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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING TEXT
I've had a chance to review a significant part of the text (and the study guide) at length over the last two weeks, and I am even more impressed than I thought I would be. As one of the many "official" reviewers of the text before its publication, I had had a chance to review, and was greatly impressed by, several chapters during the course of my reviewing. It is a...
Published on February 21, 2011 by Frank B. Day

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My copy only has the first couple of pages of the chapter on amines, solutions manual has many mistakes, etc.
1. My main problem with my copy of this book is that the Amines chapter only has the first couple of pages and then repeats it self but still only with the first couple of pages. I didn't notice this earlier because Amines aren't covered until Ochem 2 and I didn't sit down and go through every page of a 1000+ page book and I shouldn't have to just to make sure it's not...
Published 10 months ago by darshan


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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING TEXT, February 21, 2011
This review is from: Organic Chemistry (Hardcover)
I've had a chance to review a significant part of the text (and the study guide) at length over the last two weeks, and I am even more impressed than I thought I would be. As one of the many "official" reviewers of the text before its publication, I had had a chance to review, and was greatly impressed by, several chapters during the course of my reviewing. It is a truly outstanding textbook, and I hope that many other professors of organic chemistry will also see it's substantial merits. Klein covers all the material (and more) that any standard course could possibly cover, and he does an outstanding job ... not only in presenting the subject matter, but also in the large number of excellent practice problems.

I particularly like the numerous examples of important pharmaceutical compounds, and other highly relevant examples for students in medically-related, and in industrial fields. In spite of the sometimes tedious practice exercises, he certainly holds my interest, and presumably would effectively hold student interest. His efforts to distill the treatment of "electron pushing" and "mechanisms", to a relatively small number of basic patterns is extremely effective and helpful.

I will certainly adopt it for my full-year organic chemistry course as soon as we offer the course again ... if not this Fall, probably next Fall. At present, I have several students in my General Chemistry course who will be transferring from North Shore Community College to four year colleges next fall and who expect to take the full-year course in organic chemistry after they transfer. I am going to recommend that they buy Klein's text and study guide early this summer, and start preparing themselves for next fall. Whether their professors choose Klein as their ultimate text or not, they will benefit immensely by having Dr. Klein's step by step assistance in navigating the difficult path ahead of them.

I have had more than forty years experience teaching organic chemistry, and have had the good fortune to have used a number of excellent textbooks, starting with the first edition of Morrison and Boyd, published in the mid 1960's. Klein's new text is superior to any that I have used previously, without exception.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is Literally the Best Textbook I have Ever Had, December 31, 2012
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This review is from: Organic Chemistry (Hardcover)
This textbook is amazing. Plain and simple. Klein does an admirable job in bringing a complex subject like Organic Chemistry to the level of his readers while not losing any of the depth and complexity. As an added bonus, he does this all while emphasizing the PATTERNS in orgo over any form of memorization. He does this by always giving an explanation for everything. In the cases where something is a bit out of the range of a typical intro orgo student, Klein provides an amended, and perhaps slightly altered look, at how certain phenomena take place. They work every time.

While doing all this, Klein somehow keeps a semi-conversational tone and avoids overly-complex and formal talk. To show how important and applicable each concept is to his readers, Klein frames each chapter with a real life context in mind - in addition to giving many examples throughout each chapter.

The sectioning in this book is also fantastic. The max that you will read before coming to a progress check (or skillbuilder as he calls them) is 3-4 pages, but it is often much less (1-1.5/2). This really helps to make each section much more reasonable and not overwhelming because before moving on, you get a chance to check your understanding, it's never just endless reading. DO THE SKILLBUILDERS: They will help you more than you think!!! (I cannot emphasize that enough!).

At the end of each section, Klein also has a review section with an overview of all the core concepts and problems in each section, which can be very helpful when you want to quickly review a certain point quickly without scanning 50 or 60 pages. After this, there are many practice problems - some that are just from that section, some integrated questions that use knowledge from the current section as well as previous sections, and a few challenge problems. The problems themselves are very comprehensive and do a good job at emphasizing the conceptual and practical angle of orgo - both things necessary to understanding the subject and succeeding in class.

Oh, and as a sidenote, make sure you purchase the student solutions manual for this text because it is absolutely necessary. It has all of the skillbuilder and practice problem answers, which I guarantee you will want so that you can confirm you'r eon the right track. Yes, it's annoying that you need to buy a new book for this but trust me, you won't regret it.

In summary, this textbook is incredible. It has everything a student of organic chemistry could want - good explanations, little memorization, checkpoints, and an approachable tone. This book gets 5 stars (but if I could give it more, I would). I have to use this again next semester for orgo 2, and I'm not worried about the class in the least because of it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best textbook I've come across, December 10, 2013
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This review is from: Organic Chemistry (Hardcover)
I just finished my first semester of organic chemistry and I have to say, I am deeply impressed with this book. It's honestly the BEST textbook I've ever come across. Here's why...

