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The Joy of Clojure: Thinking the Clojure Way - Book Review

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Published by: Manning Publications
ISBN: 1935182641

Reviewer Ratings




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One Minute Bottom Line

This review is based on an MEAP version of the book, which means that it is a work in progress and not all of the chapters are available yet. So, my remarks might not be relevant to the final version. Even though the entire book is not available yet, the chapters that are out are good and offer practical and useful information for those who are willing to learn clojure and understand 'the clojure way'. 


Clojure is a LISP implementation running on the JVM. Joy of Clojure by Michael Fogus and Chris Houser gives a thorough introduction into this wonderful language and offers a solid paradigm for understanding the new (to those having experience only with OO) paradigm used in the language.

I was able to read chapters 1-7, 9 and 12. Out of the 'not yet there' chapters, I particularily want to read chapters 10 (Concurrency) and 11 (Performance). The table of contents is:

  1. The Clojure Philosophy
  2. Dipping Our Toes Into the Pool
  3. On Scalars
  4. Composite Data Types
  5. Being Lazy and Set in Your Ways
  6. Functional Programming Idioms
  7. Macros
  8. Combining Data and Code
  10. Concurrency / Mutation Idioms
  11. Performance
  12. Clojure Will Change the Way You Program

The authors explained their theory well and gave an excellent introduction. Unlike most technical books, reading "Joy of Clojure" might actually require the reader to use a dictionary, as the lexical range used by the authors is broad and might be a barrier. Structuring is done well. This book is rich in examples, code samples and explanations. However, I wish there was more on snippets' output - such would be helpful for those who have never been exposed to an LISP. This may change as additional chapters are written. 

An other thing that I would like to see corrected before the book is complete is the typographical mistakes. There is bad formatting, wrong fonts in various places, etc.

Wrapping up, I think Joy of Clojure has no disqualifying weaknesses at this point. I can only hope the authors keep the same quality throughout the missing chapters and that the typographic glitches are fixed. I am looking forward to reading the complete version - surely, once complete, it will deserve a new look!
Published at DZone with permission of its author, Andrzej Grzesik.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Alexandru Repede replied on Wed, 2010/09/01 - 12:18pm

how can i get those chapters and read them even if they are in beta state ?

Andrzej Grzesik replied on Wed, 2010/09/01 - 3:36pm

You can buy MEAP access here:

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