Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry” as Want to Read:
The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry (Cartoon Guides)

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  473 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
If you have ever suspected that "heavy water" is the title of a bootleg Pink Floyd album, believed that surface tension is an anxiety disorder, or imagined that a noble gas is the result of a heavy meal at Buckingham Palace, then you need The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry to set you on the road to chemical literacy.

You don't need to be a scientist to grasp these and many othe
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 3rd 2005 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published May 1st 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Cartoon Guide to Chemistry

General Chemistry by Linus PaulingOrganic Chemistry I as a Second Language by David R. KleinQuantitative Chemical Analysis by Daniel C. HarrisThe 13th Element by John EmsleyIgnition! by John D. Clark
6th out of 127 books — 15 voters
Cartoon Guide to Genetics by Larry GonickScience by Margreet de HeerComic Book History of Comics by Fred Van LenteThe Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanClan Apis by Jay Hosler
Nonfiction Sequential Art & Graphic Novels
17th out of 79 books — 9 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,104)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 05, 2016 John rated it really liked it
I relearned all I had forgotten from high school chemistry. Basically everything. Very amusing illustrations as well.
Leonor Alves
Mar 01, 2016 Leonor Alves rated it it was amazing
I'm finishing 12th grade and reviewing the subject for my final exams and this book was a great help. Many things I didn't understand or weren't explained in class were very clear in this cartoon guide and I look forward to reading more books from these collection.
Aug 30, 2015 Heather rated it it was amazing
My kids have learned more from reading the "Cartoon Guide to..." series than any school textbook. Great way to convey information and knowledge but in a fun format.
Jun 18, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it
One thing I have noticed in my life is that I really have a hard time learning by just reading something and while I liked the characters and the visualization of it, I found some parts of it still hard to grasp until I could actually do experiments myself. While I am only learning high school chemistry, it cleared up a few things as well as giving a look of history to see how chemistry came up.

For those of you that want a humorous and visual approach to learning this subject, I recommend this.
Jan 03, 2016 Annm rated it really liked it
My degree is in Chemistry, so it was nice to have a fun refresher of all I learned so long ago.
Derek Bridge
Mar 18, 2012 Derek Bridge rated it really liked it
I was bought this as a Christmas present from a friend who was appalled at how little I knew of chemistry. Having read it very carefully, I'm pleased I'm no longer a chemistry ignoramus.

The cartoon format makes things engaging - not so much because it's funny (it generally isn't) but more because it encourages the authors to divide the material into manageable chunks and to think of visual metaphors.

That doesn't mean that it's a simple book. Chemistry is often difficult, and use of cartoons does
Jun 17, 2009 meme rated it liked it
These type of books provides a unique approach to a subject usually considered accessible only to eggheads. It is crammed with clear, concise, amusing illustrations. Definitions are reduced to clear, simple sentences, but the book has plenty of equations, which do require some thought. As palatable as the author makes the subject, it is still chemistry. I like that the book has brief descriptions of theories, provides perspective and an idea of how major theories developed and built over the cen ...more
Indah Threez Lestari
540 - 2013

#Program BUBU

Dari judulnya saja sudah kartun, tapi tetap kuberi nomor baca yang menandakan buku ini bukan komik selayaknya manga dan sejenisnya. Mengapa? Karena dibanding kartunnya lebih banyak tulisannya :)

Ruwet, tapi menarik banget. Coba waktu kuliah kimia dulu buku pegangannya semenarik penyampaian Larry Gonnick. Mungkin aku nggak bakal pindah ke akuntansi... dan kayaknya Larry Gonnick tidak membuat Kartun Akuntansi deh :D


