I managed to get a lot further with this book than with the PD book you can find in PDF form published online. I really don't like that 'other' book at all. The format of 'Loadbang' is very simple and clear, and it really starts from scratch. You don't need to know anything at all about programming before starting this book. It begins with explaining what the types of PD objects are and what can be connected can be connected to what, and encourages you to experiment with them to see what they do (producing tones or results of calculations). Exercises are provided at the end of every chapter to test your understanding, and these exercises are graded either basic or advanced (basic will do). Just about every conceivable PD application is dealt with and explained in this book. File operations, various synthesis types (AM, subtractive, FM and granular!) are all explained and demonstrated with working models. The synthesis technique in each case is explained in the clearest possible way before being shown as a PD program. MIDI functionality as well as audio WAV recording and playback is demonstrated, and by the time you reach the point of messing around with synthesis, you will definitely be cooking your own PD applications, because you will have a kind of relaxed familiarity with how the PD objects behave, and the mathematical operations will be familiar to you. Also you can omit some of the later sections once you have the basics under your hat, if they show functionality (such as graphs and visual music generation) that you don't need, without losing out. A side effect of learning PD through this book is that you learn a lot about synthesis methods without realising it until much later! I highly recommend it.