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C Programming: A Modern Approach (Second Edition)

Comments from Readers

Comments about the first edition can be found here. To add your own comments, please email me.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the second edition of C Programming and I look forward to using it in future courses. —Karen Reid, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto

The second edition of King's C Programming improves on an already impressive base, and is the book I recommend to anyone who wants to learn C. —Peter Seebach, moderator, comp.lang.c.moderated

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 passenger 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 read 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. The exercises and programming projects help to amplify the material presented. And King's examples will teach you more about barcodes and ISBN numbers than you ever thought possible.

If you can appreciate the work of a fine craftsman in film such as Martin Scorsese, you'll find that King is of that caliber in the realm of lucidly dealing with this technical subject. —Bob Nelson

I have recently acquired a copy of the 2nd edition of "C Programming: A Modern Approach" and I wanted to take the time to provide some early feedback.

So far I can say that this is by far the most thorough, accurate, and carefully thought out book on C I have ever read, possibly even the best programming book I have read. The full coverage of C99 is refreshing and I like how the C99-specific features and discussions are neatly pointed out while still being integrated with the rest of the text. I appreciate the removal of the C++ section from the first edition and think the space was much better utilized in the second edition. I also appreciate the modern coverage of newer operating systems and gcc while not focusing too strongly on any one product or platform and clearly pointing out areas that are specific to one platform. The Q&A at the end of each chapter sets this book apart and the in-depth discussions and lucid explanations found therein really help solidify a deeper understanding of the language without overwhelming the novice with minutiae in the main text. The thoughtful use of short but meaningful examples and exercises engage the reader and are much more enlightening than the boring and contrived versions found in many other books. The great effort you have put into the revised edition is evident and I hope it experiences the success it deserves. —Robert Gamble

C Programming: A Modern Approach, 2nd Ed., is an excellent work. Solid coverage of all the topics. —G. Mohammed Gaffar

I have enjoyed teaching and learning C with your book. I always wonder how a human being can write such a super excellent book as yours whenever I read your book. Every topic and all the technical explanation are just appropriate and proper and proportionate. Your book is wonderful and marvelous. Thank you very much for making such an excellent book on C. —Keum-Young Sung, School of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Handong Global University

I have read the book this summer. One chapter every day! It was the best textbook I have ever read (including during my own studies). —Rasmus Ulslev Pedersen, Department of Informatics, Copenhagen Business School

I am teaching myself C from the second edition of your book, "C Programming: A Modern Approach." I have found it to be an excellent introduction thus far. Many thanks! —Jeremy Weissmann

I have been using your "C Programming A Modern Approach" textbook in my C Programming sections. I am enjoying it very much and much prefer it over its predecessor and it is receiving much more favorable reviews from the students! —Char Parker, Computer Information Systems, Muskegon Community College

I recently purchased the second edition of your C programming text, before that I started learning C from the first edition of your text. My friend loaned his copy to me with very high recommendation. He was right, it is a very user friendly book. I learned programming using Qbasic 20 years ago, and had learned some Pascal on my own, that was almost 20 years ago. When I picked up your text, I totally forgotten everything about what I learned, hence I was a total beginner. Your book does a very good job making the beginner programmer to feel at ease with the C language, and your method of explanations is not overly verbose and extremely clear. Thank you for writing a great text. I find it fun, challenging and yet easy to read. —Seth Chi Shing

I wanted you to know that your book is great! I am amazed at what an easy read it is and how quickly and concisely I am picking up the C language. I can understand why so many schools use your book. I have recommended this book to a buddy and he will also be buying a copy. Thank you for taking the time and effort to write such a great book. I wish all computer text books were this good! —Joshua J. Doyon

I just have received the 2nd edition of your book and I just cannot wait to read it as never before. Before this book, I have spent money on 4 other books by different authors, so obviously I have a very good base to make comparisons. Your book is the best among not only the books I currently have but also among the books that I often scan through whenever I visit my university's bookstore. I now have realized how wasteful I once was spending my scholarship on other books! Given the quality of your book, the price of your book is too cheap, simply because, at least in my situation, I have received a lot more than I paid. Other books I bought were really bad for beginners and beyond and the only thing that is good about them is empty promises in the Preface! I have learnt so much from reading your book and so many of the concepts that I have been struggling to comprehend through other books are all now so crystal-clear to me.

I have been reading through the first 5 chapters of your book. You take care of every single detail and you are an expert at explaining complex concepts. Your book is so thoroughly and clearly written. I also like the style and organization of your book: You are so effective at using bold letters, indentation, etc... so that even as a total beginner as like who learn C by self-study I can easily distinguish which are the main points or which parts are to be taken away with. These features can hardly be found in my other 4 books.

Thanks a lot for your book. I am an economics/finance student with no programming experience and I can say that you as the author give far more than the price of the book suggests. For the same price, I have learnt a lot from your book than from other books I have bought so far. I also bought "The C Programming Language" by K&R, and this together with your book have given the learners much more than the price suggest. —Hoang Luong

Your book, so far, is very clear and the exercises really are a blessing for those trying to learn on their own. Keep up the fabulous work. —Daniel Wilson

I am writing in from Bangalore, India after getting my hands on your excellent book, C Programming: A Modern Approach Second Edition. I was told by many that this is the best available book on C Programming right now, and I can agree having read the book. Thanks again for the great book! —K. Shreyas Hegde

I'm using C Programming: A Modern Approach (2nd edition) to study C by myself. I've been enjoying your book a lot! Congratulations for your work! —Felipe Granja

I am really pleased to see the contents and organization of your C language book, which I just ordered for my Fall course (2 sections): COP2221 C Programming. You did a great job and I am sure my students will also like it! —Bhanu Prasad, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Florida A&M University

I bought your Java and C books — I like them very much: the concise style and examples you use in these books are very understandable. In C, especially the chapters that deal with pointers are very understandable to me. —Giovanni Suter


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