Jesus, Amazon reviews are one of the best things about the internet. They have to start changing rating formulations here to discount the rise of corn pone crankery. Giving this one star and saying it is soporific (hint: that's a joke see, as the guy is complaining about use of language and the old mozartean syllable count), is LUDICROUS.
First off, where has this book been hiding? When I first read Coplien's Advanced C++ in 1992, it blew me away. I read and reread it like it was epic poetry (oh wait, that's because, well, it IS). Coplien is everything you want in an author: first, he is literate. Unlike junior who can only hold the book w/one hand (since they took away his pacifier, he has to use his thumb), he has clearly read and digested a LOT of stuff. Science people, too often have zero literary sensibility at all. Funny that the great scientists seemed to. Oppenheimer read in several languages and quoted the Baghavad Gita, Greek scholars, and was into poetry. Anyway, Coplien can also claim to have been, to borrow the Dean Acheson phrase 'Present at the Creation' (though, lucky for Cope, he was there and took part in the birthing of the most important software dev movement in the last 25 years, while Acheson helped cement the modern police state). Finally (on this front), this book is not only readable, it reads like the wind. And believe me, friends, I was almost suckered into believing the whiney tail of my hero's demise.
Now, here are a few more things I'd like to say about this book:
1. I have been reading a lot about PLE lately, and this book plugs into this so well, it's bizarre. For instance, this book takes some serious time to talk about how to do variability analysis, but also discusses things like the mapping of domain variability requirements to language features, the various codifying tools that enable substitution, but also substitution w/variation (e.g. parameterization, virtualization, etc.), but then, in a bonus turn on this vector, he talks about how this meshes with patterns, showing for instance how cases of negative variability (where the deriver wants to erase part of the base) can be refactored to Bridge, etc.
2. Don't get too thrown by the multi-paradigm angle the title implies: this book is not just a screed espousing the use of functional sideshoots, or procedural deviations.
In summary, this is a great book and I can't believe I did not know it existed until recently. If you are doing product oriented development especially, and variation at more than just the simplest level is a daily demand, this is one of the best wells to visit.