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Life: The Science of Biology Volume III: Plants and Animals Paperback – Jan 2004

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1022 pages
  • Publisher: W H Freeman & Co (Sd); 7th edition (January 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0716758105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0716758105
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 1.6 x 27.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
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Product Description

About the Author

DAVID SADAVA, Claremont Colleges, USA H. CRAIG HELLER, Stanford University, USA GORDAN H. ORIANS, University of Washington, USA WILLIAM K. PURVES, Harvey Mudd College, USA DAVID HILLIS, University of Texas, USA --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 14 2002
Format: Hardcover
As far as biology books go, this book is gigantic, in terms of size, information content, and price. The information contained in the book is definitely well presented (lots of nice diagrams and picture, all of which are very clear) and up-to-date. There are references to events which have occured as recently as a couple years ago. Also nice is the historical context; I've never really seen a biology book that says "this process was discovered by Dr. so-and-so, from so-and-so University/Institute of Technology, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in so-and-so year." It doesn't add a whole lot to the book, except that it adds a human dimension to the otherwise boring (sorry to any biologists who are reading this review) subject of biology.
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Format: Hardcover
An undergraduate, freshman level biology class I took used this as its textbook. It is thorough and detailed, packed with information on a broad range of biological topics, written in a highly accessible manner that requires no special training to understand. It covers such topics as the cell, heredity, evolution, plants, animals, and ecology. It's not quite as well written as the finest textbooks I've read, such as Alberts' Molecular Biology of the Cell or Kandel's Principles of Neural Science, but it's well written nonetheless. Anyone interested in the subject of biology should give this a read. Author of Adjust Your Brain: A Practical Theory for Maximizing Mental Health.
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Format: Hardcover
Purves et al do a great job balancing the concept of an introductory text with the true complexities of biological systems. Although some of the text is intimidating, I found that it was easy to abstract the salient points from the chapters I was not enamored of, and the book offers sufficient depth for a more thorough exploration of the chapters that did interest me further. This is a very rare trait for most intro texts -- usually I find that if I'm interested in further study, I must do quite a bit of research to do so. This book makes it much easier to delve deeper into those topics that do intrigue the reader.
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Format: Hardcover
In reviewing this text for possible adoption, I have come to the opposite opinion from other reviewers. I found the book to be written mostly for the faculty and not for the students. It is filled with details totally unnecessary at an introductory level and which will serve only to confuse the students. This is particularly true of the section on evolution and classification which seems to follow every fad and goes so quickly that few will be able to keep up. The beautiful overall picture is totally lost. Although there are fewer pages (a good thing) they have achieved this partly by reducing the size of the print, making the text more difficult to read. The figures are great, but this does not make up for the basic defects in the book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9e0d3c60) out of 5 stars 115 reviews
76 of 77 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e0e6cd8) out of 5 stars Thorough, clearly written text for college-level biology. Dec 18 2004
By Monika - Published on
Format: Hardcover
First, just to let you know what perspective I am reviewing this from, I am a college student, and this text was used in my 200-level introductory biology course. Since I am a student, and not a professor or expert of any sort, I am evaluating the book based on how helpful it was to me in learning the material. For input from biology professors, you'll have to take a look at some of the other reviews here.

"Life: The Science of Biology" has definitely been one of the better biology textbooks I've used. The text is well written, with clear explanations and plenty of real-life examples to help you tie small details into the bigger picture. But beware: The information here is incredibly in-depth, so if you're only looking for a basic overview of biology, you may actually want a slightly simpler book, otherwise you may get lost in all the details. It was perfect for my 200-level class, and gave me all the information I needed, but I don't think it would be the ideal text for an introductory biology course. One other reviewer here mentioned that she used this text to teach her AP biology students. I took AP biology in high school (and got a 5 on the exam) and can guarantee you that this text contains far, far more than you would ever need to know to get a perfect score. It's definitely a college level text.

The book has numerous detailed, well-labeled diagrams that are helpful in understanding different processes. In fact, being a rather visual, hands-on learner, I sometimes found the step-by-step diagrams easier to follow than the text itself. There are also plenty of great photographs and other helpful images. At the end of each chapter there is a bare-bones overview of key points you should know, and a self-quiz to help you evaluate your grasp of the material. At the end of the book there is an extensive glossary with definitions of key terms.

Unfortunately, there is one mistake in this book, to be found in chapter 34, "Deuterostomate Animals." On page 674, some text from the previous page is repeated, and this in turn means that part of the section entitled "Primates and the Origin of Humans" is cut off, even ending in mid-sentence. The following page is filled entirely with pictures and diagrams, no text, and then on page 676 where the text starts up again, it skips to the beginning of the next section, entirely leaving out a chunk of information. This is the only place in the book where I found such a problem.

