Top critical review
Mediocre and rather disappointing
26 November 2015
Not sure why so many people give this a five star rating. As an introduction for beginners it has major shortcomings. It is quite short - only 64 small pages and many pages are given over to things that are pretty much irrelevant to learning the game. Two pages are nothing more than a two times table written out in full. Some pages are devoted to topics like antique sets, collecting sets, playing on line, and other variants of the game (though not explained in full) but the coverage of these topics is superficial. The core of the book is therefore only about 40 pages. While that bit (as far as I know) is fully accurate - the approach is detailed / technical and conveys only a limited impression of strategy. Not an exact analogy but consider that you would never know what the game of football looks like by reading the FA official rules of the game. The book seems to have been written by someone who knows the game of mah jong extremely well but is unable to think from the perspective of a beginner. The illustrations are very good, large, well coloured and clear, but take up a considerable amount of space on the page, often resulting in only a few dozen written words on a page. Overall not an easy book from which to learn the game if you are an absolute beginner - possible but fairly hard work.