-Pros-
• First off, I absolutely love how he's structured the book. The practice problems come subsequently after each explained concept and they are tooled just so they are simple enough to grasp the concept. I found that doing the problems while reading REALLY helped out in terms of retaining information and performing on a test.
• I really like his writing style as well. It's straight forward yet well written and intelligent. Some of the little stories he throws in are pretty interesting as well. Like did you know that the only difference between the smell of caraway seeds and mint is the 3D arrangement of just two atoms? Crazy huh?
• Super easy to understand, and I love how he NEVER assumes you'll remember something forever if he mentions it just once. For example, after he teaches you a concept, yet you need to use it again later on in the book, he'll quickly give you a refresher so you remember it. He doesn't go overboard with this but he does it enough so that you never find yourself constantly flipping back throughout the book to relearn forgotten concepts. It's a HUGE help and greatly increases the efficiency of my study time as well as making concepts overall easier to understand.
• It just looks sweet. You could tell he put a lot of thought into the layout and I find myself just looking at the pictures sometimes haha.

-Cons-
• There are some errors, yes. So he could use a new edition in the following year or so... I can't think of any specifically, except... My professor did say that he missed out on a little topic... for the rate determining steps of radical chain reactions, if one step isn't *fast*, the entire reaction won't work due to the fact that radical chain reactions... well, rely on the fact that they occur in a rapid chain. Therefore if there's a kink in the chain the entire reaction is detrimentally affected. (Hopefully I quoted my professor correctly... He's a bloody genius by the way, if you can't tell aha))
• The WileyPlus mechanism questions suck... Like the online homework is actually really well made but Jesus, fix those types of questions! It's insanely annoying how touchy they are and I hate losing points over them!

Overall, if you're an OChem professor, you should seriously, seriously consider this book. It's honestly the best text I've come across in my years as a student (I'm a senior now). Like I'm a firm believer that if all scientific textbooks, if applicable, copy Klein's style, the entire world of academia would benefit as a whole (I'm serious). So please, for the sake of your students professors, check this textbook out!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best Orgo text around, June 12, 2013
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This review is from: Organic Chemistry (Hardcover)
A lot has already been said about Klein's wonderful Organic Chemistry text, so I won't try to retread every wonderful thing about this book.
What I will say is that it combines the best of every world. Too often one will open an organic chemistry text and know that it was written by a true chemist. While that isn't strictly a bad thing content-wise, not many people like to learn via bland, dichromatic diagrams and overly formal descriptions and definitions. Klein understands that stimulation is key to success in organic chemistry, and this textbook shows it. It's as though it were designed by an arts graduate, written by an English graduate, and structured and detailed by a chemistry graduate. It's absolutely the most gorgeous textbook I've ever used, with color, detail and page design that is absolutely lush as far as textbooks go, but with enough attention paid to structure so that it's never distracting. I never bothered to use color in my notes before, but when using this book I couldn't help but replicate the ways it uses color to emphasize certain points. The tone of the text itself is friendly and instructive, and much more concise than the droning ones I've seen before. And Klein gives you plenty of practice in the chapters in the form of Skillbuilders and end-of-section problems. Finally, the chapters are punctuated by mechanisms that are broken down in an extremely comprehensible fashion. If I've ever loved a textbook as a work of art, this is it.
There are some downsides, but they are limited in case. If your professor is using this text as the basis for your class, then congruatulations, you're set. If not, however, prepare for a few headaches near the second half of your course. Klein's book omits and reorders concepts in comparison to other popular organic texts. For example, there wasn't a word I could find about cuprates and Corey-House reactions, even though these were present in the text my professor was using (and therefore also present on our tests). I found that there were other minor concepts like reductive amination that Klein forgoes, and the book is drastically different in chapter order than the textbook your instructor might prefer. I would still wholeheartedly recommend Klein to anyone taking Organic, but if your recommend course textbook is different, be wary and pay attention to the differences.
In short, this book is a shining example of everything a textbook should be, and organic students should consider themselves lucky that Klein wrote this for them. And considering that this is only the first edition, I'm even more impressed with it. I'll be holding onto my copy well after my final orgo examination.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best textbook purchases you will ever make, June 9, 2013
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This review is from: Organic Chemistry (Hardcover)
My journey through organic chemistry was a little bit different from most. I was a transfer student who took Orgo I at a community college where this textbook was required, and then I transferred to a Big 10 university known for it's research and strength in science and engineering disciplines where I took Orgo II. Needless to say, the rigor of orgo II was harder than orgo I, yet I still managed to excel ahead of all of my classmates thanks to this textbook.