There is a website to accompany this text ([...] I never found it necessary to use the site for my studies, but it may be helpful for some. It contains chapter summaries, animated tutorials, text-related activities, self quizzes, suggestions for further reading, and a glossary of key terms (same as the one found at the back of the book). The book is also supposed to come with a CD-ROM. My school's bookstore was selling the books and CDs separately, and I did not purchase the CD and so cannot evaluate its usefulness. I know I learned everything I needed without it, and I suspect the book and website alone would be sufficient for most students' needs.

Aside from the glitch in chapter 34, mentioned above, I have found nothing to complain about with this book. I will definitely be hanging on to it for future reference, and highly recommend it to anyone needing a detailed, comprehensive biology text. NOTE: This review refers to the 7th edition of this book.
58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e0e6d2c) out of 5 stars Best Biology Textbook Publication in a very long time!!! June 20 1999
By Mary J. Berger - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have reviewed Campbell, Curtis& Barnes, and other fine textbooks in biology, as a teacher and a scientist, I find Purves, etal; Life , A Science of Biology as the best textbook on the market. His clear explanation of the concepts with bright, colorful pictures have helped my students to understand biological concepts for the AP Bio exam as well as preparing them for college. The questions after each and every chapter plainly incorporate the chapter's lessons as well as inclusion of the continuity of life that is important in all biology teaching. His book had already included the new domain designations and included the reasons as why they were being changed. ( As this was the infamous #3 question on the AP Bio exam.) As a trained molecular biologist, I am finally satisfied in the explanation of the molecular process of life. Again his use of good solid pictures help to re-enforce a difficult concept. I also know that MIT uses this book as well as Harvard, I urge every biology teacher professor to at least have this in their personal library.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e0e7024) out of 5 stars I'm in Biology heaven Sept. 2 2005
By layla - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Ah, the holy grail of textbooks: To find a textbook that is completely clear, explains all aspects of the subject, lets you understand rather than just memorize so you can think independently on the subject and actually enjoyable to read. Textbooks like those are incredibly rare and they are worth their weight in gold once you find them. Looks like we found one for biology.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e0e7540) out of 5 stars Rave reviews are way too old -- compare current books before deciding! Dec 7 2010
By Midlife Teacher-in-Training - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Sadava and its competitors have all significantly changed since 1999. I think that reviews of earlier editions should be removed, because this and the other books have changed a lot over the years.

This 9th edition was the required book for the two-semester bio sequence at the east campus Valencia Community College. The other campuses use Campbell, and to compare the two books side by side for any topic is enough to make you cry at spending so much for this one.

I bought a used copy of Campbell (one edition prior to current) because I looked at a copy and it was SO much easier to understand. It's better organized, more clearly written, uses helpful transitions to tie topics together and to review earlier topics before going on, and the pictures are SO much clearer in Campbell!

Every time I read the Sadava material, I felt confused. Then I'd read the same section in Campbell and would totally understand! I feel that using Campbell is the single reason that I have scored far above anyone else in my class on every assignment and test the entire semester.

If I were selecting a biology book to be used in a class I was teaching, I literally cannot imagine looking at both Campbell and Sadava and choosing Sadava.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e0e7558) out of 5 stars Excellent textbook, BUT buy from a bookstore! May 7 2012
By g - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent biology textbook. The writing is clear, well-organized, and not overly difficult to follow. The use of diagrams and images is very helpful. In particular, references to previous definitions of ideas and terms throughout the book help you make connections as you read, in case you forget what something means or how it works. BioPortal is also very good. Two things about BioPortal stand out. In the book, the text often references diagrams or figures on a different page, and it is harder to make the connections when you keep flipping back and forth through the book. With BioPortal (which has the full text in electronic form), you can open figures in new windows and quickly refer to them as you read. I found this helpful. 2nd, most terms can be clicked on for a quick definition which is even more helpful in making sure you understand some of the very complex processes detailed than the descriptions given just in the text. The Prep-U quizzing activity is also helpful, though the Self-Test's are fairly vague and not too helpful. I haven't used much of the resources outside these quizzes, the e-book, and flashcards (also helpful) so can't comment too much on that. But as a textbook, this is excellent. It is very well designed for use in an introductory biology course. I imagine if you are a student you would only buy this if it is required for your class, so this may not make any difference for you anyway. Hopefully it is required though.

NOW, in regards to buying the book. This is a rare occasion in which the Amazon price is much higher than what you can find in a campus bookstore. I bought the textbook and BioPortal for $110 from my university, which usually gouges you as much as they can. Not sure why it's almost $200 here. Check your bookstores first before buying from here. You can also buy just BioPortal (which remember has the full text. In fact, I've used that more than the actual book) for $88 from the publisher's site. Look at both of those options before buying from here.

This is not one of those textbooks that is blandly written and boring to read. Instead, it is fascinating, compelling, clear, and very well organized, and I really enjoy learning from this book.