This is a brief but well-integrated survey of a vast subject, written by five authors who have had extensive research experience with the areas to which they contribute. The text aims to provide a primer for medical students and beginning graduate students. To this end its objective has been admirably well met, as I have yet to encounter a more lucidly written or better edited presentation. The authors have made a particular effort to emphasize clinical implications in the material under discussion.
As is inevitable when sketching on such a broad canvas, there are some minor scattered errors or at least misleading statements (eg, unconjugated secondary bile acids are probably not primarily formed in the small intestine and initially reabsorbed by the terminal ileum), but these, in general, detract little from the whole. Also, while some chapters are well referenced with excellent current reviews, others fall far short of this