David Klein does a phenomenal job presenting Organic chemistry in a highly logical, well structured and easily readable way that will break down all of the necessary material presented in the standard 2 semesters of organic chemistry. The amount of text is kept to a minimum, and the illustrations accompanying the text really help clarify explanations such as electronegativity and Molecular orbital theory. The pictures in the pericyclic reactions chapter were exceptionally better than what I found in the required text at the Big 10 University I went to (Loudon 5th edition). The text also forces readers to pause and practice newly learned material before moving on to ensure understanding. This prevents students from reaching the end of a chapter or section and wondering to themselves, "what the heck did I just read?" The text also makes frequent references and annotations to previous material mentioned to help connect different concepts. When certain reactions or processes are difficult to explain, it is mainly due to the fact that information in proceeding chapters cover it much more detail, and Klein makes sure to highlight this in the book to reassure students that they shouldn't be worried.

The examples given at the end of the chapter are helpful to reinforce everything learned. The integrative and challenge questions are great to really test the knowledge of the student, are what I often found to be the level of difficulty found on exams.

I believe that the books greatest strength is that it teaches and reinforces the concept that organic chemistry is not an algorithmic science where one can just memorize scores of reactions and come to a conclusions. It shows students why certain reactions happen, to what extent, and how different reactions or mechanisms compete against one each other under certain circumstances. This, I believe, is a superior way to teach organic chemistry rather than just telling what happens when certain substances react. It helps students become logical thinkers, looking out for more efficient reaction pathways or different mechanisms to use. When rigor and understanding compete, Klein choses understanding (and tells the student) so that the student can get a good idea of why certain phenomena take place. I believe it should be left to the instructor of the course to cover more rigorous material or show definite literature examples of what is happening during reactions.

Overall, after taking orgo I and II using this textbook, a student can walk away from the class with their head held high knowing that they have a solid foundation of knowledge and skills that will benefit them in other biology and chemistry courses. Definitely a solid textbook.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars My copy only has the first couple of pages of the chapter on amines, solutions manual has many mistakes, etc., February 23, 2014
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This review is from: Organic Chemistry (Hardcover)
1. My main problem with my copy of this book is that the Amines chapter only has the first couple of pages and then repeats it self but still only with the first couple of pages. I didn't notice this earlier because Amines aren't covered until Ochem 2 and I didn't sit down and go through every page of a 1000+ page book and I shouldn't have to just to make sure it's not messed up.

2. Certain chapters and sections need more practice questions that are relevant. What I mean by "relevant" is that some sections have huge chemical structures from a pharmaceutical drug but those don't show up on an undergraduate Ochem test so it doesn't really help. It's nice to know about some of those huge chemical structures but they should be kept at the end of the chapter not in the skill builders.

3. The solutions manual has a LOT of mistakes, this needs to be fixed as soon as possible!!!

4. I love the skillbuilders in this book but a lot of times the skillbuilders need to have more problems and especially problems that are a lot more challenging. I have tried the problems in the back of the book but many of them are too easy. It would be preferable if these new and harder problems are kept in the skillbuilder section because it saves a LOT of time from having to go to the end of each chapter, which believe it or not save an ENORMOUS amount of time while studying for any chemistry subject.

5. He has very few problems that show ring expansions which can be important on the mechanism part of an Organic chemistry exam.

6. Need lots of examples and practice on retro synthesis. The synthesis chapter in this book is nice but too easy and at University of Houston Retro synthesis is very big with prof. Mary Bean.

7. Some things like acids and bases don't need their own chapter I would put that with the review chapter, I realize that the author probably did that for his own reasons but as a student if the acid/base stuff was just with the review chapter it would just be better for simplicity's sake.

8. VERY IMPORTANT. Check the order of the chapters of the book that your Ochem professor uses because it could mess you up. For Example, I go to University of Houston they use the Ochem book by Wade which teaches you how to use Br2 and NBS very early as it is important for synthesis. However, in the Klein book you don't learn about Br2 and NBS until you get to the Radical chapter which is a chapter that the wade book doesn't even have. So make sure to match up chapters cause the klein book has chapter that most other books don't have.

I know this review may drive some people away from this book but if it didn't have problems 1-4 I stated in my review I would have given it 5 stars. Otherwise than that this book is AMAZING. The clarity in his explanations is unparalleled, the way he describes sn1, sn2, e1, and e2 mechanisms cannot be matched. Their are many other things that he explains in ways that are unmatched by other ochem books. The skillbuilders save you so much time because you do not have to wait until the end of each chapter to start doing problems. Also he explains arrow pushing in a way that is so simple I cannot explain, many ochem books don't even explain arrow pushing. There are many good things about this ochem book that you will NOT find in other ochem books. I still highly recommend this book to anyone taking ochem.

