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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2011
Make sure that the description mentions including the access code. The new books do not promise to have the code unless it is specifically mentioned. The codes by themselves cost over $50. I had to return my first book. It did not have the code, but it also did not mention the code.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2010
This is by far the best Anatomy and Physiology book out on the market!! Great for those students who need to to study Anatomy and Physiology for their science courses that are overwhelmed by all the text and information given on just one page.DO NOT look any further than this book!! It is definitely not your usual A&P! It contains detailed diagrams, detailed PHOTOS on EVERY PAGE, review questions every 2 pages, test your knowledge by summarizing key words at end of each chapter, and last but not least, no more unwanted information! This book definitely has it all, book is much better than my other A&P book and lab manual combined!! Very helpful for visual learners!

This book is helpful to professors as well, my professor sure loves it!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2013
If you have to use this book for a class, don't buy it. Rent it. It's garbage. If you actually care about developing a proper understanding of Anatomy and Physiology, or if you will be taking future courses that will require you to have a proper understanding of A&P, avoid this book like the plague. I've read a lot of college textbooks over the years, and this is by far the worst one I've ever seen. I don't understand why this book has received so many positive reviews, but I'm inclined to believe that they were written either by people involved with the book's production, by students who only cared about passing the course and who didn't mind that they were learning less than they were supposed to in an A&P course, or by learning-disabled students who like a watered-down textbook with pretty pictures. Ironically, in their attempt to water down the material, the authors have made this course a thousand times more difficult than it should be, and they've produced the most confusing textbook I've ever read (which is absurd because the concepts of A&P are pretty easy to understand when they're presented properly--the only thing that makes A&P challenging is the large volume of material that you have to learn in a short period of time).

I'm sure the people who wrote this book know their subject, but they don't have a clue how to communicate it to other people. No topic is too simple for them to bungle. If they tried to explain what a circle was, you'd probably come away from it thinking that a circle was a type of marsupial. This book is filled with awkwardly worded sentences, some of which appear to be saying something completely different than what they're attempting to say. Hell, there were even a few times that it sounded like they were saying the exact opposite of what they meant to say. Many sentences come right out of left field and seem like non sequiturs in relation to the sentences that precede them. On many occasions I found myself wondering, "Was there supposed to be a sentence between those two and it was accidentally deleted?"

The authors of this book did a terrible job of keeping track of what information they've given you. By that, I mean that they frequently make references to things that you haven't learned yet, but they write as if they've already explained these things to you. For example, when they discuss ependymal cells on page 386 of Chapter 11, they write, "Ependymal cells assist in producing, monitoring, and circulating CSF; some cells in the ventricles may be ciliated." Here's the problem with that sentence: that's the first time that the ventricles were mentioned in the book, but at that time the authors didn't explain what the ventricles were or where they were located--so unless you already knew that the brain had ventricles, then you're not going to find out what they meant by "the ventricles" until two chapters later (yes, you could just look up "ventricles" in the index, but you shouldn't have to. The authors are supposed to present you with the necessary information in the right order--you shouldn't have to seek out the information and piece it together yourself. Wasn't that the point of buying a textbook?). The authors do stuff like this constantly, and the example I gave wasn't even the most egregious one (it was the only one I remembered off the top of my head--it's been a while since I looked at the book, and I didn't feel like reading through it to find a better example). I didn't keep track, but I'm willing to bet that they made this specific mistake at least 100 times. And that's just one of the many types of mistakes they make. There are stupid mistakes on almost every page. It gets to the point where you start to ask yourself, "Are the authors doing this on purpose to screw with us? Do they hate people?"

Related to the problem I discussed in the previous paragraph is the fact that they explain so many things backwards. I'll clarify what I mean by that. Let's say that Topic A can be broken down into concepts X, Y, and Z. And let's say that you can't understand Z unless you understand Y, and you can't understand Y unless you understand X. So what is the proper way to teach a student about Topic A? First you explain X; then you explain Y since it builds on X; and finally you explain Z since it builds on X and Y. That is the way any proper textbook would do it, and they've been doing it that way for years (centuries?). This awful textbook does the exact opposite almost every single time. It will introduce a concept (Z) and explain it in terms of other concepts that you don't know yet (X and Y), making you panic as you think, "Holy crap! Am I supposed to know X and Y? I don't remember learning about X and Y! When did we cover that?" You didn't--but you won't realize that until after you've wasted a lot of time rereading the previous pages of the chapter, flipping back to earlier chapters, or referring to the index. In fact, the authors might not explain what X and Y are until a few lines, paragraphs, or pages later. Once you finally find out what X and Y are, you have to flip back and read about Z all over again, since you didn't understand it the first time--it's very irritating and it adds a lot of time to the learning process. The authors put you through this constantly, and after a few chapters, you will be so stressed out and angry that you will fantasize about tracking them down and doing them bodily harm. With most A&P textbooks, you understand what you read the first time, and then you read it again later to reinforce it. With this textbook, you often don't understand key concepts until the second or third time you've read the chapter.

