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Good In Parts
on 16 November 2012
Mike Raine's natural history of Snowdonia starts off promisingly enough with an excellent introduction to the geology of the area. Thereafter, it seems that Raine's enthusiasm for the content waned and, by the end of the book, it had petered out all together. Of course, Janet Summer authored the geology section and one can't help wondering if she should have finished the whole job!
The problem isn't one of breadth, but one of depth: in places Raine even resorts to sentence fragments (for instance, see p.104) so little has he to say about some of the flora and fauna the that he thought worthy of inclusion. This would (perhaps) have been forgivable had the pictures been of sufficient quality to compensate or had Raine included explanatory illustrations: however, the former are (for the most part) too low in resolution to be very helpful and the latter are entirely absent. The result is a book that is neither manual nor field guide and therefore it fails to find its niche.
On a more positive note, I suppose that it might prove useful for identifying some of the wild life that I encounter on my travels around the Park and I will almost certainly be keeping my eyes peeled for the 8" Ground Beetle (p.101) that is rumoured to roam the hills!