Also the author mentions stability a couple of times throughout the book but honestly in organic chemistry and chemistry in general, stability is such an important concept because it shows why many reactions happen even when you would not expect them too. Stability is one of the most important things in chemistry in my opinion because many reactions depend on it and for that reason I hope that the author adds a section in the book that talks about stability. For those of you taking the MCAT realize that many of the questions on organic chemistry on the MCAT also have to do with stability.

David Klein is such a good author that I hope he also makes a book like this one but for General Chemistry 1 and 2 that Chemistry majors like my self can use.

The way he explains things is nothing less than beautiful. This man has truly been blessed by God because of his ability to teach. I have friends that have used his Ochem book and they also agree with me. I hope he reads this review and takes it into serious consideration. Thank you David Klein for making such an amazing book and I hope you improve on it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Finally Understand Organic Chemistry!, February 22, 2012
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This review is from: Organic Chemistry (Hardcover)
I cannot say enough great things about this book! I am in my second semester of Organic Chemistry and after buying this book have not opened my required text since. This book is written for someone who's goal is to learn Organic Chemistry. While most text books on this subject are intimidating, confusing, and just plain boring this one is a refreshing change and written in a language you can understand. Even the way it's organized is far superior to any other chemistry book I've seen. I 100% recommend this book(as do my classmates that won't stop borrowing it!); it's definitely worth the price.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Ochem book! Seriously!, September 22, 2011
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This review is from: Organic Chemistry (Hardcover)
This textbook is being used for the first time this semester at CSULB. I have to say this is the best textbook I've ever encountered, especially for this subject! This textbook is so excellent it could teach you Ochem itself without a professor. For every skill/subject you read/learn there is a "Skillbuilder" in which you 1.Learn the Skill 2.Practice the Skill 3.Apply the Skill. You practice and master the skills as you go along (and you'll see they build upon eachother, as is the nature of OChem) It breaks down the how to learn the skill step by step, even showing common mistakes not to make. My professor told us to complete every skillbuilder (not necessarily end of chapter practice problems) although he doesn't grade them they are incredibly helpful. I've got a perfect score on our 1st 4 quizzes thus far, which are weekly. I HIGHLY recommend Ochem professors to use this book for their class!!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great intro text to ochem, but not comparable in depth and rigor to others, September 13, 2013
This review is from: Organic Chemistry (Hardcover)
Among about 10 students, I was given a free copy of this textbook to review from my professor. We were asked to read through it, do problem sets, etc, and compare it to our current text (Organic Chemistry, T.W. Graham Solomons) and others we've used (Organic Chemistry, Vollhardt and Schore & Organic Chemistry, Wade).

Klein's textbook was great in simplifying ochem mechanisms, reactions, and core concepts. The book was quite colorful, with very minimal text and lots of pictures.

One of the biggest problems I found was that this book doesn't touch upon any of the harder concepts or mechanisms offered by Solomons' and Vollhardt's textbooks. Problem sets were much simpler than others I've done, and seemed to just stress repetition rather than testing a student's knowledge through trickier questions. The book felt like something I would've used in high school.

Our school ended up keeping Solomons text and passing up Klein's. I just don't feel that Klein's textbook is of undergraduate level organic chemistry; it is too basic and leaves out a lot of fundamental reactions (that are harder to grasp, but that's what makes ochem interesting!) essential to a pre-health/science major's ochem background. I would recommend this textbook as simply a supplement to others (Solomons, Vollhardt and Schore, Wade).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Klein turned me into an OChem cheerleader, April 1, 2013
This review is from: Organic Chemistry (Hardcover)
I hated general chemistry. I was a solid C student, with generous professors who curved me up to a B. I just want to get that out of the way, because it shows you that I am not some crazy whiz-kid chemistry genius over here, and raving about academic books is not something I do a lot of (except for one really lousy stats book, but that's another story).

I love organic chemistry. I mean, I want to sing from the roof about how much I love it, and I bought Klein's OChem as a 2nd Language because his textbook (Organic Chemistry) is just brilliant, and I wanted MORE! Every horror story I'd ever heard about ochem was just wrong. I have not had to memorize a SINGLE THING because Klein has made this subject intuitive for me. Even with a lousy professor who seems determined to make it way more complicated than it needs to be, with David Klein as my "real" instructor, via his books, I have the best average in my class, and I'm able to help others understand this stuff too.

Seriously, if you are struggling in organic chemistry and you don't have either Klein's textbook or the Second Language book, get at least one of them as soon as you can.
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Organic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry by David R. Klein (Hardcover - January 18, 2011)
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