Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
no worse than most, and how to use it effectively
on December 14, 2012
One scarcely needs a review for a textbook like this: the student has no choice in the matter. That being said, one could do worse than to be assigned this book. The chapters are for the most part well written, and there don't seem to be any typos or mistaken figures (as is so often the case with high school textbooks). The weakest point of the book is the proofs, which are often too condensed to be readily intelligible. These can simply be skipped though. There are weak points (like the exposition of substitution method or Cauchy's proof) but most of it is quite good.
It is however essential to get the well-written and indeed indispensable student solutions manual for this, as the real learning comes from seeing how many problems are worked out in detail. If you have the online e-book as well, the videos of the southern gentleman explaining things are outstanding.
The only other suggestion is that one get a hold of Banner's "Calculus Lifesaver", which will see one through the foggier expositions in the all to frequent cases where the book is unhelpful and your professor runs by, rather than through, the material.
Larson and the revised Thomas are no better.
But above all, be prepared to work hard. Calculus as it is taught nowadays is not a very in-depth course, but there are enough 'moving parts" to its methods to keep a student busy. If one can't make a go of it, this really quite adequate textbook is not to be blamed.