As you're reading a paragraph, you often come across words in bold print. As everyone knows, this is a standard practice in textbooks that indicates important terms you need to know. The problem with this book is that bold-print terms often are undefined or poorly defined. By "poorly defined," I don't mean that the definitions are inaccurate; I mean they're so vague that they're practically useless. They'll describe something (let's call it "A") in such a vague way ("A's are special cells that line certain passageways") that the same description could also apply to B, C, and D, even though they're very different things. Another annoying habit the authors have is that they will introduce a term and define it; then, at some arbitrary point, they will start to use another term interchangeably with that term, although they will neglect to tell you that it means the same thing. It creates a lot of unnecessary confusion.

Another reviewer said that this book feels "a little too third-grade formatted." I couldn't agree more. Pictures are great when they are supplemental to the text. The problem with this book is that instead of supplementing the text with images, it replaces large amounts of text with pictures, and it often is unclear what they are trying to communicate with the pictures. The labels or descriptions accompanying diagrams often are insufficient, and the authors frequently forget to give you indicators of perspective (e.g., posterior view) that help you to make sense of ambiguous images. There is important information essential to understanding the concepts of A&P that never appears in sentence form--and that's just ridiculous. So pay close attention to the pictures (and then refer to the internet to clear up the confusion about those pictures).

Spurgirl's review describes my experience. Don't get me wrong--even though I struggled with this course like she did, I aced almost every test and quiz, and I got a near-perfect grade on everything else. The problem is that, because of this awful textbook, I had to work much harder to earn those grades than I should have. However, things got much easier when I made the wise decision to buy a different textbook. I was consistently earning the highest grades in my class, and I believe it was because I was the only student who bought a second textbook.

Abby, another reviewer, was right about the organization of the pages. It's an absolute mess! With a proper book, you just turn the page and start reading, but with this book, you have to take a minute to look over each page in order to "crack the code" of its counterintuitive layout. Ignore the person who replied to Abby's review--even with the red-block numbers, it's often hard to make sense of the organization. For example, sometimes there's a lone paragraph in the middle of the page or in a corner, and it's hard to tell which red-block number it corresponds with. Other times, you'll be reading a section that doesn't seem to make much sense, but it's not until you get to the bottom of the page and see the small "start" icon (which doesn't always catch your eye at first) that you realize you should've been reading the page from bottom to top instead of from top to bottom. On most of these occasions, there didn't appear to be any logistical reason for doing it backwards. So why not just put "start" at the top of the page and present the information in a descending fashion--you know, like every other English-language textbook on Earth does?

While I agree with most of Abby's review, I feel that she was too generous about the review questions at the end of each module. Even those are awful! They often ask questions that they haven't prepared you to answer. When you read the answers to these particular questions in the back of the book, you'll say, "You've got to be kidding me! They expected me to be able to produce that detailed answer based on the single, skimpy sentence they devoted to that topic in the chapter?" And don't misunderstand me: it's not that these were critical-thinking questions and I wasn't up to the challenge. For critical-thinking questions, the reader has to be given a certain amount of information that he can use to produce an answer, but this book simply has not equipped the reader to answer many of its questions. When you see these questions, you're going to panic and think that you're missing something. You're going to feel stupid, but you shouldn't--it's not you, it's them. They really phoned it in when they made this book, and I'm inclined to believe that they were just trying to cash in on the textbook racket. No person who cared would produce such a shoddy textbook. The head of the biology department at my school mandated the switch to this textbook, and all of the A&P professors hate it, as do all of the students I've talked to. Almost half of my class dropped the course, and my professor said it's the most he's ever had in a semester.

