REVIEW - The C++ Programming Language - 4th Edition


The C++ Programming Language

4th Edition


Bjarne Stroustrup


Addison-Wesley Professional (2013)




Paul Floyd


April 2014



Note: review does not contain explicit recommendation.

Reviewed: January 2014

Though the 2nd edition came out about the time that I started writing C++ code, for some reason I never read it, and I started off with ‘D&E’ followed by the 3rd edition of this book. And frankly, I did not enjoy the 3rd edition, to the extent that I relegated it to a far shelf at home.

The 4th edition is much improved. I feel that the author has benefited greatly from his other writing and teaching experiences. This makes the book flow better, from the code to the descriptions and the associated advice.

It almost goes without saying that the coverage of C++ is compendious, but where I felt this book is really strong is not just the description of the nuts and bolts but the explanations of the design choices and how various C++ features work together. It’s a big book, yet rather dense.

I suspect that I’ll have to read it again before long in order to digest it well. I have two slight criticisms. Firstly, I thought that there was a bit too much about concepts, clearly something close to the author’s heart. Secondly, there is a bit of a negative tone on the coverage of threads (and a preference for processes, reflecting the author’s experience perhaps?).

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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