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Most Useful Perl Book, 28. August 1998
If this book has a flaw, it's that it's got too much information.
Well, maybe I should take that back. There's not too much information. I wish there were more. But as is the case with cookbooks, finding the right recipe is not a simple matter unless you are familiar with the book.
But that shouldn't be a significant problem with readers of Perl Cookbook, because all Perl programmers great and small will want to take the large tome and wade around in it, getting their feet wet in the various sections, seeing what it has to offer.
At first the sheer size of the book is intimidating: over 750 pages containing 20 chapters, each with 11 to 23 recipes. But each chapter is broken down into a logical topic, and the reader can get a feel for the book by choosing one topic of interest and digesting one recipe at a time.
This book is indeed for all types of programmers. Though beginners likely have the most to gain, its recipes are often useful for the experienced, and even expert, programmer who doesn't want to redo what has been done or rethink what has been thunk. I doubt there exists a Perl programmer who won't value it.
Perl Cookbook is the most useful Perl book ever written, and it is presented in a comfortable style, carefully explaining the recipes and pointing the readers to resources where they can find more information about the topic at hand. While a Perl programmer can get by without this book -- and in the nearly 11 years since perl was first released, many have done just that, thank you -- he shouldn't have to.