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Book and Media Reviews
July 23 2008

Epilepsy: A Comprehensive Textbook

JAMA. 2008;300(4):442-446. doi:10.1001/jama.300.4.443-a

I recommend the second edition of Epilepsy: A Comprehensive Textbook, edited by Engel and Pedley, for its valuable instruction to practitioners who treat seizures. Scattered throughout the 3 volumes are chapters useful for the clinician seeking basic guidance on initiating therapy or curious about diagnostic advances and for the fellow or epileptologist seeking well-written summaries of the evolution of epilepsy. This text belongs on the shelves of any medical library or physician subspecialist. The chapters are a wonderfully manageable size, often not more than a few pages, and address issues that in other texts receive only a paragraph or two, leaving the reader seeking more information elsewhere. The text is well referenced, citing a variety of original source articles rather than reviews. The different writing styles of the contributors are engaging and allow the reader to enjoy this rather unique experience. The first edition has held a privileged position in my bookcase and, as is the mark of a truly useful reference, has repeatedly gone missing from its shelf.