Dear Chris Ingham,
I was so impressed with your book that I sent this Review to ;- Editor Maria Grogan :Tropical |Fish magazine
Editor Jeremy Gay: Practical Fishkeeping Magazine.
A DISCUS KEEPER’S REVIEW.
Introduced Friday 29th of October 2010 is the newly published Discus World Book by Chris Ingham ; an author much respected through his published column contributions to fish-keeping magazines, an experienced fish keeper, retailer , discus breeder, who also competes in shows around the world and who is acknowledged as expert discus speaker.
It is useful for objectivity to place and assess a new Discus Book contributor with previous Discus Book writers, Authors such as Axelrod, Degen, Watley, Scmidt-Focke, Undergasser for example; pioneers who in leading the way, gave fish-keepers the foundations upon which to build up their compilation of Discus knowledge.
Many of these writers, in taking the readership through the travail and trauma of early discus keeping and breeding sequences: generated a double edged legacy; increased knowledge but also made the reader feel that discus keeping was fraught with difficulty and to succeed, one had to be an experienced fish keeper, fortunately, knowledge and technology has moved on a pace in the development of Discus keeping. and in doing so, has firmly placed the “difficulty legacy” into history.
New champions arrived from the Far East and introduced books with a new perspective ; Authors Chan, Soh and Yamada for example; a critique, being that such books, although giving insights, especially appertaining to the breeding advances which have fundamentally enlarged the array of “farm bred discus” available, they are grounded in the methodologies practised in the Far East which encompasses the natural advantages of that region.
Blehers’s Discus Book, Volume 1 - A Monograph - Discus in World History and in the History of Amazonia does what it says and is a comprehensive tome of Discus knowledge but he has not yet published Volume 2 - to make it the “compleat”; this failure to follow up, has let Authors such as Soh’s Discus Treatment, Naked Truth and Back to Nature fill this vacuum; yet again though expressing universal discus truths; they lack the intimate, insight knowledge of the British fish-keeping conditions.
The immediate impression when opening the Discus World Book is of the clarity of the text, which is accompanied with pellucid photography, this is a most welcome : a lucidity enhanced by clean cut Contents Page of simplicity that allows the reader to see at a glance the Subject heading, with the page that you need.
The book is superbly well balanced with a conscious structure, wholly digestible, this is a no nonsense reference manual of easy to understand language, to the point and contains quantifiable and meticulous information that covers the subject matter in terms and values comprehensible to the broad spectrum of readers, It is an absolute gem for beginners, so easy for them to follow and will become their instructive Discus Bible, a reference manual; from which they can learn, and build up their knowledge; in addition, they will have a most valuable resource to access very quickly when faced with a problem, in the full knowledge that the Author has insight, expertise and practical knowledge and narrates it in a language that understandable;
all readers will find that there are many anecdotal and blue box inserts, of most useful information and TIPS”, which are easy to read, focused and neatly condensed,
The Discus World is also a technically structured manual, which will give the experienced fish-keeper an insight to a compendium of Discus know-how from a source acknowledge by his peers as being at the forefront of Discus related information, who is willing to concede that there are “grey areas “ where different view points occur, which he openly discusses for example Angels and Discus, Worming, and Farm breeding in the Far East and the Discus divergence between the East and West.
It may be that some experienced fish- keepers may have thought about becoming retailers and Chris being a retailing professional, is well able to give a handy, helpful and realistic picture of the retailing life.
At the start of the review I stated that “ It is useful for objectivity to place and assess a new Discus Book contributor with previous Discus Book writers”; in regard to the authors mentioned , they contributed and built up the foundations of our collective knowledge, I have their books and have read them over and over for they encapsulated the DNA concentration of Discus intelligence which was applicable and cutting edge in their day, this Discus World Book is emblematic and represents intuitively the fish-keeping requirements of these times.
Over the years this Discus knowledge has been supplemented and added too, via fish keeping magazines and for many of today’s generation the Internet and in particular the Forums play a significant part of the acquisition of knowledge.
The Internet for some of its users, because it is a media and the message, becomes a collective arena for the expression of a wide and diverse set of viewpoints, it can produce in doing so, create the illusion of knowledge, a here today gone tomorrow transience, whereas books have solid dimensions, for knowledge requires authoritative scrutinised sources, based upon quantifiable experience, measurable perspective, authenticity and books become inspirational through the ability to express with lucidity the distilled essence of knowledge and ideas; each one of those authors had this gift and comprehensively so does Chris Ingham, his book is of its time: The now.
The Discus World Book by Chris Ingham is without doubt The Practical Discus Bible, a reference manual which stands head and shoulders above all recent fish keeping books; for Discus keepers it is a must, for it is the real deal, that the owners will refer too time and time again.
I hope that you accept the Review in the spirit that it was conveyed, as praise for an outstanding book.