Recommend me a calculus textbook...for the mathematically clueless

So term is starting soon, and for the first time in my life, I got to learn Calculus formally. Oh what joy - and headache.

Some background. Unverisity here in Singapore often assumes you go through the route of Junior College - during which you will be bombarded with all sort of mathematics. I think those are prerequisites for Calculus.

I went into Unversity through another route, through a technical insitution (or Polytechnic). The emphasis is on hands-on, so we don’t do mathematics (except for one module in Precalculus, which I doubt counts), and II can’t make head or tail of the text, lecture notes or anything else the professors hand out. I could taken time to self study, but I have just completed my time in army about 2 weeks ago.

So, is there any equalvalent of “Calculus for Dummy”, or am I royally screwed? I don’t think just staring at the textbooks or notes will instill true enlightenment in me. Help, anyone?

Here you go.
Seriously, there are tons of books like this. But if you don’t have the right grounding in basic algebra, it’s going to be tough for you.

So, does this mean your earlier attempt to learn Calculus on your own didn’t get very far?

There are some decent suggestions in these past threads:

I want to learn calculus, and

I violently hate calculus and physics (starting with post #6)

But I concur with nivlac. If you’re not well-versed in algebra, you won’t have the tools to “do” calculus; you won’t understand the language it’s written in.

I strongly recommend this one, Calculus Made Easy by Silvanus P. Thompson, used by generations of studentsw by now (ibncluding me):

More rigorous is the book I used in high school and in college (where the author taught the course!) is George B. Thomas’ Calculus:

Half-hearted at best. I got stuck at Precalculus, went into army where…well, it is not the best situtation to study.

I think I can do basic alegbra equation. Just done a good revision of quadratic, cubic, factoring and still do remember some trigo…

The problem with most Calculus texts is…I don’t understand them. The writing style is…obsfucated. The one I have come with examples without explanation and the definition makes me want to bang my head against the wall.

I try out the suggestions. Thanks guy!

Try Larson Hostetler “Precalculus” first and then their “Calculus: Early Transcendentals”. We use them at City University of New York and there
have been no complaints from the students. They have lots of examples written out step by step. If the Precalculus is not a review for you, you will need about 4 months to learn the material. In that case you should pospone Calculus by a semester. Remember, you need to do the problems in the back of each section
and check the answers to really be sure you know the material.