reference text book.
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on 29 December 2010
I like this book a lot. It wasn't on my reading list but I purchased it after taking one look at the pages in uni one day. It makes everything easy to understand
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on 3 January 2013
I bought this book last year since everybody in the uni recommended it to me. And it really helped. Since most our lecturers taught their course based on this book, it contains just enough knowledge for me. Not more, not less. Also, Andy Burrows(one of the authors) himself is my favorite lecturer, he always explains things clearly and simply that everybody would understand. I'd love to spend some money on his book since I know it's gonna be simple and clear as well. This book is so good that I still use it for revision in the 2nd year.
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on 13 January 2013
I bought this book to help with my undergraduate degree and I'm in my first year and the university recommended it. I would advise getting it if on your recommended reading list as it followed my syllabus closely (one of the authors is my lecturers).
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on 10 October 2013
Contains pretty-much everything you might need to know for 1st year chemistry, but doesn't contain much if any analytical stuff. Examples are good and it has great explanations of complicated principles. I really enjoy this book.
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on 17 February 2013
for chemistry students this book is fantastic!!!!!!! i am studying a degree in science and this book was fantastic as a second reference despite the price.... i just wish i had more time to read it properly!
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