Customer Reviews: Programming in C (3rd Edition)
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on March 23, 2005
I was still left scratching my head after having read twice and attempting the problems in K&R. Literally, I was excited as I read Kochan's book. His presentation is so clear, with the right balance of explanation and examples without being too wordy/vague/simplistic? (SAMS C in 21 Days) or too terse (K&R).

This book is an excellent introduction to C language (covering all the fundamentals and then some) with some consideration on good programming practices. I'm happy to see they've released a new edition.

After Kochan definitely consider any or all of the following:

C Traps and Pitfalls, Expert C Programming, C Companion, C Puzzle Book, and Memory as a Programming Concept in C/C++. Cheers!
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on August 28, 2004
As someone who is very familiar with programming logic using VBA but who has never stepped foot near C or C++, i found this book to be a great book. Technical books can quickly turn into fire kindling if there details that are not fully explained, but so far I have not found a single character of code that is not explained in the book. The book also manages to not be a "Bible" on C, it only presents key programming tools and common, practical programs. An awesome book for both beginners and those who are familiar with programming and simply need the C vocabulary
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on March 19, 1999
I found this book indispensable both to learn C and to learn a way of thinking about C. The author uses a well selected and deliberately sequenced set of program examples to thoroughly demonstrate what's going on. These programs are developed and modified from one chapter to the next to show different features of the language. I even have better insight, now, into a few mathematics concepts that I've always had trouble with because of the author's excellent presentation of these concepts using C language -- truly amazing. The writing style is logical, well-paced and consistent -- I never found myself trying to guess what the author meant -- which is pretty incredible with most computer books these days. And after reading the book in its entirety, I was able to see that the whole work was planned to succeed by the thoughtful cohesion of supporting elements (like a good program) rather than thrown together to succeed by sheer force of volume (like, say, a Microsoft product?). The best chapter on C functions that I've read anywhere. Possibly the best introductory book on C in my opinion.
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on August 9, 2005
After having unsuccessfully searched for the perfect C tutorials and also K&R C, I can confidently report that this is by far the best introductory text to the C language. You can think of it as K&R in a truly tutorial mode. Very complete coverage of language features and just the right amount of instructional aid without being too terse on the one hand (K&R) and without being to plodding and wordy on the other (Deitel and others). You should find it as a thorough yet relatively quick read. Kochan has a very nice writing style which makes the tutorial also very enjoyable and rewarding. The example programs are short and sweet; very similar to the kinds of programs found in K&R. There are also lots of appropriately challenging programming exercises at the end of each chapter and half the answers are available on the author's website ([...] Another good feature is that the tutorial is arranged by subject matter so you can use it also as a user-friendly reference in addition to K&R.
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on October 7, 2004
I suggest this book to anyone who wants to, or are thinking of, delving into C - no matter how deep!

What I love about this book is that it's good for a non-motivated person like me as well, because the exercises at the end of each chapter really make me wanting to finish them up (sort of like how teacher used to make us do it in high school.) If you think you already know the material of a chapter, then just skip to the exercises and try to see if you can do those - if you can, then just continue on. If you can't, then simply check over the chapter again to re-test your knowledge.
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on December 8, 1999
Over the years I read over 30 books on computer programming and this is the absolute best computer book ever written. Anyone looking to learn how to programming in C should start reading this book. Then read the K&R standard reference and that will be all you will ever need. No amount of praise for this book is too much - it is just that good! Its a shame Kochan hasn't written more. Boy how I use to wish he'd write a Programming in C++ book.
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on December 8, 2011
I recently started programming in C again after not having done so in over a decade, and found that I needed to relearn it. I therefore needed a text at the appropriate level to lead me at my chosen pace.

I'd previously purchased three texts -- The C Programming Language by Kernighan and Richie (the K&R), C Primer Plus by Stephen Prata, and this one, Programming in C by Stephen Kochan -- but I needed to choose one as my main study text. Like Goldilocks, I tried all three texts to find that the K&R was too terse, the Prata was too verbose, but the Kochan was just right, so that's the one I chose.

The Kochan is a well-written text, helping one navigate the vagaries of C with the right level of guidance, but without excessive hand-holding. Consequently, readers are often exposed to reasonably advanced topics early on in a cursory manner, as preparation for a more advanced treatment later in the text.

The text not only covers syntax, but provides clear explanations of usage, accompanied by appropriate examples to further illuminate the concepts. Sometimes, however, readers are expected to connect the dots, but given the logical structure of the text, this serves to enhance learning.

The pace of the Kochan is more relaxed than that of the frenzied K&R, but brisker than that of the soporific Prata. This pace is appropriate for beginning to intermediate readers. Absolute beginners will probably opt for the hand-holding of the Prata, while advanced readers will almost-certainly prefer the K&R.

My only gripe with this text is the absence of answers to the exercises. No answers are provided in the text. However, answers can be found on Stephen Kochan's new website at [...], but only to odd-numbered questions. He says this was a compromise between the demands of teachers, who wanted no answers, and students, who wanted all answers provided.

As a side note, I also bought a Kindle copy of this book as a complement to the printed text so that my text could accompany me wherever I go. I'm thoroughly enjoying this book, and I highly recommend it.
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on May 18, 2005
if not the best computer-related book I've read. The author's unassuming and eloquent discourse makes reading the book a very interesting proposition. The manner in which the topics are covered are absolutely great and very intuitive. The books is absolutely well structured and well supported. It was surely a surprise to find a computer-programming book where the author was candid and unambiguous. As a programmer coming from Java I found this book to be quite helpful and straight forward. The chapter on pointers and references does a superb job at getting the reader to understand the concept and to be able to apply it. The appendices are also great with lots of handy information. This is one of the few computer books that I actually dare to recommend buying without any qualms.
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on March 24, 1999
This book is a comprehensive, extremely easy read by Stephen Kochan. I recommend it for any early programmer, and it serves as useful reference material for any experienced programmer. Readers are taken step by step through a learning process. They are introduced to new material constantly, and it is well explained so no one should have trouble getting through it.
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on August 6, 2004
READ THIS BOOK and learn how it's supposed to be done! As for programming books, I've wasted money on some 'stinkers' over the past 20 years, and I've browsed through many more in bookstores that I quickly realized weren't worth buying. This book, however, is not only the best introduction to C programming, it may be the most well-written programming book ever published. It's a step by step guide with concise examples that are clearly explained. No previous programming knowledge is necessary. I must point out, however, that I'm reviewing the version from 1988 (before 'ANSI' was added to the title... then removed again). I'm sure the current 2004 version is even better. I just ordered Kochans' book "Programming in Objective C" without reading a word of it and I'm not worried at all that it was a waste of money. Thanks Stephen.
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