|Author & (Publisher)||Dr Warren E. Burgess (TFH Publications, 1997)|
|Subject Matter||Not As Title, this book covers the family Callichthyidae|
Another catfish book review another Corydoras book. Why this particular genus should receive such attention is well documented and, to a degree, deserved. It does however force the question any Corydoras book must answer - what does it have that others don't.
At first glance that answer is very little. You have to wade through the familiar, tired TFH stalwart photos to find some new (and very good) ones. But, back to the beginning, as you start reading the first two things you notice are that the book covers the entire family, not just Corydoras. Although this is definitely a plus point (and missing in other publications), you have to ask why call the book by the title "Corydoras Catfishes"? The other thing that you initially notice is the typography which is, frankly, awful. The layout isn't as poor and the writing style itself is the books best point.
The books front cover claims to be "A complete Authoritative Guide", you don't get much more authoritative than Dr. Burgess and his writing is an interesting, factful and above all readable guide. It does make you want to keep some of these fish or try breeding them. As to being complete, that is harder to defend; Only selected species are pictured and the information offered, good as it is, tends to be generic rather than specific. There is no index which is really annoying and prevents the reader from coming back to the book to look something up.
"Corydoras Catfishes" suffers from being half way between a "coffee table" eye-catcher and a trusty handbook. It appears to me to be a real "rush-job" particularly from an editorial viewpoint. Thus it hasn't a realistic chance of being considered the best in its genre yet it should be, perhaps, thought of as a book that the Corydoras buff should have if they have all the others.
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