C Programming Language 2nd Edition, Kindle Edition
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Yet despite this, I believe there are alternative books which would have made the learning experience at first much easier.
If you have zero experience with programming or C in general, C Programming Absolute Beginner's Guide by Greg Perry and Dean Miller would be the best place to start. It does not get any simpler than this and the book is written with this in mind.
Head First C by David Griffiths is another recommendation which is beginner friendly. Plenty of visual representations with a sense of humor to keep you interested. Straight forward and easy to follow.
K&R manages to teach an entire programming language in but a few lessons. As they say, C is a small language: it doesn't need a 1000 page book! Short, easy-to-understand, and right to the point, this books teaches the syntax of C, the usage of C, common paradigms of C, and so on. Possibly confusing practices ( while((int c = getchar()) != EOF) ) are well-explained, and you come away with a fantastic foundation of this language.
The exercise are fantastic, and some are quite difficult, forcing you to think and apply yourself. My one complaint is that solutions are not provided, but these are easily found online.
Even once you've read this book, it can be a fantastic reference. There are tomes out there dedicated to C reference, those may be better for, say, writing a kernel. But for most people, this book works fantastically.
I cannot recommend this book enough for learning C.
I used this book numerous times throughout college and learned quite a few tricks in C from it.
Very good for anyone - beginner or expert.
If you are planning to work on C then must buy.
I have international version, us version (I don't know why two...but have to buy other when first one was not accessible). I also have Kindle edition...which I use the most now.
Not only are the authors well qualified, but they communicate very effectively in concise and clear language. The authors do not pander or condescend to readers. They make no claims to teach C in only one day; they actually expect readers to have a basic grasp on various programming concepts. The authors show an earnest desire to help programmers learn the language. The code examples provided are very helpful and exceptionally elegantly coded. As other reviewers have noted, they help instill good coding habits from the start.
K&R2 provides a helpful introduction to programmers, which gives an overview of what the C programming language is (and is not). The introduction explains C's typing system and basic features. The meat of the book is well organized into chapters that sequentially build upon previous chapters. Chapter 5, "Pointers and Arrays," for example, does a great job at elucidating a difficult computer science concept. A lot of people are well aware of nasty bugs deriving from using pointers and arrays, but the authors explain pointers and arrays in a very clear way, which draws the important distinctions between them.
After the main tutorial chapters, the appendix follows in an amazingly compact, yet thorough reference, which includes a C grammar, overview of the standard libraries, and more. Oftentimes, this reference is the most convenient and concise source for information (note that the C Standard is *the* authoritative source on the C specification). For example, the section covering the "*printf" and "*scanf" conversion specifiers is extremely helpful and much easier to digest than most man pages.
For such a relatively small text, it's amazing how thorough it is. Although it's no substitute for having a copy of the ISO C Standard at hand, it's still an indispensable reference to have. Also, since C99 has yet to be fully implemented on many common implementations, developers still look to the ANSI C standard for ensuring their code is as portable as possible.
I feel K&R2 is the best reference for learning C; it has been considered canon for all these years for a reason.