Customer Reviews: Chemistry
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on July 31, 2010
Julia Burdge is a co-author for Brown, Lemay, Bursten's Chemistry: The Central Science, 9th edition. I consider the BLB Chemistry textbook to be the gold standard when reviewing a chemistry textbook. Silberberg's chemistry textbook comes in second.

Her 1st edition textbook appears to be more interested in showing you all kinds of math problems throughout the chapters and does not go into enough detail or explain the science and theory that goes on in Chemistry. The theory aspect is really important, especially when you're going to higher level chemistry courses such as Organic Chemistry. There must a balance in a textbook between being introductory and having enough of the detailed information.

Another problem with this textbook is that it is practically a mirror image of Raymond Chang's textbook. Throughout the textbook, many charts and tables have been copied from Chang's textbook. One such table is the solubility rules in Chapter 4, which probably has to be the most confusing solulibity rules chart out of any textbook.

Unfortunately, Julia Burdge once taught at the University of Akron and they adopted her book for 3 semesters before deciding that it was terrible. I've personally spoken with several professors who agree that the quality of the book is subpar. I've also studied with other students in small groups and we've agreed that it is hard to understand this textbook. I went ahead and purchased a copy of both Brown, Lemay, Bursten's Chemistry: The Central Science and Silberberg's textbook and used those instead.

I took both Chemistry 1 and 2 with Burdge's textbook as the assigned book. I was lucky to have those other chemistry books that I mentioned above because I was actually quizzed and tested on material that was not found in Burdge's book. Although the material was presented in the lecture, an adequate textbook should contain all the necessary material so that a student can go back and read the applicable sections in context and obtain a more thorough understanding.

If you want a book that just has a bunch of math problems dealing with Chemistry and skimps on explaining concepts, then what you have is a Julia Burdge textbook.

I'd recommend finding out from your professors if it is okay to purchase alternate textbooks such as the BLB textbook or Silberberg and use those instead.

I cannot in good conscience recommend this textbook.

One last thing: Dr. William Donovan who is in charge of Chemistry education at the University of Akron wrote a section for this textbook. In hindsight, after all the problems that students experienced over the last few semesters (student grades actually went down), I'm willing to bet he regets having this as the assigned textbook. Thankfully, he along with the other professors came to their senses and will be going back to the Silberberg textbook starting Fall 2010 as they were using Silberberg before they adopted this terrible excuse for a Chemistry textbook.

The market is already flooded with many Chemistry textbooks and there was never a need for this one.
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on September 17, 2011
Well written textbook.
The topics are easily introduced and transitions easily from one subject area to the other.
Chemistry is a difficult subject for me but I enjoy reading this book. I actually get it.
This is the best chemistry book I've read in all my college life (way better than those written by your college professor).
The pictures and illustrations are neat, color choices are good.
It's big and heavy but I keep mine in my comfort zone(next to my bed).
With this book I should definitely pass this class.
Good luck with your studies!!!!
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on December 19, 2012
The first edition of this book is so close to being exactly the same as the second, that buying the second is not only stupid but unnecessary (unless it is absolutely "required" by the school you attend). The only variation between the two editions are a few editorial corrections and some rearranged pages. I was able to get an excellent grade in my gen. chem. class. Great alternative to the editions sold at universities!
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on May 13, 2012
This is a great book. There are thousands of practice problems at the end of each chapter, ranging from easy to hard. However, the book does not give all the answers to the problems. The book also explains the theories and concepts in a clear and concise way. In addition, I find the pictures and charts in the book somewhat helpful. This textbook is better than other textbooks I have read.
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on February 20, 2011
Good price for the book, has little footnotes here and there, which btw are all wrong lol. Whoever owned this book surely had a hard time or didn't pass chemistry...but that's just a second hand thought. Perfect conditions would recommend from this buyer again. Thx for the cheap book!
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on April 26, 2016
Exactly what I needed and half the cost!
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on February 14, 2009
I ended up switching my major, but if I ever want to learn the rest of this course on my own, this book will make it possible (it is General Chem 1 and 2, of course.)
This book features PAGES of practice problems. I bought the solutions manual, so I also had all the answers, with explanations.
Chemistry requires studying and memorization, of course, but this book explained the reasoning behind the things I was supposed to remember.
My teacher didn't require this book... He taught from notes, only. I don't learn through just rote memorization (and didn't do well with that teacher!)- I need to know why and how, and then it becomes more intuitive for me and I do well.
This book accomplished that for me.
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on May 31, 2010
item arrived quickly and in condition descibed at time of purchase (new). Much cheaper than school book store price. very pleased with purchase.
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on February 14, 2009
This book came right on time and is very easy to understand. I actually enjoy the way it is set up.
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on October 13, 2008
This book is completely incredible. I am currently taking a Chemistry course in college and this book was required. I purchased it from AMAZON and I was happy with what I received. The book was in excellent condition and brand new. Plus, I got it for a much cheaper price than the price at the college bookstore. I saved about $100 dollars by purchasing the book from AMAZON! I recommend this book to everyone interested in Chemistry. The book includes detailed analysis of how some of the most complex topics work. I'm delighted with my purchase overall. AMAZON does indeed have very reasonable prices when it comes to college textbooks. Buy this book before it runs out and enjoy!
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