Occasionally a new book is produced that really does meet its stated objectives. Dr Fields states in his preface that this book is written "for the medical-trained reader... who seeks to know basic mechanisms of pain. It is also for neurobiologists who wish to know more about the clinically relevant sensory system." This small book seems to meet those goals more than adequately.
The organization of the book is relatively conventional. It proceeds first through anatomy and then physiology in each section, which is organized from the periphery to the central nervous system and from afferent systems to descending control systems.
The chapters dealing with anatomy and physiology in pain pathways are beautifully written. There is a great deal of information compressed into a small amount of space and, therefore, one of the small problems with the book is that it is so tightly organized that it must be read