# On Sean Carroll's General Relativity textbook

• Relativity
I have heard/read that Carroll's Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity is one of the best books on General Relativity but its price is insanely high!
Does anybody know any place which sells it at a lower price than, say, Amazon?
If not, what are other books that cover GR on the same level as this one and at the same quality?
Thanks!

## Answers and Replies

Bandersnatch
Abe Books has it for less than 20 bucks. But then again, I can see a used copy on Amazon for $23. What is 'insanely high' for you? Abe Books has it for less than 20 bucks. But then again, I can see a used copy on Amazon for$23. What is 'insanely high' for you?
I got used books more than once and at more than a few occasions they turned out to be "more used" than described. So, I will be sticking with new ones. So, they sell a new copy for about 90 dollars(the cheapest) plus shipping expenses.
I also got books from Abe Books, and again, many of them turned out to be of very low quality. I don't care about low quality, but when I say very low quality, I mean they did not stand the test of time(a year)

Bandersnatch
They sell new 'international editions' on Abe Books for <$20. These are lower quality prints intended mostly for Asian markets. They sell new 'international editions' on Abe Books for <$20. These are lower quality prints intended mostly for Asian markets.
Yeah, I know. I have used them at many occasions. But, as I said, only a few stood the test of time.

phinds
Gold Member
2021 Award
Yeah, I know. I have used them at many occasions. But, as I said, only a few stood the test of time.
Are you not familiar w/ the term "you get what you pay for" ?

If you're willing to take the time, you can ask AMAZON sellers whether their used versions are the crappy international editions and that way you should be able to avoid them but still get a used one for a reasonable price that won't fall apart so quickly.

For future reference, not all "international editions" are created equal. Springer's India branch, for example, produces excellent softcovers on par with Cambridge, Yale, and the University of Chicago's presses.

This one probably isn't what you want, though. I have one Pearson international edition(a copy of Hecht's Optics,) and its one of the "newsprint paper" copies you're probably familiar with. I do check the reviews on international editions thoroughly now, before buying.

Still, I do highly recommend Springer's India branch.

As far as your other question in the first post, Schutz has a good pace for a first introduction. Wald is quite good and even further less expensive, but plan on supplementing it or getting additional help here and elsewhere, since his presentation is rather brisk. For example, Wald derives the Einstein field equations by page 72 out of 491, and the rest of the book is solutions and applications.

Also, you could download the notes Carroll's book is based on from his website and work through those first, then supplement with a meatier reference like Wald. There are other GR course notes floating around, but the only ones I'm familiar with are Carroll's.

Another excellent supplement is Leonard Susskind's video lecture series on GR. There are other video series as well, but I can't speak to them yet.

(Edit: by "Schutz," I mean A First Course in General Relativity 2e, not Gravity From the Ground Up, with which I am not familiar.)

For future reference, not all "international editions" are created equal. Springer's India branch, for example, produces excellent softcovers on par with Cambridge, Yale, and the University of Chicago's presses.

This one probably isn't what you want, though. I have one Pearson international edition(a copy of Hecht's Optics,) and its one of the "newsprint paper" copies you're probably familiar with. I do check the reviews on international editions thoroughly now, before buying.

Still, I do highly recommend Springer's India branch.

As far as your other question in the first post, Schutz has a good pace for a first introduction. Wald is quite good and even further less expensive, but plan on supplementing it or getting additional help here and elsewhere, since his presentation is rather brisk. For example, Wald derives the Einstein field equations by page 72 out of 491, and the rest of the book is solutions and applications.

Also, you could download the notes Carroll's book is based on from his website and work through those first, then supplement with a meatier reference like Wald. There are other GR course notes floating around, but the only ones I'm familiar with are Carroll's.

Another excellent supplement is Leonard Susskind's video lecture series on GR. There are other video series as well, but I can't speak to them yet.

(Edit: by "Schutz," I mean A First Course in General Relativity 2e, not Gravity From the Ground Up, with which I am not familiar.)
Well, I have checked and there is one international edition of Carroll's book, but that is from Pearson New. I have also got the international edition of Hecht, by the same publisher and it is crap. So, I suppose the international edition for Carroll's book will also be dang.

Oh, I also recommend you read and work through Baez and Bunn's paper The Meaning of Einstein's Equation several times over the course of your time learning GR. It's got some lovely insights:
https://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0103044

Joker93
Oh, I also recommend you read and work through Baez and Bunn's paper The Meaning of Einstein's Equation several times over the course of your time learning GR. It's got some lovely insights:
https://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0103044
Wow, this is great! Thanks!

Oh, and Lightman, Press, Price, Teukolsky's Problem Book in Relativity and Gravitation is available free online now, too(requires Flash:) http://www.nrbook.com/relativity/

Joker93
For future reference, not all "international editions" are created equal. Springer's India branch, for example, produces excellent softcovers on par with Cambridge, Yale, and the University of Chicago's presses.

This used to be the case and I always got the springer India edition. Sadly, this is no longer the case though. Recently I purchased a few SIEs from India and out of 4 , three turned out to be of bad quality like the rest of the Indian editions. Wiley student editions printed in India takes the cake for being the worse in printing though!

This used to be the case and I always got the springer India edition. Sadly, this is no longer the case though. Recently I purchased a few SIEs from India and out of 4 , three turned out to be of bad quality like the rest of the Indian editions. Wiley student editions printed in India takes the cake for being the worse in printing though!

Ah, that's a shame. Thanks for the heads up.

BTW, if anyone is buying international editions from Abebooks, I can recommend Sunshine Book store. I purchased from many Abe-sellers and Sunshine turned out to be the best in terms of reliability and you get your books in about 5 days (in the USA). I have no ties with them - just a happy customer.