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on 3 August 2017
If you're worried that such an outdated book might not be a good introduction to C.. think again. This book isn't for people new to programming, just new to C, but this is an exciting relic even for modern day programmers. If you've ever used linux and specifically the linux terminal, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that you'll be reimplementing some of the tools you may already be familiar with in linux. The guys that brought you the C language and the Unix operating system provide a thorough introduction to C as it was when it became the language of choice for operating systems and given how little C truly has changed in the past few decades, you'll manage to follow the examples with ease.

This is a good book if you're interested in C, and a great book if you combine that with a strong interest in Linux. Otherwise, you might look elsewhere for a more modern approach to C programming. You won't find much guidance in the way of developing large software projects in C, but playing around and implementing command line tools is all here.
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on 13 May 2016
I was handed this book (ok - then I had to get my mother to pay for it) back in 1981 when I was first exposed to UNIX and computers in my one-of-a-kind high school in Massachusetts. Previously I had been learning logo but I really wanted to know how computers work and the C/UNIX combination is a really good way to go about it.

I am rereading the book now because I just bought it for my daughter who just completed her first year of programming classes for college in the States using C++ (amazingly enough) but who will be learning C next year so she can "learn how computers actually work".

It's hard to overstate just how good this book is. It's written by computer scientists who also grok programming, by one of the creators of the language itself. It contains countless useful bits of information you can use as a reference the rest of your life. I used to interview supposed C programmers by asking them the simple question: "Do you know how to implement strcmp or strcpy" and if they had ever read this book, the answer would always be yes. And if you do know how those are implemented, you are well on your way to understanding how computers do what they do, how amazing it all is.

From 35+ years ago I can remember that from this book you will learn how strcmp works, how to write a simple memory allocator, how to implement printf, a beautifully simple implementation of quick sort, and how to write the stdio library, and many others. These things have all helped me be a better than average programmer with a lower average IQ than many of the people I have worked with in Silicon Valley over the years.

It is a beautiful example of concise, accurate writing.

And for me it also brings back incredibly fond memories of my high school years and the excitement that has continued ever since.
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on 12 January 2014
The original book by the people who wrote the language. If you want to understand the language, especially the way you should think about using it, then you must read this book. I'm a professional technical author. I was once asked to rewrite this book. The only areas I could improve upon were offering an analogy that you can think of "L values" as the memory Locations, and "R values" as the Real values that are stored in the L value locations. (An explanation that should be clear when you read the section on Pointers. -- This is an absolute must have book for anyone learning or programming in C.
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on 26 November 2015
I am an avid programmer as I love game development but I wanted to learn the core mechanics of programming and as such I knew that I had to learn a low-level language. I am definitely not read for assembly so C was the next best thing. This book is just number 1. Numero Uno. The very best when it comes to the C programming language. Not only this but it came in a very good state with no bends or creases.
Thank you so much.
I feel as though with my understanding of C I am making great leaps with my game development skills.
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on 30 August 2014
K&R is THE original Programming 'bible' of the PC/Unix age IMO.

Dated? Maybe!
The best C Programming tutorial? Maybe / Maybe not!
A Classic IT book? Certainly!
Should it be in your Programming book collection? DEFINITELY!

I believe that NO professional Windows / Unix / Web programmer should be without a copy of this book (or, i believe, a passing knowledge of C) if only to realise what you owe these two guys as far modern programming Languages like Java, C++ and C#, and your career are concerned!

OK, I admit it, I'm a fan!
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on 3 May 2014
This is, as of 2014, over 25 years old (and over 35 years old if you count its first edition), but there is still no better reference guide to C than this book. It is written in a clear and concise way, covers everything you should ever need to know and goes into just the right level of detail to make it by far the absolute best book available on C (with the obvious exceptions of the changes made in C99 and C11, but that can be attributed to its age and not the quality of this book).

Would I recommend this book to someone just starting out to learn the basics off programming? Probably not; the book makes no point in hiding that readers should at least know the basic fundamentals of programming before attempting to read this book, and for those readers I would recommend "C All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies", another truly excellent book on C. But, even for novice readers, it is still significantly better than the majority of other books available, and for slightly more advanced readers completely unbeatable.

There's a reason this book served as the absolute standard on C for many years - the late Dennis Ritchie wrote the language in the first place, not just this book, and I wholeheartedly believe he left behind one of the greatest legacies in Computer Science. If you don't already own this, I can't recommend it highly enough.
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on 27 May 2016
This is surely the classic C book. I bought this one because I lent my original copy to someone else and they liked it so much that I didn't get it back!
In 260 pages the authors explain exactly how C can be used to write powerful but compact programs in a language in which it is possible to do literally anything.

The fact that the book is relatively brief is a huge advantage and is a pleasant change from the enormous volumes currently on offer about C++.

I recommend this book to anyone learning C.
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on 15 January 2018
I bought this book not so much for learning programming but to get my hands on a piece of computer science history,since the principles in this book underpins so much of what we do today, but it has quickly become my reference book for helping me with difficult coding problems.
What an awesome, lucid, masterful book!
Dennis Ritchie is clearly a genius.
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on 6 February 2016
Purchase replacement as I lost the first. It's a book by the creator of the C language and, therefore, a must. Personal opinion.

However, I do have a considerable collection of C and C++ books.

That's the beauty of Amazon, you can purchase a whole library of books without it costing you the earth.
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on 22 August 2011
The C Programming Language is well known book for learning C. Not much can I say, beside the repeated praises. The book is an excelent introdutory book, the authors guide you through the C language in a consistent manner, from the basics (e.g., loop control, function definition, etc) trhough more advanced subjects (pointer manipulation, structure definition, etc).
Throughout the book the authors take care of giving good advices in specific subjects, to prevent you from doing some well known mistakes in the future, which says much about the care the authors gave while writing an introductory book.

Full of good examples, examples that are simple of understanding in nature, but not simplified (stupified) to the extent of not giving any learning base.

Also, in general, the exercices are challenging and well thought.

So I would recommend this book anytime for anyone trying to learn C, and trying to learn it WELL and with a strong/good foundation base.
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