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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 14 September 2009
I bought this book since it was recommended by the course instructor (the course was not a basic intro course, lecture 2 delved straight into monads, and lecture 3 was higher order monads.) I myself have some prior experience with Standard ML, and I don't feel like a stranger to functional programming in general. The result was that I ended up blowing through nearly half the book in one sitting (a few hours.)

While it does explain some of the syntactical oddities of Haskell I haven't seen elsewhere (guards, list comprehensions, etc), these are fairly simple things. Halfway through, he starts with a parser example (using monads), but since he doesn't really explain the why and how for the rather strained construction, I feel the point is somewhat lost. Sadly, monads aren't really delved into.

If you have any basic knowledge of functional programming (esp of the SML style), I'd recommend you move along to a move advanced book. But for the simple stuff, the author explains everything well.
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on 17 January 2011
This book is a very good introduction to Haskell. It is both clear and concise.

The organisation of the book is excellent, from rudimentary basics through to simple examples.
It is hard to fault this book.

Trying to learn Haskell, I think this book together with 'Real World Haskell' by Bryan O'Sullican et al. would be ideal.

In a future version it would be great to see some 'real world' examples within this book.

The best 'first book' on Haskell I've come across. An excellent way to very quickly pick up the basics.
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on 4 March 2008
The material is very well written, concise and easy to understand. I'd recommend this text to anyone starting out with Haskell. The only issue being that this book is really only an introduction. It leaves the reader with a great idea about the basic concepts of Haskell, but it doesn't elaborate on real world Haskell; programming with effects, concurrency, networking etc.
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on 14 September 2011
A pretty good book overall. Well structured and easy to follow chapters. The book is an introduction to Haskell. If you are a beginner or a student then the book is for you.

The book needs a little updating (such as, n + k patterns have been removed from Haskell), and perhaps a few more chapters would be good for the book.

The downside is the price for the amount of pages. Should be much cheaper for such a short book.
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on 11 September 2008
of little use if you're a professional, like me, who wants to really get down to using the language. There are several problems with the book:

1. It mixes up mathematical notation with code. If I'm reading code then I want to see code. It's irritating and occassionally confusing. I haven't seen any other books do this, and there's a good reason for it.
2. There is not a single example of anything useful! Not how to open a file, or write to a file, for instance.
3. What is there is a duplication of existing libraries. You get to build a parser when there is already the famous Parsec library out there. It would be MUCH more useful to have done this using Parsec. You'll also recreate several standard (Prelude) functions, though the author never makes it clear when this is happening. Other books (The Haskell Road to Logic, Maths and Programming, for example) do not do this and are much better for it.
4. The book does not contain the answers to the exercises. You can only get the answers from Cambridge University Press if you are an instructor of a course. So unless you are a student, you will never see the answers. Perhaps your code will compile. Perhaps it will work. But you'll never get the invaluable insight of seeing a pro's coded answer. Rubbish! Cambridge Press just gave me a big fat "No" when I asked for the answers, and didn't bother to reply to my request for justification, even though I paid the same amount as any student.

All in all, one of the poorest programming books I've come across. If you're a student, then you've been told to buy it because it's on your course. Otherwise, pick a different book, any other book. Real World Haskell looks a lot, lot better (or the Haskell Road...)
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on 5 February 2014
I tried lots of books on Haskell, this was my favorite. Learn You A Haskell did too much work for me and caused my brain to switch off. My only hesitation is that Real World Haskell might be even better, RWH is really outstanding.
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on 23 October 2015
This is a very disappointing book, and I think it deserves some negative reviews to warn potential buyers.

The main issue I've seen is that it show mathematical lingo and notation of code, and barely shows any Haskell code.
There is absolutely no reason why you wouldn't provide Haskell code to show how to define functions with proper Haskell keywords and annotations.

If you're really keen on learning Haskell, please make yourself a favour, and purchase Real World Haskell by Brian O'Sullivan, for the same price.
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on 21 May 2015
Studied this book as a part of my Computer Science degree at the University of Nottingham, taught my Graham Hutton himself. Excellent book, really helps you get to grips with Haskell starting from a complete beginner. Highly recommended.
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on 1 October 2015
The level of this book is elementary. Don't expect any deep subjects or even wide coverage of Haskell. However, as an introductory text it can suit a newcomer.
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on 22 November 2015
A no-frills, no fluff introduction. The writing is economical yet deeply informative. An excellent way in to Haskell and functional programming.
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