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Anthony Campbell's Book Reviews

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There are two motives for reading a book: one, that you enjoy it, the other that you can boast about it.
[Bertrand Russell]
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This site contains over 600 book reviews on a wide range of subjects, including science, medicine, philosophy, religion, evolution, psychology, and fiction. They reflect a pretty eclectic range of reading over many years. Please see the subjects list for details.

Disclaimer: Some of the reviews are of books supplied at my request by the publishers. I accept no remuneration from publishers or authors for writing these reviews and have no financial interest in any writing other than my own.

Scoring (revised 24 September 2017)

Selected books are marked with * to indicate quality and importance. ("Importance" here is relative; a book on UFOs, for example, may get a score for importance in its field even though UFOs are not an important subject in themselves.) Previously I was using two grades (* and **), but I've decided that this distinction is pretty meaningless so there is now only *.

Scoring of this kind is in any case obviously highly subjective (it probably says as much about me as it does about the book) so take it as a very rough guide only. It usually reflects a quick judgement made just after writing the review (I occasionally change it later). The fact that a book has no star doesn't mean that I think it's no good. Almost all the books reviewed here are at least worth reading, in my opinion; there is little point in wasting my time or yours on really bad books.

I like to think that I've given all the books reviewed here a fair run for their money, although naturally some have received a more careful reading than others. But I don't review books that I've given up on, for whatever reason: see On not finishing reading books.

Apart from occasional revisions to scoring, correction of typos, and improvements in phrasing, I seldom make changes to reviews after publication. When I do, I note the fact and explain my reasons.

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