As a note, this review is based only on the first 5 chapters and ch. 30 (retrosynthetic analysis). Compared to the plethora of organic texts out there, clayden's organic chemistry certainly is a good alternative for use in an intro organic class that more instructors should consider. While some reviewers have noted that they used this book as review, I am sure that this could also be used by those who have never taken organic chemistry before as the authors writing is clear and easy to read.
This text along with loudon's text are the most affordable when priced with their sol. manuals and both are well written. Compared to loudon, clayden et al. take a different approach in presenting the topics typically covered in more traditional organic texts such as those by mcmurry, solomons, and carey. So instructors that choose to use this book will have to select which chapters to cover rather than in other books where you can typically just go in order from say Ch. 1- 12 for first semester then Ch 13 - 25 in the second semester. There are also many areas/ more modern reactions not typically covered in intro organic that some instructors may also wish to cover that may be more their area of expertise such as organometallics. In addition, there are many interesting examples to be found in this book when discussing each particular topic.
Pros are that it's a relatively easy read and mechanisms are clearly depicted. The only cons I found are 1) that it resembles a large phonebook in that it is paperback and quite heavy to lug around. 2) The authors choice of using red excessively in diagrams and to highlight important points to me is rather unpleasant, but that's just me. 3) there are limited number of problems at the end of each section. My opinion is that to really succeed in learning organic chemistry, you have to be able to practice drawing products, reaction mechanisms, etc to really retain the material and this book just doesn't offer enough problems for the typical undergrad to practice to feel confident before an exam. 4) There are too many notes/text boxes on the side. This is distracting when reading and some can probably be included in the main text rather than relegated to the page margins. 5)There is no summary at the end of each chapter of the reactions covered.
While I have listed many of the cons, I don't think they necessarily detract the substantial content in this book.
In this regard, I believe that the 2nd ed. is to be expected sometime this year and I think it will be as much of a success as the 1st ed.
- Paperback: 1536 pages
- Publisher: OUP Oxford (20 July 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0198503466
- ISBN-13: 978-0198503460
- Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 5.3 x 27.7 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 2.9 Kg
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