Let me explain ...
I have no programming background other than the fact that I've picked up and tried reading several books on the subject of programming in Perl. (I do know HTML and I am a website developer. I just thought I would tell you this so you would realize where I might be coming from.)
I have purchased most of the books on the market that relate to getting started as a new programmer using Perl. Everything from 'Learn Perl in 24 Hours' .. to the Camel books (which are great for refenece purposes), etc. And if you've tried them, and felt frustrated, let me explain what made this book different for me.
First of all, this book is not written 'perfectly' clear. But then ... I haven't found one that is. But, what makes this book special is the offer and accessibility of the AUTHOR to each of the readers who purchase the book. The author, Andrew Johnson, is everything you could want in a teacher and coach.
With that being said, ... learning to program is not easy. (So, expect to work hard, read a lot, and practice writing code.) And, if you had your preference, you'd probably rather be in a classroom where you could ask questions of your teacher everytime you didn't understand something that was going on.
THAT IS WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK (or should I say TUTORIAL SYSTEM for learning Perl) THE BEST!
Andrew Johnson acts like your teacher and personal coach. He does an excellent job of laying out the information in the book ... as if you were in a classroom. Then, as you read through each chapter ... you will (and let me repeat ... YOU WILL) have questions.
I must say, I go to his online forum often, where I can ask anything I want (relating to the book) that I have a question on. And the answers I get back from him are not quick 'tidbits'. His answers are extremely helpful and written in plain english. JUST LIKE A GOOD TEACHER SHOULD BE!
I can't recommend the book ... AND HIS ASSISTANCE enough! It is absolutely the 'BEST' manner in which to learn PROGRAMMING WITH PERL - from the ground level up!
For about $35 ... you get the book and a TEACHER/COACH to ask questions of. What more could you want?
I am already on chapter 5 and getting more out of this book than all the others I read combined.
Gary M. Gordon Certified Web Developer firstname.lastname@example.org