Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
NOT for beginners.
on 7 April 2008
While this book may be helpful to experienced programmers who are new to Python, it's emphatically not for those who are hoping to learn programming.
The authors claim that the only prerequisite for readers is that they know how to use a computer. Sorry, but this really isn't the case at all.
I don't think I'm a total beginner - In the past, I've had some experience of writing both games and business applications - but after a few weeks of trying to use this book, I've had enough.
Essentially, here's what to expect from the average chapter: 30 or 40 pages of dry as dust descriptions of various aspects of the language, mostly without any hint of why they are useful or important. The examples given along the way are mostly just 2 or three line of coding which still fail to give the slightest hint why the particular command is useful or worth remembering. Those who have previous programming experience will already know, but this is supposed to be a book for beginners, who will just be increasingly confused.
Finally, after all the many, many pages of explanations, you get a page or two of practical exercises. Alas, by this time the beginner has forgotten the reams of information already provided, having had no incentive to remember it in the first place.
My 2-star review is based on the fact that this book markets itself as being for total beginners. It isn't. If you are an experienced programmer looking to learn Python, this book MIGHT be for you. If you're a beginner looking to learn programming, this book has only one use: as a cure for insomnia.