One (though hardly the only) remarkable thing about the K&R book
is indeed its thinness; it is a great book
not despite, but rather (in part) because of
. It is the epitome of pithiness
, and not at all in any negative sense, either -- the book packs a huge amount of information, but it presents its truths simply
, without decoration or repetition or mind-numbing chapter-end summaries. It is a book to be read carefully
, and several times, because if you miss or aren't ready for any of its many pieces of keen
advice when you pass over them, you don't get a second chance.
The thinness of K&R is of course in marked contrast to just about every other "modern" programming book on the market. (The briefest of glances at the software section of a technical bookstore reveals thicker and thicker books on narrower and narrower topics.)
Rather amusingly, a year or two ago Prentice-Hall started printing K&R on thicker paper, so that (although it contains the exact same number of pages) it now doesn't get quite so lost on the shelves next to all the bloatware books...