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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chemistry - Book Review

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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chemistry, 2nd Edition

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chemistry, 2nd Edition

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The Bottom Line

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chemistry is an easy-to-read, affordable chemistry text that delivers a dose of chemistry comparable to what you'd get in a high school chemistry class. It's a great book to read if you're uneasy about chemistry or having a hard time following a dry textbook. This is a book about concepts, not experiments, so you won't find lab information here. If you're interested in learning how chemistry works and how to do essential calculations, look no further than The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chemistry.
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  • Perforated periodic table that you can move around for easy reference.
  • "Least You Should Know" section sums up key concepts.
  • Example problems and fully worked answers to practice problems.


  • No experiments or demonstrations, even using home chemicals.


  • Offers introductory chemistry concepts in a way that's easy to understand, yet isn't condescending.
  • Comparable coverage to a high school general chem text, with introductions to electrochemistry, organic and nuclear chem.
  • Includes a tear-out periodic table, explanations of practice problems and glossary.
  • 371 pages (Second Edition, paperback)
  • Important definitions are explained in boxes to the side of the text.
  • Black and white line drawings and photos are clear and easy to read.
  • Step-by-step instructions for problem solving strategies.

Guide Review - The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chemistry - Book Review

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chemistry by Ian Guch promises "simplified solutions to help you understand chemistry in all its forms." Does it deliver? Yes!

The paperback book is organized much like a high school introductory chemistry text, with sections entitled:

  1. Firing Up the Bunsen Burner (intro and history)
  2. A Matter of Organization (intro to matter and the periodic table)
  3. Solids, Liquids, and Gases
  4. How Reactions Occur
  5. Chemical Reactions
  6. Thermodynamics 101
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