Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

182 of 195 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2011
GOOD NEWS! Since this "new" 5th edition is exactly the same as the eight month older last edition, the 4th edition is now an incredible bargain! Get a copy before they are sold out. The 4th edition may be the BEST biochemistry class and USMLE review book ever. After you use it in your medical school biochemistry class, just review the highlighted sections and the charts, etc. for the Step 1 and you'll ACE the biochemistry part of the exam. Also, this book helps integrate biochemistry with other subjects, such as physio, pharm, cell-bio, etc., helping to make multi-disciplinary concepts and mechanisms more clear.

Yes, everyone knows that Lippincott Illustrated Reviews (LIR) Biochemistry 4th edition deserves 5 stars. However, LIR Biochemistry 4th edition, with a new cover on it that says 5th edition, deserves only "1" star (and I wish I had the option of giving it "0" stars).

I'm sure most of you are familiar with amazon's feature, "Click to Look Inside", which is listed right above the picture of the book. When I clicked on this feature for this 5th edition, I was surprised to find that the table of contents was EXACTLY the same as the 4th edition. I'm not talking only about the content or titles of the chapters, which you'd expect to be the same, I mean both editions showed the same number of pages in each chapter, the same number of pages in the index, and the same number of total pages for the entire book, and every sample page was exactly the same in both editions. I concluded that this must be a mistake by amazon, since occasionally they'll show the pictures and text from the previous edition (although they will usually, but not always, state that the sample pages shown are from a previous edition). So, I went ahead and placed my order.

After receiving the book, I compared it page by page with the 4th edition, and there was NOTHING new in it from a content standpoint. In the brief Book Description it says, "Thoroughly updated for its Fifth Edition..." and "New features include expanded coverage of molecular biology". These claims are simply not true. I mean really, think about it. How can a "new" edition that comes out eight months after the previous edition be "Thoroughly updated", and how can there be "New features including expanded coverage of molecular biology" in a book that is a virtual page-by-page duplicate of that same previous edition?

Here are some specifics. A few of the blue clinical boxes have been moved around, there are a few paragraph condensations, a few words have been added and a few subtracted, but nothing meaningful. This example says it all, (and there are others just like it). On one page in the 4th edition, it says "pyruvate dehydrogenase". On the same page in the 5th edition, it says "pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH)", with only the acronym added after the word. While I can understand that when using acronyms, one might want to add the full name for clarification, but the other way around? These newly added acronyms are also unnecessary because these same acronyms are already mentioned several times on the same pages in the text. Once again, these books are virtual duplicates of each other.

How could this happen, you ask? Please read on. In case you are not aware, Pamela C. Champe, biochemistry professor emeritus and the original author of this book, recently passed away. This sad occurrence happened on the eve of her latest publication, Lippincott's Illustrated Reviews Physiology, which I had been so looking forward to. Now unfortunately, according to LWW, they have no idea if this book will ever be released.

Dr. Champe, the iconic creator of the Lippincott's Illustrated Reviews (LIR) Series, and the original author of this book, recruited Richard A. Harvey as her co-author for the Biochemistry Review, and then later as her co-editor for the entire LIR Series of books. Well, as soon she passed away, Richard "Tricky Dick" Harvey couldn't get a new edition out fast enough, especially one without Dr. Champe's name on the cover, even though she was the original solo author of this book. It appears that Harvey just made a few minor changes to the book, threw a new cover on it, and had it published as a new edition as fast as he possibly could. This way, all proceeds now go to Richard Harvey, and no proceeds will go to the Champe estate, but more importantly, no credit will go to the original author of this book. How creepy. Can you imagine if the title of the classic Robbins Pathology had been immediately changed to the name of one of the co-authors after the demise of Dr. Stanley Robbins? Why not honor Dr. Champe by adding a nice memorial preface describing her role as the visionary creator of both this book and the entire LIR series, and why not change the title to "Champe's Biochemistry"?

