I had done a distance learning course in HTML and, without any programming knowledge or experience, then sought to learn Java with a view to sitting the Sun Certfifcation Exam. Other books I tried I just couldn't get into because there was always prerequisite knowledge of programming. However, the Guide assumed nothing, explained each term / idea before dealing with it, and gave me the entry point I was looking for. There was even a crash course in HTML. The quirky humour and comic illustrations aided the assimilation of the language. If you are in a similar position to mine, then I recommend this book wholeheartedly. Magic !!!