Most helpful positive review
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A good intro to Python for novices
on December 29, 2011
Matt clearly knows his Python. He has peppered the book with helpful tips that compelled me to whip out my Python interpreter to experiment. Many of the tips were very handy, even for a semi-experienced Python programmer such as myself.
Matt is pleasingly frank in his recommendations to avoid certain approaches, and after reading the book, I feel like I have a better eye for assessing how "Pythonic" something is. In fact, now that I have finished the book, I can look back on Python code I wrote before reading the book, and critique the heck out of it. Prior to reading this book, my Python code looked a lot like my C++ code, which is just a shame. This book can help inoculate you against such behavior.
The book reads smoothly and quickly. Matt is very careful to keep his explanations succinct and clear, such that you don't feel like you're reading a college text book or a reference manual. Even still, the book does contain a high information density.
If you can already crank out Python list comprehensions and lambda expressions, this is probably not the book for you. If you are an experienced programmer and want to learn Python, this is a fast way to start. If you are a total programming novice, this may be a good way to begin, but I'm not a great judge for this audience.
The current edition has a smattering of typos that I suspect will be corrected in future versions, but they don't impact the book's readability (unless you are a complete Grammar Nazi).