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4.9 out of 5 stars24
4.9 out of 5 stars
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on 16 June 2011
The best book on Haskell there is - believe me, I've got them all. There are a lot of intellectually challenging concepts in Haskell that I have never seen explained well - anywhere. This book changes all that. The author has any uncanny knack of answering your questions as you think of them - even the dumb ones. This book should be the de facto text for schools teaching functional programming. I believe that this text is a game changer and the vehicle that will finally bring Haskell to the masses - I just hope it's not too late. If you're thinking about learning Haskell, forget the rest >>= get the best.
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on 5 September 2012
I'm quite experienced in imperative languages, however always wanted to get acquainted with functional programming. Web gave me the hint - Haskell. To prepare myself for a journey to Haskell I got 6-7 books and tutorials on topic, browsed through them to pick the 1st... Learn you a Haskell... seem to be the smoothest intro into the language. Author leads us gradually to more complicated constructs by examples and explanations. This is definitely just the 1st book you pick if you're new to functional progeamming, next ones will be Real world Haskell and tutorials from the inet. Style of the book seem to be ok, but some "jokes" could have been omitted, and examples could have been more interesting :-) . Anyway, author did a great job of making Haskell friendly (other authors seem to compete in making it more obscure :-) ). So I recommend the book.
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on 10 May 2012
I came across the concept of a Monad whilst I was learning Scala and I bought this book with the sole purpose of getting a thorough understanding of the concept. Success.

Haskell is difficult, its concepts are, as you would expect from a language that has been designed by a committee whose sole purpose was to create the ultimate programming language, as close to the world of math as it gets and unconstrained by engineering considerations such as the size of a bus or the width of a processor pipeline. This makes this language a true weapon for problem churning, but it also makes it exceptionally hard to get, specially in what regards to its type system. This book does an amazing job at getting you from zero to being able to code serious things progressively and almost easily.
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on 8 June 2011
I must say I learned a lot and it was fun reading this book! It is very well written and presents a lot of material aimed to true beginners. Although it should be noted that it's not a text for beginners in programming, only for those who don't know Haskell. And the text really focuses on the language and skips unnecessary stuff, which is quite good because you start working with Haskell immediately. Another good thing of the book is the actual pace. The information comes at the right speed! You never feel it's going to fast or too slow, or that suddenly things become too complicated. It builds your knowledge of Haskell in the right amount, especially if you take some time to do some coding of your own. Only the last chapters of the book start to become more hard to grasp at a first reading because it deals with advanced concepts that will need more training from a beginner.

The author has a sense of humor while not filling the text with lots of jokes or provocative humor; it just feels natural. The cartoons that populate the book are not comics and just have a figurative role. I must confess that sometimes they just fill space but others they help making the reading more nice. My only complain with the book is the lack of coding exercises at the end of each chapter. This wouldn't be a complain if the book was more structured around mini-projects that would force you to code something larger than small functions. They exist, e.g., the task list, the calculator, but more would be a nice addition.

Did I learn Haskell with the book? Definitely yes! And it was fun! Naturally I'm still at a beginner's level but if I keep coding more in Haskell, I believe I can consolidate what I've learned and be ready to pass to a more intermediate level. I have not read other Haskell books but if you want to learn the language, have a good grasp of its capabilities and what you can do with it, this is a good book to achieve it and I recommend it without a doubt!

Disclaimer: I was offered by the publisher a free copy for review.
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on 27 November 2012
I have been reading Real World Haskell, but after reading the first hundred pages I felt that I where missing a few things. I then bought Learn You a Haskell, which I find to be absolutely fantastic at explaining the basics of Haskell. The flow is on the verge of being perfect, whenever I think I'd like to move on, the book does. There is a little humor here and there, which I like, and the drawings are also quite enjoyable. It explains subjects, even some which where hard to grasp by other sources, really well.

The combination of Real World Haskell and this book is great. This is a friendly book, which will dress you up nicely for the journey into the dragons den (Just kidding, Haskell is a beautiful language!)
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on 7 February 2014
I have purchased a paper a copy of this after reading the free online version and enjoying it so much.

Content-wise, I have nothing to add to the already plentiful 5 star reviews with which I agree whole-heartedly.

It is worth noting however, that if you have been enchanted by the endearingly random and colourful images in the electronic versions of this book, you should prepare yourself for the significantly drabber printed versions. That said, it is still an excellent text, and I mention the colour issue merely in case it would be a deal breaker for you - IMHO it shouldn't be.
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on 14 May 2013
If your course requires you to learn Haskell, this is the book you want. It covers the language from the very foundations to the very advanced concepts, and goes slowly and in great detail (without being verbose) so you're never left thinking "huh?".
Some on my course complained that you couldn't just pick it up to review a bit you were unsure about; I disagree, you just had to start at the beginning of the topic which may mean you repeat a bit but also leaves you with a much deeper understanding of the concept at the end. And unlike all other programming books I've found, this one through it's word choice, pictures and use of examples is genuinely(!) fun to read.
Is it for you? See for yourself! Google the title of the book and you'll be able to read it in it's entirety for free on the author's website. Then, it's your choice whether it works for you, if printed or digital is better for you and/or you want to support the author. In short, a fantastic book and you can even try before you buy!
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on 31 December 2015
Among the best introductions to a programming language I have came across, it gives me a similar feeling as when I first read "The C Programming Language" hard and fast without sacrificing. Assumes the reader is familiar with imperative programming and is looking to get started in functional programming. As such it will introduce concepts not particularly widely used across procedural or object orientated languages but does not introduce Haskell as a first language often contrasting against concepts from the imperative world. There is a lot to learn here and unlike many books on the topic this one is simultaneously accessible and not patronising.

I should probably note that if you are already familiar with functional programming or have some previous knowledge of Haskell then it might be a little slower feeling than to me.
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on 20 January 2016
The 'Learn You a Haskell' book is an excellent introduction to Haskell. Having studied under one of the main contributors to the language, I had to learn much of the language in a very short space of time. Having read other Haskell textbooks this one is definitely the one to go with!

The book itself is very nice quality. The wording is very clear and casual which is a very rare find in programming literature. You won't get stuck wondering what words mean but at the same time it offers a very solid grounding (and even some more complex concepts!) for the Haskell language.

Note that the book is essentially available in the form of the "Learn You A Haskell" website but it's always beneficial to have a physical copy.

I would definitely recommend to anyone wanting to study a functional language.
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on 7 October 2013
If you're coming from an imperative programming background, this book is a gentle introduction into the world of functional programming and Haskell, with eye-opening examples and an all-around fun atmosphere. A must read.
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