Pretty neat review for Practical .NET2 and C#2 was posted by Peter Bromberg on www.eggheadcafe.com. You can read it here Book Review: Practical .NET2 and C#2 by Patrick Smacchia.
And here is a summary:
In my short happy life as a .NET developer and C# MVP, I’ve learned that there are essentially three categories of .NET developers: Hobbyists, who use .NET for fun and who often go on to learn to use it to make a living, Professional Developers, who use .NET to make their primary living, and Master .NET Mechanics – the “guru-level” people. And, there are, of course, three types of books that .NET developers should read – basic “How to get to first base” books for the hobbyist (many of whom, by the way, eventually graduate to the second category), intermediate- to – advanced level books for the professional .NET developer, and finally, the “guru level” book for the Master Mechanics (or those who would be so).
Patrick Smacchia’s Practical .NET2 and C#2 is a book by a Master Mechanic targeted primarily to Master Mechanics – and to those who would like to be. I know for a fact that Patrick has literally toiled for years developing the material for this book – and the level of detail and professionalism in the book bear this out. This is not a book for beginners – you will not learn how to drag a MenuControl from the Toolbox onto a web page, or how to databind a dropdownlist, although topics like this may be covered in the process of providing the “deeper Zen” of .NET.
What you will learn is all the nitty-gritty details of what makes CLR 2.0 and C# 2.0 work – right down to the bare metal of Intermediate Language. While the book does cover a lot of very common .NET programming scenarios, I would not recommend this book for the – shall we say, “uninstantiated”. The set of wrenches depicted on the front cover of the book tells it all. This is a book for experts who need great detail about why things work and how they work — and Mr. Smacchia owns up to the task with great clarity and professionalism.
The list of “Master .NET Mechanics” is not very long. It includes luminaries such as Jon Skeet, Willy DeNoyette, Stephen Toub, Jeff Prosise, Richard Grimes, Nick Paladino, Frans Bouma, Bart DeSmet, Juval Lowy, and many others. If your name didn’t appear in my “short list”, don’t be offended — I know who you are. And of course, Patrick Smacchia.