Top critical review
For Immortals. You will never find 900+ pages describing basics of SQL with more words.
January 14, 2019
Giant book for the most basic of SQL syntax. If you know what SQL stands for you are already far passed what this book can teach you. It is the thinnest soup you can digest on the subject. Thorough, evidently. Accurate, I will not dispute. Useful, who will live long enough to tell.
The subject straight non-brand SQL. I get that. But it favors the "Most" popular SQL variants. Those must start with Microsoft Access(?). I've always been a true fan, but seriously? And then MySQL is the next on the list. No Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle need apply. OK so it's straight theory, fine. But that means you won't know how what you learn actually applies to your local SQL instance. There are detailed schematics of each command. These are available online and in any actual SQL's help library but nice to see. These DO NOT display in Fire and likely Kindle versions.
The real meat is ridiculous. Try out GROUP BY for example. Page after page of side bars and special cases. Then the qualitative analysis. These titles are not exaggerations and neither is the repeat after repeat. 'What do you want': text describing in fuzzy detail what is desired for the query. Then Translation: Formalization of 'What do they want' text. Then Clean up: Repeat of previous 'Translation' text with strike throughs and notes. Then at last some SQL Syntax. Each example is like this, all through the book. Text and talk about text, and then talk about talk about text. The leaves are falling from the trees. What's wanted is engineering decision making, not sharing and caring.
I would not mind it taking so long if it covered more or in better detail than the O'Reilly pocket edition but this only gets to ROLLUPs after 850 pages. It is not in a scholarly tone but in such uncommitted and generic terms you can hardly translate it to a current working version of SQL. Try the "Look Inside" and be sure this is for you. I did and some how I missed it. An enjoyable conversation to share in, perhaps. What mortal has the time to spend on this? Not me. For the money there are many more concise, useful and compact titles.