Top critical review
It promised so much more...
4 July 2013
I was really looking forward to this book and its counterpart on sea fish. A clear, concise format and layout with a basic guide to the freshwater fish of the UK. Sadly, having read it right through I wish I'd spent the money on a kebab.
So, what's wrong with it>
1. Full of typos. Spellings, repeated words, missing words and spaces... For such a small word count this is a frankly shocking.
2. Incorrect titling; when giving the scientific name of fish the second name should be italicised.
3. While there is a section at the back for invasive species, non-native species which may better be grouped with these are scattered throughout the book and the inclusion of Walleye is strange to say the least; a non-native fish artificially stocked and last recorded in the 1930's while the burbot, thought extinct since the 1970's in the UK but native is not.
4. Pointless text. With such limited text per species, to use any up writing phrases along the lines of "not deliberately targeted by anglers" "rarely fished for except by very small boys" etc is a waste of it. It would be far more useful to describe better the preferred habitats/diets/suitable hook sizes (seeing as it is an angling book after all).
5.Copy and paste errors. Clearly much use has been made of copy and paste, the most obvious error leading from this being the Zander Fishing methods and baits. It's accepted by everyone else that baits such as herring, mackerel and sprat are rarely, if ever, likely to catch a zander; I could waste days by the riverbank with a bag of sea fish on the strength of this information. In fact the fishing method information given is generally of no use at all.
6. A description of differences between easily confused species, ie Roach and Rudd would be very useful, especially if it is more detailed than that given (on the Rudd's page only)
7. Titling. Page 2 already had me downhearted and looking for what I'd missed. Each section is numbered for some reason. This falls down at the start with '1 Introduction'. This of course means that the first species, Barbel, is '2. Barbel'. The fact they are alphabetically listed makes this irrelevant anyway as a means of quickly finding something but with less than 80 pages including the contents and page numbers on the bottom it's just annoying. As is the capitalisation and enlarging in the 'O' of 'of' in the book's title.
Such a great pity as this and the sea counterpart are books that have been missing for too long...but sadly this doesn't fill the space on my bookshelf. Had you only had it proofread for an hour...