I picked up Learning Perl with very little programming experience (only having completed a compulsory Visual Basic course in high school), and found it easy to read and understand. The first chapter, A stroll Through Perl, is perhaps the biggest flaw in the book. Rather than introducing the capabilities of Perl (which I think is what the author's intended), it bogs the new reader down in detail and seems to set forth an avalanche of cryptic code at you. It was so bad that, thinking that Chapter 1 was an indication of the rest of the book (ie it was all too cryptic and meant for seasoned programmers), I set the book aside for a few months. I came back to the book when a friend of mine picked it up, and, after skimming over Chapter 1, was pleasantly suprised. The rest of the book is easy to read and understand, though at times a little dense for the new programmer, and immediately useful. The examples are good illustrations of implementation ideas for concepts described in a chapter, and the excercises at the end of each chapter are good indications of what you've learnt. The book introduces new concepts smoothly and quickly integrates them into existing material, and culminates in an especially interesting and useful chapter on CGI (which is really what I wanted to use Perl for). Overall, it's a great book, even for people who are new to programming: with a little dedication you'll be able to blaze through the chapters and become proficient at Perl basics. Some organisational errors let it down and make the introductory pages unjustifiably daunting for those new to programming, but other than that, it was a very satisfying and self-contained tutorial for Perl users.