Dulu aku membeli dan membaca buku ini tahun
May 29, 2008 Isaac rated it liked it
Damn you Mr. Edgington!!! I hated chemistry in high school (and nearly didn't graduate) because of him. This was my first attempt to catch up since then with my main man Larry Gonick, who does a neat take on it - picture you're stranded on a desert island with a slew of natural resources and need to make fire, gunpowder, etc...- but feels obliged to include enough information to make for very slow reading compared with his 'CG to Physics'. Still, there are worse teachers than this.
Jun 09, 2009 Kate rated it liked it
Entertaining and informative. Gonick tries to cover a lot of ground in his cartoon guide to chemistry, but some of the content is a bit murky and oversimplified. I don't know if I'd recommend this book to a layperson, but someone who knows chemistry could certainly make recommendations on specific passages that explain tricky concepts well.
Sep 08, 2012 Tim rated it really liked it
As advertised this is a serious though low-level conceptual introduction to the discipline of chemistry carried through in an engaging graphical format. Surprisingly, the authors even include some problem solving examples and some math (particularly the use of logarithms), all without detracting from the engaging qualities of the book.
Nov 09, 2013 Michael rated it it was ok
I've tried twice to learn something about chemistry from this book, with very little takeaway. Unlike in Gonick's superb history books, the illustrations here are neither helpful nor particularly funny. I suspect it is best used as a refresher text for someone who already knows the stuff, but just needs a refresher.
Similar to one of the "Idiot's" guides, this book is a supplement to any textbook on chemistry. Concepts are glossed over, not discussed in depth. This seems to be a written version of what the Standard Deviants do on video. If you are looking to get an introduction to chemistry, this is not it.
Aleisha Z Coleman
Oct 26, 2009 Aleisha Z Coleman rated it liked it
it was way math and formula heavy for me. i would have appreciated a bit more conversation. but i read it in one day and it had some fun pictures and witty comments. not for the faint of heart however. read it in preparation for my biology test, i hope enough of it sunk in to the next level for me!
Sep 26, 2010 Doug rated it liked it
Good summary, entertainingly illustrated, of high school level fact, some of it my reside in the AP or basic college level, as parts of the book are mathematics and formula-intensive. I'd recommend this to a visual learner who is struggling with the intangible aspects of learning chemistry.
Bonnie Daley
Mar 10, 2014 Bonnie Daley rated it really liked it
I'm about halfway through this fun book about chemistry. I do have to admit that it is helpful to have some background knowledge. But this book is great at filling in the gaps in a humorous and entertaining way.
Jun 12, 2008 ~Lyn~ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Formalin, boraks, arsenik, antioksidan, metanol, sampai nuklir, merupakan istilah-istilah teknis ilmu kimia. Di buku ini, bentuk, asal-usul, dan dampak benda-benda itu dapat dipelajari.
Jun 08, 2009 Verdi rated it liked it
Shelves: science
It wasn't very detailed. It only had illustrations of molecules. It didn't have any reactions, especially not any explosive stuff.
Very funny book where you can discover the history of Chemistry, the composition of the matter and the reactions between chemiscals.
May 20, 2009 Elijah rated it really liked it
A lot of this guy's books are fucked up but his science stuff is decent. Anything helps.. especially all his pictures of electron orbitals
May 03, 2008 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
This book is a must for all science geeks. I have always liked this artist's comics, so this just iced my cake.
Mar 18, 2007 Junio rated it really liked it
Shelves: comix
I only took a semester of Chem in High School. This book brings me up to date on all I need to know.
Tasya Dita
Jun 06, 2016 Tasya Dita marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: never-finished
i started reading this last year and never touched it again after few pages. i just give up D:
Dec 09, 2012 Stephen rated it really liked it
Spouse uses it to teach basic and intermediate concepts to students. Our family loves Gonick.
Apr 03, 2013 Katra rated it liked it
Not as fun for me as the Cartoon Guide to Genetics, probably just due to my prior interest level.
Aug 17, 2007 Erie rated it liked it
bagus dan lucu dan nggak membosankan untuk yang mau belajar kimia secara mudah....
Jan 26, 2009 David rated it it was amazing
Suprisingly more informative and a less easy read than you might expect.
Hanrong Tham
Sep 07, 2013 Hanrong Tham rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
An enjoyable read. Suitable for all Chemistry students and teachers.
Jan 10, 2008 John rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Couldn't have gotten through General Chemistry without this one....
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 36 37 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe
  • A Chemical History of a Candle
  • The Manga Guide to Molecular Biology
  • Two-Fisted Science
  • The Joy of Chemistry: The Amazing Science of Familiar Things
  • The Faber Book of Science: Scientists and Writers Illuminate Natural Phenomena from Fossils To...
  • Molecules at an Exhibition: Portraits of Intriguing Materials in Everyday Life
  • General Chemistry
  • Chemistry
  • CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
  • A Short History of Chemistry (Science Study)
  • Organic Chemistry (Non-Infotrac Version)
  • Chemistry: The Central Science
  • The Manga Guide to Physics
  • Detektif Conan Vol. 62
  • Alan Moore's America's Best Comics
  • Introducing Quantum Theory
  • Clan Apis
Larry Gonick (born 1946) is a cartoonist best known for The Cartoon History of the Universe, a history of the world in comic book form, which he has been publishing in installments since 1977. He has also written The Cartoon History of the United States, and he has adapted the format for a series of co-written guidebooks on other subjects, beginning with The Cartoon Guide to Genetics in 1983. The ...more
More about Larry Gonick...

Other Books in the Series

Cartoon Guides (10 books)
  • The Cartoon Guide to Calculus
  • Cartoon Guide to Genetics
  • The Cartoon Guide to Physics
  • The Cartoon Guide to Statistics
  • Cartoon Guide to the Environment
  • The Cartoon Guide to Sex
  • The Cartoon Guide to the Computer
  • Kartun (Non) Komunikasi
  • Cartoon History of the United States

Share This Book