Top critical review
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A good book which could become a great one
on 9 September 2004
The book is excellently presented, with plenty of diagrams and photographs to clarify points made in the text. It is well written but, considering it is produced with the lay person in mind it is easy to become lost in the blizzard of facts, figures and events which are presented on many pages.
The one-page diagram of the Geological time scale is great. The book would be so much easier to digest if other such information was displayed on one page (even as an appendix) for the movement of continents around the planet. Similarly for a table of the various events and the dates they occurred in Britain. Trying to keep track of it all from the text is bemusing.
The glossary, too, could be significantly expanded; as it is it's woefully inadequate and seems arbitrary. For example, dolerite is included, but not dolomite. It is far from clear why. Bearing in mind this book is primarily for lay persons it's almost impossible to remember where you last saw the term, say, ophiolite, when you see it again in the text, so you can check its meaning. A more complete glossary would eradicate this problem.
This is a great book. With additions to make it easier to cross-reference terms and events it could be a 'classic' for lay people with an interest in geology