Style: I'm embarrassed to admit that I laughed out loud at some of the jokes embedded in the code examples. The writing is clear and entertaining (why are Lisp books better in this respect than those of of other languages?).Audience: This should probably not be the first programming book that you read, but it could easily be the second. Graham describes Common Lisp in detail, but assumes no prior knowledge of the language. This is a good book for people learning Lisp independently, for any application. Intermediate-level programmers will benefit from seeing Graham's Lisp style, which emphasizes building utilities to create a 'language' suitable for your problem.Organization: The strongest point. Examples are keyed in well with the text: binary search trees in the data structures chapter, string substitution in the I/O chapter, ray tracing in the numbers chapter, etc. Okay, sure, there's nothing fancy there; obviously writers choose relevant examples. The... read more
Great book on Lisp
By A Customer - February 11, 2000
I think this book is terrific. It covers a great deal of ANSI Common Lisp, in a very concise way, and includes some well-chosen, realistic, medium-scale examples. The writing is clear, clever, and often amusing. Most of all, it really gets me excited about the language! Graham does a great job of explaining how all of the language features work to change your approach to programming, and debunking a lot of the myths you hear about the Lisp language.This book is not for everyone; you ought to have experience programming before reading this book. It doesn't hand-hold, leading step-by-step. You will have to pause every few pages to collect your thoughts and try things out. One or two of the sample routines have bugs, at least in my printing. The book is *quite dense* compared to a lot of the 1000+ page language books you see. I think that is a strong point, as it is easy to carry around, even including a capsule reference to the language. Lisp is quite different in style... read more
Good Book. Pricey. Bad binding.
By Thomas Rowe - September 8, 2004
This book is a very good introduction to Lisp, as others have adequately explained. However, since it was first published the quantity of good free Lisp reading material on the web has increased. See <u>Practical Common Lisp</u> (http://www.gigamonkeys.com/book/) as an example. The $47 expenditure might not be necessary if you just want to learn lisp.
My main complaint is the binding on the book. I have not put this book under any unusual stress and the spine is already starting to fall apart after a few weeks of use. This unacceptable for reference book that I would like to use well into the future.