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on 1 June 2009
I think this book has been underrated by Amazon.com's reviewers.

The general complaint seems to be that there's just too much in the way of example code and little in the way of explanation. To a point, that's true - there's plenty of example code and explanations are brief. But as far as learning CSS from scratch goes, this manner of writing serves well. Things are explained well enough - to say that the "position: absolute;" statement absolutely positions an element and then to show us an example with the corresponding code is enough to learn CSS. CSS isn't complicated!

That said, these methods fare far worse in the DHTML and AJAX section, but I half expect you aren't buying this book to learn DHTML from. If your CSS is solid and you want to do a bit of javascript, look elsewhere! What you'll find in this book is a bunch of nice examples of Javascript complementing CSS, but it isn't going to teach you javascript! I personally won't begrudge the author positive assessment on this note since, after all, this part of the book now exists as a handy resource containing a good number of useful applications (e.g. drop down menus) of javascript (in fact, of DOM scripting, since the Document Object Model IS touched on).

The author spends a good deal of time talking about W3C recommendations and browser compatibility and does so in a fairly easy-going manner: you'll encounter these things as new and come to understand them without having to trudge through what might otherwise have been dull and wearisome content.

In line with some Amazon.com reviewers of this book, yes, the book does contain a few typos, but I don't think there's a single typo that's going to have you stumped: if you're going to type up the code, show a little initiative and do it for yourself (cover and code!). Also, the early parts of this book are a little repetitive, but to say this is a hindrance is going too far: some of you might appreciate being reminded that some value is of some property is of some selector, and by the time you got used to this, the book loses this repetition.

So, overall, a very good book, needs a few quirks sorted out for the next edition, might be nicer if the code was explained better in the more difficult dhtml section (i.e. what does such and such a function/method/property do) but if you want to learn CSS quick, read this and you'll be competent within a couple of days (and also be aware of such things as CSS3, the W3C recommendations, standards, browsers compliance and all the other things you should be aware that you need to be aware of!).

EDIT: I must add that the overriding positivity of this review is very much price-dependent. I really value this book for having taught me CSS and as a basic CSS reference place. Had it cost more, I might have a few additional qualms, but given its price I think this is a real good book to have.
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