Nature and Origin of Cretaceous Carbon-rich Facies is a symposium volume and shows the weaknesses endemic to its genre. One could ignore the book and its shortcomings if the topic were less promising. But the book attempts to cover an advance in the science of geology as intriguing as any since plate tectonics. After seven years since the “ocean anoxic event” concept was broached, it is time for a comprehensive volume on the subject. The niche is still open; this volume doesn't fill it.