Actually, there is a way to both acknowledge Dr. Champe's incredible contributions and reward yourself financially at the same time. Now that this so-called 5th edition has been released, you can pick up the 4th edition at a reasonable price. I saw a used, like-new copy on amazon for the amazing price of $4.00!

There are THREE reasons why buying the 4th edition instead of this 5th edition is the better way to go: (1)It is now priced very low, and the content is identical to the 5th Edition. (2)Virtually ALL of the other-subject Lippincott Illustrated Reviews (LIR) are cross-referenced to the 4th Ed, and NOT to the 5th Ed, a very important consideration for subject integration. (3)And finally, since her name is on the cover, you will have the "Pamela C. Champe Memorial Edition", although sadly, it was never officially named as such.

Thanks for your time, and Good Luck with your studies!

UPDATE: I've received a few "not-helpfuls" for this review. I wonder if it was the so-called new author? Was that you "Tricky Dick", with some grad students or family members helping out perhaps? Hahaha! Seriously though, you can verify the accuracy of this review for yourself by ordering the 5th edition from amazon and comparing it to the 4th edition; you will see that both editions are virtually identical. Remember, you have 30-days to return the 5th edition to amazon and get your $58.00 back. Cheers!

UPDATE #2: This is from a response to a comment (see below), but I'm adding it here as well because of its importance:

Both editions have exactly the same number of pages (520), as well as the same content. However, in the Amazon listing, the "Product Details" section of the 4th edition says "528 pages", and in the same section for the 5th edition it says "544 pages". The information in these "Product Details" sections for BOTH book listings on Amazon is incorrect. I have a copy of both editions, so I know for sure that they both have 520 pages. There is a way, however, that you can see this for yourself before you buy, if you don't want to just take my word for it. To verify for yourself: Go to the top left of the page for each edition, and click on the "Click to Look Inside" option. On the menu to the left, select "Index" and then go the last page of the Index section. You will see that page 520 is the last page in both editions. In the 5th edition index, page 520 has half "Index" and half "Figure Sources" on it. In the 4th edition, page 419 is the last page of the Index, and page 520 is the Figure Sources.

This is very peculiar indeed, since this simple information is easily verifiable. Could this be an intentional misrepresentation by LWW? Could these data have been sent to Amazon by LWW to imply that there must be revisions in the 5th edition if there are more pages? What else would a trusting student infer? The plot thickens...

Lippincott's Illustrated Review Biochemistry 5th Edition
ISBN-10: 160831412X
ISBN-13: 978-1608314126

Lippincott's Illustrated Review Biochemistry 4th Edition
ISBN-10: 0781769604
ISBN-13: 978-0781769604

