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Customer Reviews at Amazon

I am currently looking for some programming titles.

Obviously I went to Amazon to see the reviews by different users.

Now what I found for some book is that site says that there are N number of reviews but actually there is no text for any of the reviews. Check http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/067232542X/ref=cm_cr_dp_2_1/104-3796588-6531137?v=glance&s=books&vi=customer-reviews to see what I am talking about. Any idea what's wrong here?

Also, how much one can trust Amazon customer reviews?

What are the other places where I can find honest book reviews?

and finally any suggestions for good titles on ASP.NET ?

Regards,
JD
http://jdk.phpkid.org

JD
Saturday, August 30, 2003

Looks like nothing more than an Obidos bug to me.

Reviews are less trustworthy than excerpts that they usually have.  If a book doesn't have excerpts on Amazon or somewhere on the net, that's a strike against it.  As for the reviews, they're more an insight into the reviewer than the book.  Most of the best books I have are 4-star or less.  But there is a good use for reviews; if you can click on a reviewer's name, you might find reviews for other books you hadn't heard of.  I've found a lot of incredible books this way, such as See Mips Run, Programming Language Pragmatics, etc.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Saturday, August 30, 2003

"How much one can trust Amazon customer reviews?"

People who write reviews on Amazon are motivated either by intense happiness or intense anger, generally. So you can't really trust them. People who find something mediocre but suitable are hardly ever going to review it.

"What are the other places where I can find honest book reviews?"

Friends and co-workers you trust.

"And finally any suggestions for good titles on ASP.NET ?"

Covering what subjects in specific? I've read quite a few...

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Saturday, August 30, 2003

In reviews at Amazon or any other place (Usenet!), I look for only one thing: consistent, specific, articulated problems. For example, if a book has three stars but ten comments that say "all his examples use bound controls - there's no in-depth discussion of how to use an unbound control" then if that's something of importance to me, I'll skip it.

Read the same thing often enough and you've just gotta believe it. :-)

Philo

Philo
Saturday, August 30, 2003

Thanks for comments guys, it's gonna be helpful!

Brad, I am looking for ASP.NET book for programmer who has good web programming experience (I have around 4  years of Web programming experience but it's all PHP/Perl) and who wants to know how ASP.NET is structured and how one can get to speed with it. Any suggestions from you will be really helpful. :)

JD
http://jdk.phpkid.org

JD
Saturday, August 30, 2003

Looks like a bug in their system.  I remember this happening with another book, but when I looked up that book again a day or two later the reviews became visible.

I find the reviews to be very helpful, but only if you look for specific descriptions of the issues, good and bad.  Don't pay attention to plain old "It sucks" or "It's great" messages.

T. Norman
Saturday, August 30, 2003

I liked Jeff Prosise's "Programming Microsoft.NET".  It's mostly about ASP.NET but it also covers the basics of ADO.NET, Remoting, XML, Threading, Windows Forms, etc.  It's about 700 pages plus.

If your looking for a shorter book, I liked Fritz Onion's "Essential ASP.NET".  It doesn't have as many examples as Prosise's book, but it does delve deeper into the internals of ASP.NET then Prosise's book does.  It's about 350 pages.  If I remember correctly, it doesn't have much coverage of ADO.NET or other framework topics.

I get most of my books from www.bookpool.com, where I usually save more than Amazon.

Guy Incognito
Sunday, August 31, 2003

One comment on bookpool: they have a single warehouse in Massachusetts. Unlike Amazon, which can sometimes choose a shipping location based on where you live, you always get shipping from one location with bookpool.

If you live on the west coast, a UPS Ground shipment can be a week.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Sunday, August 31, 2003

Hi Guy In*,

Thanks for the suggestions.

Brad, can you thrown in your suggestion as well?

JD

JD
Monday, September 01, 2003

I've found to Amazon reviews to be impressively good even disregarding that they are provided for tens or hundreds of thousands of items.

The best thing to do is browse some products you know and see how the reviews are.

pb
Tuesday, September 02, 2003

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