Organic Chemistry Klein


Today, we take a look at the organic chemistry Klein textbook, one of the most popular organic chemistry textbooks on the market right now. Written by David Klein, the book is now widely used in many undergraduate organic chemistry courses and is the number one textbook for organic chemistry on Amazon right now. While the 3rd edition is the most recent, the 2nd edition is still wildly popular.  See it on Amazon here.

But why is this book so widely used? What is so great about it? Let’s take a look.


The pros:

1) This textbook has a lot of practice problems. And when I say a lot I really mean a lot. As we noted in our survey of organic chemistry professors, they said the number one way to study was using practice problems and practice exams. The Klein book definitely gets this right. Further, the practice problems are placed after each concept is presented. This makes the structure of the textbook really effective, as it reinforces the topic immediately after it’s presented. Kudos to Professor Kline for constructing a textbook with this in mind.

2) Professor Klein has a great writing style. Many students enjoy the way his books are written and have described it as semi conversational, and very understandable. As organic chemistry can be a very confusing concept, the ability to write in this manner is highly commendable. This is definitely one of the main features of this book. I don’t know if there is a more understandable textbook on the market.

3) The “medically speaking” sections are a nice little bonus. Not only do they make organic chemistry more interesting and demonstrate its applicability in the real world, it keeps our med school students and biology friends interested in our science.






1) I have seen complaints online that there are errors in the textbook. While errors are not completely uncommon in organic chemistry textbooks, I have not personally found any of these errors myself in the Klein textbook. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist, it just means I didn’t see them when I read the textbook. Some of these complaints may be from students who don’t understand the concept completely, or got bad information from a tutor. I don’t even know if I should call this a con, but I wanted to add it in there since there were so many complaints about this online.

2) A big drawback is that you also need to purchase the solutions manual if you want to get all the answers to all the practice problems. The textbook itself is expensive enough, but then to throw on the expense of a solution manual is definitely another drawback.

3) Finally, some students have complained that the textbook is not as comprehensive as it could be. Some students actually say the Solomon organic chemistry textbook is a nice companion to this book as Solomon is more comprehensive. (For the record, I would not suggest buying two organic chemistry textbooks to complement one another). Some students don’t actually think the fact that Kline is less comprehensive his actually a problem. I can go either way on this. If indeed you don’t think Klein is comprehensive enough, there are plenty of other resources on the internet to complement what you learn in the Klein book (see below for an example). I don’t think any student should ever rely solely on one source of information in order to learn a very complex topic, such as organic chemistry. We always think it is better to buy some sort of supplemental organic chemistry book (usually at a far cheaper price) to round out your organic chemistry education.

Overall, we really like organic chemistry Klein, and give it our highest recommendation.