Best Wishes,

D.O.C.
1313 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2010
I bought this book after it was highly recommended to me for my medical school course (Molecular and Cellular Basis of Medicine). It has certainly been an invaluable resource and gives you just what you need to know. This is not a reference book, or even a textbook. It's a highly condensed, high-yield book for learning what's relevant and important. If you're a visual learner, this book contains quality diagrams that illustrate the material very well. I highly recommend this book!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2012
An excellent study buddy for your undergrad or medical school biochem class. The figures and succinct explanations are unrivaled, according to my more experienced friends, who used it for USMLE prep. If you are new to biochem, you'd also benefit from the excellent outlines and topic summaries in DePra & McKee's Biochemistry Study Guide Biochemistry: The Molecular Basis of Life Student Study Guide / Solutions Manual. You of course won't need the solutions sections included, but the boiled down-to-basics flow charts, equations, and mneumonics, and topic organization are a nice resource when your head is spinning or you are having trouble memorizing things.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2013
I used this book to supplement my General Biochemistry text, Voet, during my post-baccalaureate year (the course is structured identically to an undergraduate general biochem course). General Biochem books are very dense and it's easy to get bogged down in that detail. This book was amazing in that it highlighted all of the important concepts from the text and lectures. It was as if someone took a highlighter, went through the main text, and said "know this, this, this...here it is in English." That was a very casual description, the course is difficult, and this book explained concepts more effectively than the main text did. I used it in addition, though, so don't completely substitute one for the other. It hits the main points of biochem in just the right amount of detail, In addition, having used this course in undergrad/post-bacc, you will have had a pass through it and will be familiar with it before going into your grad/med-school courses, so you'll already be familiar with the material. You'll recognize the information that you don't need to know and can easily skip it. Get this book, your grade will love you for it. One last detail, the examples used in the book are usually the same ones that professors like to use in class, ex. What can you use to treat a patient who comes in with methanol poisoning? Why? (section on enzyme inhibition).
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2012
I was very excited to find this textbook in kindle format. My excitement deflated after purchasing the book and discovering that virtually every illustration in the book is either entirely illegible, or very difficult to read. I would otherwise rate it five stars for the accessibility, searchability, notability, etc. provided by having an e-form of the text book. I feel like I only recieved a percentage of what I paid for in this product. Ironic that a selling point is "illustrated reveiws series" If only there was a way to update the image quality...
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2013
Buy this book. Do not waste time reading a more dense version of the same material. This review is a fantastic resource to gain a solid foundational understanding of topics in biochemistry. The diagrams and chapter summaries are very high yield.

I wish that I had purchased this book sooner.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2010
Astounding text. Great graphics. For someone who does not particularly enjoy chemistry, this is your text. Everything is broken down. Supplemental online questions are good. The questions posit real world medical scenarios. Feels very applicable. This is a required course for my premed tract. Best chemistry/biology text I've ever read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2012
*** this review cross-posted from Pelley/Goljan RR Biochemistry ***

I used this book Pelley 3ed and Champe 4ed as fundamental preparation for Step1, which I recently passed (Jan 2012). I feel that the foundation provided by the Bchm review allowed me to proceed through the other topic areas without always having that nagging feeling as to what was being talked about when a reference to Bchm was made in the discussion.

I spent about 15 intense days of review in both books. I augmented the book reviews with about 20 Bchm questions from USMLE World every other evening or so. World has about 200+ questions classed as Bchm.

Neither the Champe or Pelley/Goljan texts are complete. Also I must say that the absolutely the best reviews and explanations came from USMLE World during their answer explanations. Go figure ...

As an example consider the topic, metabolism. Champe covers the standard information in 5 or 6 chapters. Very basic clinical correlations are included and go into sufficient Bchm detail to be of value in understanding the issue. Also more complex Bchm processes specific to the particular metabolic process being discussed are introduced (ie, signal transduction) are introduced and explained in glucose metabolism. This can be helpful or distracting depending on your background.

Champe's last chapters on metabolism cover nitrogen/protein metabolism. And at least to me never really finish an adequate overview on aspects on protein metabolism, particularly on integration with other macronutrients. Champe includes a chapter on insulin and glucagon, as well as a chapter on integration of glucose, lipid and nitrogen metabolism as a whole. The integration chapter is probably the most incomplete and I had to go constantly to Wikipedia for even "general details" particularly regarding the influence of protein metabolism ... glucose and fats seem the easiest to discuss in integration, Aspects of protein metabolism with respect to overall integration are less understood, or more controversial I guess. Nonetheless, little was addressed in Champe. I was surprised at how the basics were not included. I must say over that Champe's chapter on vitamins particularly their application in bchm processes was exceptional given the level of the book. Unfortunately there was not a corresponding chapter on minerals or micronutrients. Champe does a good job on nucleotide metabolism and gene expression. Overall, Champe's coverage although not complete provides a sound fundamental "review" of metabolism and gene expression for medical students. And particularly for those needing to understand a basic definition or a basic process in detail. The amino acid and enzymes basics at the front of the text were also well done and a useful review. The examples globular proteins/hemoglobin and fibrous proteins/collagen are well done; however, the cell bio aspect of collagen processing are not in depth enough to answer other than the simplest Step1 questions on this topic.

