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Organic Chemistry I as a Second Language: Translating the Basic Concepts 2nd Edition

145 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470129296
ISBN-10: 0470129298
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Get a Better Grade in Organic Chemistry

Organic Chemistry may be challenging, but that doesn't mean you can't get the grade you want. With David Klein's Organic Chemistry as a Second Language: Translating the Basic Concepts, you'll be able to better understand fundamental principles, solve problems, and focus on what you need to know to succeed.

Here's how you can get a better grade in Organic Chemistry:

Understand the Big Picture.
Organic Chemistry as a Second Language points out the major principles in Organic Chemistry and explains why they are relevant to the rest of the course. By putting these principles together, you'll have a coherent framework that will help you better understand your textbook.

Study More Efficiently and Effectively
Organic Chemistry as a Second Language provides time-saving study tips and a clear roadmap for your studies that will help you to focus  your efforts.

Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills
Organic Chemistry as a Second Language will help you develop the skills you need to solve a variety of problem types-even unfamiliar ones!

Need Help in Your Second Semester?
Get Klein's Organic Chemistry II as a Second Language!


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley and Sons; 2nd edition (June 22, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470129298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470129296
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Klein is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at The Johns Hopkins University where he has taught organic chemistry since 1999. Having worked with thousands of students, he has intense first-hand knowledge of how they learn and the difficulties they encounter. He received his bachelor's degree in chemistry from The Johns Hopkins University and his PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles under the supervision of Professor
Orville Chapman. Motivated by his experiences teaching organic chemistry as a graduate student at UCLA, David wrote Organic Chemistry as a Second Language (John Wiley & Sons, 2004, updated 2nd edition published in 2008), which has become a highly valued student study resource. David has received numerous teaching awards at both UCLA and Johns Hopkins for his unique, skill-building approach to organic chemistry instruction. David is married, with five children, and enjoys skiing, scuba-diving, and Tae Kwon Do.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Primadona VINE VOICE on October 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
No, it's not written in the bible but you'll be harming yourself if you don't get this book. You'll be cheating yourself.Seriously. If i had to write the #1 law of orgo, it'll be get this book, period. [...]l. If you can't afford a new copy get a used one without writing. This will be worth your every penny you spend on it. I spent time during the first part of the semester working through the first 3 chapters in the book. This book is little but it has sooo many practice exercies i'm suprised at how it packs it into such a little book. I did ALL the exercises, and worked through everything. Trust me, the material is cemented in my brain. I read 70% of the required text for the exam but then everything in the textbook i knew so i kinda skimmed the top of it. It's been years since i did acid-base chemistry but this book lets you get the meat and potatoes without having having to g back and review. My teacher kept explaining something over and over and over again and i got fed up and gave my copy of this book to the girl who just didn't seem to get it and said read this. She turned to me and said "it makes sense." I aced my first test so easily and everyone in class is lost. Now orgo is my easiest subject. I'm taking 3 sciences with labs this semester so this book has made orgo the one class i don't have to sweat for.
I could go on and on and on about this book but the only way to really know it is to get it. either get it used from someone like i did, but try to get a copy without writing or buy it. I was going to buy it from amazon but then the dude put it up for sale on SDN. I bought this book along with the nuts and bolts of organic chem and while both are good, if i had to only get one, i'll get this. hands down.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By G. C. Shelly on November 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
As a professor of Organic Chemistry, I have found that this little book is an excellent supplement for students. It is well organized, has many helpful tips, is very readable and presents information in enough detail to be more helpful than typical "review" books.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By poofier on August 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off, let me reiterate what others have said -- this is NOT a textbook and it is not going to come anywhere close to covering the volume or depth of material that you are likely to cover in a year of college-level organic chemistry. The author clearly states that this book is meant to be a SUPPLEMENT to your course textbook, not a replacement for it or even a "Cliff's Notes"-style summary of its content. If all you want is an overview of organic chemistry reaction mechanisms, save yourself $40 and try a Google search instead - there are thousands of websites showing the mechanisms.

With that out of the way, I found this book to be an amazing resource. Where my textbook seemed intent on rushing through as many mechanisms and factoids as possible, Organic Chemistry as a Second Language took its time in explaining the "why"s behind what was going on and communicated the underlying principles using humor and analogies so that the material felt approachable.

Did this book match the content of my course perfectly? No. Did it teach me the specifics of all the reactions I needed to know? Not even close. What this book did do, however, was equip me with a working vocabulary of organic chemistry fundamentals so that I didn't necessarily need to remember the minute details of every reaction because I could infer them from the given conditions.

If you're a natural o-chem whiz or you prefer just memorizing all the reaction mechanisms, you're probably not going to get much benefit from this book. But if you are someone who feels a little intimidated by organic chemistry and you really want to connect to the material, I think this is a great choice.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By cfacar on March 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
Thank goodness for this book. I was struggling with the transition to organic chemistry getting a C in the first class, failing the second and then I found this book (and also the Organic Chemistry II) which got me an B in my second ochem class and an A+ in my third ochem class! This book has definitely helped me to think of the relationships between functional groups and their behaviors instead of just memorizing (which didn't work!). My roommates asks to borrow this book from me all the time as well because it helped save them too! It's definitely worth every penny for that "A" I desperately wanted.
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51 of 71 people found the following review helpful By bkgupta on May 28, 2008
Format: Paperback
After reading the other positive reviews that almost make this book out to be a "holy grail" of the sorts, I assumed that this book would be of great help as an aid to my Organic Chemistry I textbook. However, as an aid, it really does a poor job of covering the information.

Klein spends ample amounts of time on Resonance, a concept which isn't too hard to grasp. Yes, it might be challenging for some, but when the course really gets tough (ie. Mechanisms), Klein tells you to "consult your textbook" and provides lots of white space in the book for you to copy down mechanisms and memorize them yourself.

It is this aspect of this "aid" which makes it so frustrating - Klein leaves you hanging in the most difficult part of Organic Chemistry. Quite frankly, I wouldn't waste my time with this book - if you really find yourself struggling with Resonance than you are going to have a lot more problems in organic chemistry than this book can solve.

Mechanisms are the hardest part of Orgo, and this book provides NO help for that besides white textboxes for you to copy them down from your textbook. Don't waste your time and money, if you want a supplement, get one that at least teaches you mechanisms.

I spent $40 for this book that is full of white textboxes for me to copy mechanisms down, I would hope that I can at least save some students from making the same mistake I did.

In all honesty, instead if buying this book, you are better off buying a few cases of beer - stress-busting is a good way to deal with organic chemistry!
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