This workbook accompanies Wyatt and Warren's supremely useful and practical text Organic Synthesis

Workbook for organic synthesis: strategy and control

Stuart Warren and Paul Wyatt 

Chichester, UK : John Wiley 2008 | 500pp | ?90.00 (SB) ISBN 9780471929635 

Reviewed by Jonathan Clayden 

This workbook accompanies Wyatt and Warren’s supremely useful and practical textOrganic Synthesis: Strategy and Control (2007, ISBN 9780471929635; reprinted with revisions in July 2008, ?62.90). 

The main text is essential reading for all students of synthesis at graduate level or above, but particularly those who actually make molecules as a day-to-day matter of course; it was largely based on courses given at pharmaceutical and other industrial sites, and practical advice runs right through it. 

The workbook continues this approach, speaking plainly and clearly to the reader, pointing out pitfalls and taking us by the hand through the processes leading to the suggested solutions. It takes the tone of a wise and well-informed but friendly and approachable mentor, and it handles well one of the common challenges of advanced problem solving: how much should the student know already and be able to work out (a strategy for a synthesis for example), and how much just has to be looked up or discovered by experimentation (precise reaction conditions say). 

Alternative approaches, and an assessment of their good and bad points are considered, and it is so refreshing to see the mature and honest way that the shades of colour ever present in the art of synthesis are brought to the fore and not turned to simple black and white. For any research student or practitioner of organic chemistry (or undergraduates considering a career in synthetic research) this is a book which will change the way you think about making molecules.