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C Programming: A Modern Approach, 2nd Edition Paperback – April 19, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0393979503 ISBN-10: 0393979504 Edition: 2nd

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C Programming: A Modern Approach, 2nd Edition + Computer Systems: A Programmer's Perspective (2nd Edition) + The C Programming Language, 2nd Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 2 edition (April 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393979504
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393979503
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

K. N. King (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley) is Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgia State University. He is the author of Modula-2: A Complete Guide and Java Programming: From the Beginning.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The explanation is very clear, and the examples are concise.
Turtleman
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn C or programming in general.
Jeffrey
The Q&A sections at the end of each chapter are very well done.
Bob Nelson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Bob Nelson on May 31, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered K.N. King's ``C Programming: A Modern Approach (Second Edition)'' from Amazon for my recent birthday. Having had more birthdays than I care to admit, this gift to myself is right up there with a Lionel train set I got for my eighth birthday (not from Amazon, of course -- it didn't exist that long ago but passengers trains sure did :)).

In this second edition, I think that KNK is now the logical heir to K&R. That's not meant as blasphemy -- Kernighan and Ritchie's still great volume is around 20 years of age and it's unlikely they'll be getting together for K&R3. The C language has undergone enough changes (with the amendment of 1994) and C99, that a ``Modern Approach'' really is needed.

There's another author familiar to readers of the comp.lang.c newsgroup for his approachable, engaging writing style. That author is a wonderful writer but doesn't let the truth get in the way of good narrative. King, though, is an equally engaging writer but is obviously passionate about correctness and adhering to the C standard. He's also meticulous about portability so that the examples are written in pure C and not some platform-specific variant.

I've the entire book and can find hardly anything even nitpick. Aside from a minor style difference about using parentheses with the ``sizeof'' operator, which King explains his rationale for doing so, that's about it.

His explanation of C99 (and the differences from C90 are clearly indicated) made me aware of some really nice features of the current standard for the language (and makes me wonder why one very notable compiler implementer hasn't yet supported C99).

In short, get this book. The Q&A sections at the end of each chapter are very well done.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Peter Seebach on November 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
Some years back, someone mentioned the first edition of this book on Usenet as a possible alternative to K&R for someone trying to learn C. I was surprised, but I got a copy of the book to find out... And he was right.

Let me get the biases out on the table first: I did technical review of this book for the 2nd edition. But... While that leaves me in a great place to be biased about it, it also means that I'm aware of just how few typos or bugs were there even in the draft versions.

This book is an excellent teaching resource; it covers the language carefully, completely, and well. However, mere clarity of communication isn't enough to make a good programming reference; you also need to have confidence that the example code works as described, that the explanations given are correct, and so on. This is one of the only books out there I feel comfortable recommending to people, without worrying that I'll end up having to correct dozens of misconceptions later.

Quite simply, this is the C book I recommend to people who want to learn C, or polish up their C. In a market full of "approachable" books which are full of errors, this book offers a combination of clarity and accuracy which is unmatched.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By helloWorld on March 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
I've read a few "language agnostic" books and a few "language-specific" books over the past 2 years. There is generally a wide schism between these two types of books. Let me summarize them here:

Language Agnostic (examples: SICP, Introduction to Algorithms, Introduction to Computer Science):

These books focus on building programming fundamentals. Yes, SICP and Intro to CS use Scheme and Python respectively, but they focus on offering you the foundations to write useful and delightful programs. These aren't "cook books:" they teach you how to think through and understand problems and how to solve them with computers. Most notably, there tends to be many exercises at the end of the chapters that enhance your understanding of the material. These books tend to be long and dense, but well worth the effort.

Language-Specific Books (examples: Clojure Programming, Definitive Guide to Drupal):

I've learned to loathe these kinds of books. While they give you an overview of the features, they really never go through how to combine and mix the parts to make you more comfortable with the language or framework. The thing I hate the most is the incessant language-bashing and chatting up how incredible the languages are. I'm not saying they aren't worth the money, as they usually are, but they tend to only be a starting point, leaving many questions unanswered, and all the talk about "Doing it the hard way or the Drupal Way" and "Clojure raising your game.. and oh yeah, Python, Ruby, and Java sucks" takes away valuable real-estate to get you on your way to confidently use the language when you are done reading it and ultimately distracts me from the learning material. If I wanted to be indoctrinated, I wouldn't spend $30 for a book; I'd read a blog for free.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Skyward on May 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
There is no other way to put it. If you want to learn C programming, this is the only book you need. Don't bother mixing bits from different books or sources. Just get a copy of the 2nd edition and read it in the presented order, from chapter 1 and move on progressively. The explanation is very clear and the questions actually encourage you to find the right reasoning and develop your thinking skills, so you "think" like a programmer. I didn't know anything about programming and this book marks a landmark in my life, as it allowed me to truly appreciate programming and the power of code by being a developer.

I would have expected a 3rd edition by now, containing the minor fixed errata with more questions and examples (it's been 4 years since the 2nd edition was released), but the 2nd edition is very well presented and until the 3rd edition comes out (probably 2013 or later), this book is the best in its class. Buy it and you'll never regret it.
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