This chapter represents a short introduction to the main themes developed in the book. It starts from the consideration that the H-bond, though discovered more than eighty years ago and universally recognized of crucial importance in chemistry and biology, is still lacking a theoretical interpretation general enough to account for its most salient features. The method used for solving this problem (here called the H-bond puzzle) is outlined as an essentially empirical case-study strategy which makes provisional tabula rasa of all previous theories and, taking advantage of the great experimental and computational advances occurred in the last few decades, trys to infer internally coherent and consistent conclusions on the very nature of the H-bond from the ensemble of the data collected. The chapter also includes a useful summary of the contents of the other chapters of the book.
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