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Showing 1-10 of 281 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 396 reviews
on August 29, 2014
I know a 1600 page book seems almost crazy but, before you start looking elsewhere (as I did) for something shorter, let me try to explain why this 1600 page book may actually end up saving you a lot of time and making you a better Python programmer in the end.

First of all, I've read many of the other well reviewed, up-to-date, Python books (yes, all of them were shorter), and being new to Python, I ended up spending most of my time searching online trying to fill in the gaps that the other authors failed to fill in. With this book you don't need to reference anything else because the author does a great job of answering every question. You can tell he's dedicated his life to teaching Python and knows what problems his readers will run into.

While this books is long, it doesn't feel long. It's not just page after page of code samples. Each concept comes with a few code samples and is followed up by very well-written, clear explanations so it's actually a fairly quick read (for a 1600 page book). Does he repeat himself as other reviewers have noted? Yes, but it feels like when he does it's purposeful.

Even though you often hear that Python is easy to learn, it's an incredibly deep language that requires time and effort. I believe that by having read this book that I'm starting out far ahead of other new Python programmers, I appreciate the language even more and I'm very comfortable even with Python's advanced topics.
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on January 22, 2015
As far as books are concerned, this is the final word on Python 3. It should not be used as a tutorial for learning Python -- there are better and more concise books for that. But whenever you want clarification, or extended discussion, or more examples, then you have to use Lutz's "Learning Python." The price for this is verbosity -- 1600 pages worth. If you are serious about Python, buy the book, put it on your shelf and refer to it when the terse explanations in other books don't make sense. For example, when no-one bothers to define exactly what an "iterable object" is. Or you can't find enough examples of generator functions. Other than as a reference, when you have a bit of time, browse through the book. With regard to Python, it's in a league of its own
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on September 13, 2017
This book is overwritten and exhausting to read. It's not an intro to programming, but rather a bloated intro to the language's objects and syntax. At least a third of the text is spent referring to later chapters, reminding me about earlier chapters, explaining differences between Python versions, and explaining why the current topic is beyond the scope of the book, but still being discussed anyway. It's verbosely written in an ironically un-Python-like way.
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on May 30, 2016
I've never seen another book like it. So much detail it boggles the mind at times. I dunno, maybe that is just a product of the subject material. Regardless, the author really knows his stuff. At times I'll have to read a section 2 or 3 times to completely absorb what the author is getting at. Short of taking a class, I don't know a better way to learn the details of the python programming language than this monster 2+" thick book. I sorta wish the book was broken down into two parts or bindings.

I dig the book, but at times I shake my head at the way the author provides so much detail.
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on February 12, 2017
I really like this book. It's extremely thorough. May not be what you want if you want a concise reference. However, if you really want to know everything about Python, this books is for you.
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on June 12, 2015
Although I felt quite comfortable using Python; I had purchased this book in hopes of getting a more thorough walkthrough of the language itself.
I'm very pleased to say that I got a lot more than I asked for.

This book is extremely comprehensive, and reading it from end-to-end is probably the best head-start anyone could get when it comes to learning Python.
The contents goes very in-depth on everything from very specific string formatting codes to the more advanced concepts such as contexts and metaclasses. Everything is presented so smoothly though, that the read feels very light despite the enormous volume of subject matter.

The only mention I would have is that the book does NOT contain any theory regarding architecture and design of systems, and NO references to anything beyond the language and frequently-used standard library modules. The book is more about the language itself than what or how you can/should do with it.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to everyone wanting to learn the ins-and-outs of the Python language, with the mention that the content is plenty so a full readthrough would take a month or two depending on how much spare time you have.
It's also really useful for re-reading chapters you might feel you have forgotten if you want a gentler read that what the Python manuals have to offer.
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on November 19, 2016
Python is not difficult language.
But this book makes Python look like very difficult language.

I would not recommend this book for beginners.
This book is for the expert programmer who has a strong programming background in other language like C, C++, etc.

I am a software engineer with more than 15 years experience in all the language except Python.
At first I tried to read every line of this book. But I could not progress.
Later I just read the example codes and bold characters. And I could read all the book in less than three days and feel quite familiar with Python now.

A good reference for expert programmer but not good for beginner
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on August 31, 2015
If you like big thick books that deal with a lot of details, this book is great. I happen to belong to this group of people.
However, if you like books that quickly advance to learning with a type of hands on approach, this book may not be the right one.
I am not a professional programmer although I have done my fair share of it and wanted a book to get into Python, but I also wanted
more than just the bare essential or did not want to be forced to buy 5-6 books to learn all that matters most to me and this book
is definitely useful to someone like me who likes encyclopedic books.

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on January 5, 2016
This book is the largest reference book I own on page count. That said, it does an excellent job of explaining Python to the novice programmer. I am looking for a programming language that allows me to search hundreds of Cisco IOS text and IPT csv files and provide various string returns from the search. The language was highly recommended by several of my coworkers that focus on route/switch and I intend on learning it for work related tasks to speed up data mining. Chapters 1 and 2 provide a comprehensive intro to the language and the actual scripting starts in chapter 3. In parallel with my reading I am also writing a "Cliff Notes" style doc as a quick reference with coding examples. Practicing the scripts while taking notes is an absolute must for this book, as there is way to much content to try and memorize it front to back. I'll update my review after completing the book, but so far so great.
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on December 31, 2014
I am new to Python, but my company uses it in many of our products. Since I provide support for those products, I feel compelled to learn Python thoroughly, even though my support role does not require any programming expertise. This 1400+ page book is really everything one can ask for if the goal is to really "learn" Python.

I have taken a programming course or two without gaining an understanding of what the next steps would be to become a programmer or developer in that language. With this book, Mr. Lutz explains exactly what I will learn if I fully commit to reading and understanding this book. I am glad that I read the preface as well as the first chapter before deciding whether or not to commit to reading the whole, darned thing. The reward for doing that is to achieve an understanding of what it will really mean to learn Python; what exercises I will need to complete, and what other steps I should take on my journey to fully understand how to program in Python.

Mr. Lutz' writing style is clear, insightful and methodical without being tedious. I cannot say I am excited to read 1400+ pages. But I am looking forward to trusting this author as I journey towards becoming a Python programmer.
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