Imagine going to the awesome javasoft website and compressing it into 500-odd pages. This is Java in a Nutshell. As a programmer who needs classes and methods at my fingertips, I don't want to be forever logged into the Sun site to get hold of code. For me using VJava, DB2, Lotus Notes etc, to keep Netscape open permanently slows me down. I want to see code in concise paper form for perusing and for adding post-it notes to useful pages. This book is a good physical size, about the size of a good novel, and thus is refreshingly concise. You genuinely can put it on your desk without it becoming a 'conversation piece'. It doesn't come with code cheats. For that I use and recommend 'The Complete Reference' which is the size of a squashed brick. Four stars because IMHO, this reference could do without a 'What is Java' introduction (even though it's a small part of the book) - it's better done in any textbook.