Onto Pelley/Goljan ...
First, this book cannot be compared to Goljan RR Pathology. It fails for coverage, clarity of writing and diagrams, and for completeness. Here I mean completeness to be a measure of the finished product, and not the extend of the material covered. There are several diagrams accompanying the text used to illustrate explanations that have numbered steps but have no reference to the numbering system used when discussed in the narrative. This appears to be in the chapters toward the end of the book ... nucleotide and gene expression. In the earlier chapters, this is not the case. Consider the glycolysis explanation has a full page diagram with numbered steps and the text explanation actually is paragraphs referenced to the diagram numbers. In the nucleotide chapters many of the illustrations used come from from another of Palley's Bchm texts, and at least to me are never completely integrated into this text. There is no mention to the illustration numbering in the text discussing these diagrams. Overall, I must say in Pelley many of the important diagrams are somewhat confusing, and I finally used diagrams I found on Wikipedia or from Champe ... examples would be: glycolysis vs. gluconeogensis and particularly the integration of these with the HMP shunt, TCA cycle, and amino acid processing. Pelley really suffers on overall integration of aspect of metabolism and the actual chapter on integration is weak in explanation and includes with many impressive (at least at first glance) but actually uninformative (space-filling?) half-page diagrams. The only strengths this book brings is it provides greater clinical correlation than that of Champe's text. The side margin notes are here like in RR Pathology are here but seem incomplete, often not well placed (ie, text will break to nest page but margin notes remain of previous page. The other thing is that the clinical correlations just seem to be dumped into the text bchm narrative rather than integrated into the text. This seems particularly true of the various storage/degradation-related diseases. Champe actually does a better job on a basic presentation of each of these groups of diseases. This brothers me in that this is the 3rd edition of the book and at least to me still seems to be only 75% finished ... again not with respect to material covered but to actual writing and layout of the book. To its credit, the Pelley books includes in a few pages a very useful review of basic medical genetics.

Overall I was impressed on first opening the Pelley/Gojan book but became more and more disappointed as I went on to actually study it. I can not say the same thing about the Champe text. The "cheesie" things (mostly cosmetics regarding the Lippicott layout) I first noticed in Champe remain so, but I did grow to appreciate Champe well written narrative and completeness of the presentation. I feel medical education suffers for her recent death. It is rumored that she was developing a text on physiology for LWW/LIR series ... I am disappointed that now it will not be published.

In finishing, an example on completeness and depth of materiel covered for both books ...
The general introductory explanations USMLEWorld provided to support their answer to a particular question often had a better and more informative and concise overview of the topic than that provided by Champe and more so Pelly ... in the actual explanation to the answer of a question. Often the USMLEWorld explanation was detailed and comprehensive, sometimes not ... and I am talking about the overview leading into the specifics for the questions answer. There is a concise discussion of receptor tyrosine kinases and tyrosine kinase-associated receptors that easily tops the little provided in Pelley or Champe. Also the USMLEWorld discussion of collagen synthesis comes to mind. ... Go figure ... and I recall 3 questions on my actual Step1 exam regarding collagen synthesis and a simple question on the JAK-STAT pathway.

Regards, StanO

Cross-posted with review LIR Biochemistry by Champe.
Regards, StanO

Cross-posted with review LIR Biochemistry by Champe.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2013
This book is an excellent supplement to the lecture notes provided in class.
It provides concise summaries and often simplifies topics that left me otherwise confused.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2013
Great book for med school...flow charts at the end of the chapter help organize info...illustrations sometimes make the text unnecessary
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed


Rapid Review Biochemistry: With STUDENT CONSULT Online Access, 3e
Rapid Review Biochemistry: With STUDENT CONSULT Online Access, 3e by John W. Pelley (Paperback - September 10, 2010)
$35.73
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.