For the descriptions and clarity of the methods and classes, it is a good book to have to hand.
This is actually a difficult book to review. On one hand, it is very well written with all of the information clearly set out, the examples show how to compile the source (something lacking in most books of this type) and above all, the layout of the chapters is logical. On the other, I'm not sure the book knows who it is aimed at.
I'll explain what I mean by that.
In the early days post standard in C++, a lot of books were 'updated' to take into account the changes brought about by the standard. They still remained the same books with a nod to the standard. Some even were C books with
iostreamadded and they were obvious. The early chapters of this book fall into this type. All of the C++ material is there with the C# bits plugged in and standard examples used. This extends for the first couple of chapters.
After that, the book starts to be a 'true' C# book - with some examples for beginners and some for intermediate users. The majority of the examples compile fine under both Microsoft's Visual Studio and Ximian's Mono packages (those calling the Windows API obviously won't work under Mono - well, not yet anyway).
The book itself starts off being decidedly beginnerish in feel and approach then stops. Then the book becomes a programmer's reference manual, which is what the title describes it as. The classes and methods are given with descriptions of what they do and the parameters they need.
If the book gave the C# API with examples (akin to Josuttis's C++ Standard Library) then it would be an excellent investment. As it stands, for the descriptions and clarity of the methods and classes, it is a good book to have to hand. The chapter on XML is one of the clearest I've read in ages. Recommended.