A new series in Proven by Science — punXoR science textbook reviews!

Juicy quotes
“The behavior of norbornyl systems in solvolytic displacement reactions were suggestive of neighboring-group participation.”
“Attack by acetate at C1 or C2 would be equally likely and would result in equal amounts of enantiomeric acetates.”

ADVANCED ORGANIC CHEMISTRY Francis A. Carey and Richard J. Sundberg

The book is a frighteningly large paperback, about the size and weight of a David Foster Wallace novel and less readable. The cover color borders between inviting fuchsia and cold purple. The text appears to be completely set in Times New Roman, tipoff number one to the gentle reader that this book is serious and traditional. A quick flip through the book reveals all black text on white paper, with no pastels to be found. The paper isn’t even glossy, and all of the pictures — of molecules, spectra, and various reaction mechanisms — are in black and white. What’s up with this? The text is dry, but earnestly written, and the drama of the carbonyl group and its spicy leanings leave enough for the eager student of chemistry (or psychoactive drug experimenter) without necessity on the author’s part to sprinkle in several gratuitous photos of handsome, aloof Werner Heisenberg in his early 20s to hold the reader’s interest. Read this book, and learn important words like “homoaromaticity” and “cyclopropylmethyl singlet diradical” to spout nonchalantly at your office’s next cocktail party to confound and impress your colleagues. Alternately, they’ll just think you’re a pretentious bastard, but they probably thought that already.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars.