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Referring to Shah's comments about Stryer I completely agree, however, wouyld like to say that there is an even better book you can use:- Biochemistry 2nd Edition by Champe and Harvey (often referred to as Lipincott). This book is concise and with excellent diagrams provides all the Biochemistry detail needed for Medical Students and Life Science 1st and 2nd year students (except maybe Biochemmistry students themselves). It is not too thick and thus not a "back breaker" to carry around college and is also relatively cheap in comparison to other larger more boringly detailed books of a similar nature. BUY IT and save some well earned time!
i did quite a lot of biochemistry in my first and I highly recommend these two books if you wanna pass your exam in biochemistry: both entitled Biochemistry, one is by Stryer and the other one by Matthews and van Holde. Both books are fully illutrated with coloured figures and diagrams. As both are quite big books you can expect detailed explanations on each topic covered in the books. However, the text is easy to understand, especially with the aid of coloured figures. One thing I like about Stryer is that at the beginning of each chapter there is this 'opening image', which is usually the structure of the key molecule in that chapter (e.g. DNA or RNA). Another good thing about Stryer is that at the end of each chapter there are some questions testing your understanding and answers are provided at the back of the book. The topics covered in Matthews and van Holde are more or less the same as those in Stryer but the cover of Matthews and van Holde is definitely more attractive than Stryer's!!!
The recommended text book for most medical students is Stryers biochemistry. Undoubtedly this is a good book, but more suited to biochemists than medics. Some of the chapters are very useful if you are confused on a topic, but all the rest are not covered by your syllabus or too heavy for you to go into. The one I bought was called “Biochemistry, by Apps, Cohen and steele. This is not brilliant but is a lot cheaper and does the job. Ideally for biochemistry, just borrow a library book, since after your 1st two years you will hardly ever use it again.
Sorry folks, I know that this review is in the wrong section, but I couldn't access the 'Biochemistry' section to write a review! Anyhow, I have just completed my first year as a medical student at Imperial College, London and Lippincott's Biochemistry has been an invaluable resource in terms of both revision and ongoing study throughout the year. As a first year, I have done quite a lot of Biochemistry which has been very well supported by Lippincotts. In fact, the textbook follows the syllabus taught to us in lectures almost exactly. Lippincotts incorporates large, vivid diagrams, which are often very helpful, with well broken up text. The main criticsim that I do have with this book, however, is that often the text is very complicated and uses unexplained abbrieviations, which are, in fairness, explained at the beginning of the book or chapter, but this is not very helpful if you are just 'dipping-in' to the book to procure a particular piece of information. The other criticism that I ahve with using this book as a textbook is that it is American, and sometimes the book uses different terminology to the lecturers, which sometimes makes using it quite difficult. However, I would thoroughly recommend this textbook to anyone starting a medical degree