Most helpful positive review
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Comprehensive, but not complete
on November 17, 2004
This book was used in a class I nearly took in college; while I couldn't fit the course into my schedule, I kept the book.
What the book does, it does well: for example, its coverage of the noble gases is quite extensive. It also does an excellent job covering acid/base chemistry, going into far more detail than any book I had seen to that point (although its approach tended to be descriptive and qualitative rather than quantitative).
That said, there are some significant gaps in the book: for example, while there is a chapter on the halogens and noble gases, there are no corresponding chapters for the other element groups (though that doesn't mean they aren't treated).
The biggest flaw in this book, though, is the woefully inadequate index: there are many, many things that should be listed, but aren't. For example, the book uses a certain type of diagram in three different chapters. Only the second and third instances, though, are listed in the index; the first time, where the diagrams are actually explained, is not listed at all. Similarly, there are very few entries for the elements themselves: there are no entries *at all* for hydrogen, iodine, copper, or calcium, just to name four.
All in all, it's still a very good book, but it's by no means perfect (or the only book of its kind). Large sections of the book are written at a relatively advanced level, so I certainly wouldn't recommend this for someone who hasn't had a significant chemistry background, but I would recommend it for someone trying to build a reference library.