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Lewin's Genes X
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2012
I am currently a student at one of the universities that one of the authors works at. Because of that reason alone, we had to use this book for our class in Molecular Biology. For the entire semester, I struggled very much with working my way through this text. I normally average about 12-15 pages read an hour when taking notes, but with this book I was down to 5 pages/hour. It is very dense. It also has a bad habit of asking a lot of questions in the text and not answering them. Additionally, many sections are overly wordy and confusing (I know, it is molecular biology, it is supposed to be confusing, but this was too much). I seriously thought it was just me and maybe Molecular Bio was not my thing. Turns out it was the whole class. Many sold their books quickly after the semester started and bought other ones to use, and honestly, I wish I would have as well. In the authors defense, our university had a very poor genetics program instructor, so our background knowledge going into the course was probably not as substantial as most. However, it was not the material of the class that I was having a problem with (I got an A by the way), it was trying to dig it out of this text that was killing me.

What I am trying to get across here is that unless you have a pretty substantial understanding of genetics and molecular biology, this text is going to be very hard to use for supplemental information. If you have options, maybe ask a friendly geneticist or molecular biologist for a more student friendly edition that is easier to work with. Finally, just remember, it was not just me, but pretty much our whole class, many of whom were grad students from other universities around the country, and to a person, we all hated this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2012
I've read this book in my graduate molecular genetics course. It is very hard to follow and hard to understand for a first timer in molecular genetics. I had to look at chapters from other books just to understand what this book actually wanted to say. Unnecessarily complicated.
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on January 16, 2014
This book sucks about as much as the class. I went into the semester with a 3.7, and graduated with a 3.2. It's HARD to do that senior year- you have to REALLY strive to drag your GPA into the gutter when you're 85% done with all your classes! This book was as clear as mud. It's not just poor diagrams. It's the only book where I would read the words in it, and think, "wow, there is absolutely nothing that is applicable to what I have to learn." There's no cohesive "textbook layout" that allows you to skim pages and grab a basic flow of information. There's extraneous information on completely random side topics that are filling the paragraphs that have titles that are entirely misleading! I can handle "too much information" books, but this book never explains the molecular levels of "why" things are happening on a molecular level and it didn't tie concepts together in methodical/ cohesive way. If this review is how you would want a textbook example to read when studying what a "review" is.... then this book is for you. (Minus the sardonic commentary.) If frivolous details- as I have provided- are what helps you to learn the basic understanding of a topic-that aren't fundamentally related....then you're SO in luck! Hope your professor's has good power point slides!
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on September 22, 2013
Obviously, as with any text book, there are typos and mistakes here and there, but overall this is a really great book. It is definitely a difficult read but it is extraordinarily interesting and does a good job of explaining VERY challenging subjects.

Note to author/publisher: figures that include Uracil, Thymine, and modified versions of different bases have a higher frequency of typos. In particular, the chapter on transcription "slipping" and mutation has a few mistakes on figures which can be very damaging to some students who are tested on the material.
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on October 7, 2012
Perhaps this book is beyond my level but I have found it very difficult to follow when I try to read it through, and looking for specific concept is not easy either.
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on March 11, 2012
The book is reported as the bible for geneticists. However, the language used is unnecessarily obscure. Contents are presented without a clear order or plan and I don't like the categoric tone used by the author. I could not pass the first chapters before I got bored. May be a great book for the experts but definitely it is not for newcomers.
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on July 10, 2013
I recommend this book to all students interested in molecular biology, biotechnology or similar fields. Although is not a book for beginners
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on April 5, 2014
This book is a great book. Good price, excellent quality and a good read
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2011
Lewin's Genes has been updated rapidly from time to time, in this book you will be able to follow the most up-to-date knowledge in the molecular biology / genetics fields. Instead of making it a textbook, I would say it is more like an amazing encyclopedia.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2010
I like the book, but the images and graphs are not the best I've seen. However, it is easy to read and understand. I needed a book like this one for an advanced course, so it is really helping me out. I would not recommend juniors buying the book, it could be better for them to start with a biochemistry book such as Lehninger's or Mathews's. Leave this text for advanced courses. Regards.
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