In conclusion, this book is going to make your semester miserable. I devoted an absurd amount of time to this class, and the majority of it was not time well spent. I spent more time dealing with the book's shortcomings than I spent on actual reading. Sometimes I'd struggle to make sense of a paragraph for an hour. Eventually I'd give up on the textbook and I'd refer to another textbook or the internet. These other resources would explain the same exact concept in a way that I could understand immediately, and they did it without dumbing it down or sacrificing any details--in fact, sometimes their explanations were more detailed than the ones in my book, and yet they were easier to understand. I'd estimate that this book will add 20 hours of study time to your week (that's 20 hours in addition to the amount of time you should expect spend on an A&P course each week, not 20 hours of total study time per week), and that's a lowball estimate. You'll find that the authors, in their attempt to water down the material, have sacrificed a lot of details that would help you to better understand the material--so you're probably going to spend a lot of time on the internet seeking out the info that will help you to connect the dots. You're also going to spend a lot of time sorting through the mess of poorly-worded sentences, confusing page layouts, poorly defined terms, sentences that appear to contradict other sentences, and pictures that lack sufficient explanations.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2012
I received this book yesterday and its a good book and well organized. The pages are loose leaf with holes punched in it already. I put the pages in a three ring binder. I like the fact that I can take the pages out an study one page at a time if I choose to. The price of this book was great. At my college this book was 221.00 and I couldn't foot that bill. I look on amazon and found it for 120.99 which was a great deal. It did not come with the access code but you can purchase the access code seperately from the books site. I didn't need the access code so this was a real deal. I am very satisfied with this purchase. I was also delivered in a timely matter so I didn't miss any days of class.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2012
While I see some people love this book, I can't stand it. I am really struggling with my class because I do NOT learn well this way. There usually aren't real life or clinical examples. It is just very intense and busy images with little description about "why"... no analogies or broader context. I have never felt so stupid as I do in this class. I have already bought 2 other books (at great expense) to supplement this required text because I don't "get it". I have a graduate degree and have always done very well in school. I really want to understand the material. I would NOT recommend this text to anyone whose learning is not very dominantly visually-oriented.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2011
I noticed that my A&P II professor's method of instructing had changed somewhat about half way through the semester so I stopped by her office one day to visit and see what she was doing different. The change in her lecturing technique had had a noticeable positive impact on learning with the entire class. She showed me, "visual anatomy & physiology" and explained to me she had received this book in the mail as a "freebie". Being that "visual anatomy & physiology" was not an approved text for instruction by the institution, she had been using it as a supplement in lecture class when covering certain aspects of the physiology of the human body. I was personally amazed at how much easier this text made learning the intricacies of the human body, especially when compared with the approved textbook being used.

I decided to purchase, "visual anatomy & physiology", as a supplemental study tool myself and could not have been happier with how easy it became to better understand the human body!!! I only wish I would have known about this book earlier (or have wished it would have been published a bit sooner). I definitely believe this book is a great asset to the learning process. If you are not currently using "visual anatomy & physiology" as an approved text for instruction, I highly recommend that you consider purchasing this book as a supplemental study tool as it can contribute to the learning process and make it that much more enjoyable!!!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2012
My first semester of Anatomy & Physiology used the textbook Visual Anatomy & Physiology by Martini, Ober & Nath (ISBN13: 978-0-321-78667-8). My next semester class for A&P II was online through a different school and required I buy the Human Anatomy & Physiology-8th edition by Marieb. I am disappointed in the Marieb textbook. All the detailed information for the subject is there but the layout is daunting and lacks enough visual support. I miss my first textbook's detailed pictures, diagrams, tables, and easy layout of the text content. I am a student that is split down the middle between visual and text learning--I have to learn using an equal portion of both pictures and text for it to sink in. The Marieb book just reads like stereo instructions. If I had a choice on which textbook I was allowed to use, I would choose the Martini, Ober & Nath textbook based purely on having the best organization and readability.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2013
I purchased this book brand new, and it did not include the online access code that it should have come with. I'm incredibly disappointed.
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on January 3, 2013
Do not buy the loose-leaf version to save money. Firstly, you're going to spend $15-20 on a binder that can hold a book of 1,000+ pages, so that erases part of the savings. Secondly, the holes are smaller than those of normal loose-leaf paper (I actually compared them). The holes were so small that I could barely turn the pages when I put them in a D-ring binder. I was afraid I was going to rip them, as they always caught the rings at the seam. I switched to a normal binder, the rings of which are not as thick as those of a D-ring binder, but even then I had to be very careful to avoid ripping the pages. This is the kind of book that requires you to flip around a lot. If you're reading Chapter 8, for example, you might need to refer to an earlier chapter to refresh your memory about a concept, or you might need to flip to the back of the book to look at the index, the glossary, or the answers to the review questions at the end of each section. It takes forever to do this! Why? Because if you want to flip from page 257 to page 1093, you can't just flip from page 257 to page 1093 in one step. You have to gently slide the pages over the binder rings in small increments--maybe 50 sheets at a time--or else you'll rip them. This becomes very annoying and time consuming when you're flipping back and forth constantly. When you factor in the cost of a large binder, you'll realize that you're not saving that much money on the loose-leaf version--maybe thirty or forty dollars. Avoiding the inconvenience of this version is worth paying the extra money for the hardcover book. But if you decide to buy the loose-leaf version anyway, stock up on reinforcements--you're going to need them, especially if you want your textbook to be presentable enough to sell to someone else at the end of the semester. I doubt you'll make it through the semester without some tears.

That's all I have to say about the loose-leaf version. Click on my profile to find a full review of this textbook.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2013
I have just started using Viual Anatomy & Physiology, but love how the material is broken up into easy to manage units, plus having review material incorporated into the text is a great help for studying.
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