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Practical Neurology.

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    Practical Neurology. By jose biller(Pp752; price £46.00). Phildelphia: Lippencott- Raven,1997. ISBN0-316-09483-8.

    Recognising the impossibility of compressing the whole of neurology into a single volume of digestible size, Jose Biller has instead produced a manual designed to enable relevant and reliable information to be easily located. To this end Practical Neurology has been written with common problems in mind, each chapter in the first half of the book dealing with a particular neurological complaint. The information is provided in an outline format which is concise but of necessity brief, sometimes resulting in accounts that lack helpful details. The format also results in an inevitably degree of repetition between the chapters together with a rather flat and dry style. The book is clearly written with the North American “generalist” in mind; some of the practical advice, such as remembering to ask the families of dementing patients whether there are any weapons at home, is of limited relevance on this side of the Atlantic.

    The second half of the book deals with therapy and is in general more detailed. However by separating the book in this way the efficiency with which information can be found is reduced.

    In conclusion I think this book largely succeeds in its primary aim; although Alice may have found little use for a book “without pictures or conversation” I suspect that North American generalists will not be so disappointed.