LINQ in Action - LINQ Book & News

A negative review for LINQ in Action

For a change, I won't post about all the positive reviews that our LINQ book received.

Today, I wanted to post about a negative review that has been published recently on This review is interesting because it's completely different than the others. It gives the book a rating of 2 stars on 5.

Here is the content of the review:

LINQ with no action

I am disappointed with this book - it did not meet my expectations. I found many examples and it is really hard to use them because the author hardly explains where all comes from and why I should go this way and not another one. It sometimes confuses why, where and for what purpose the author shows an example and whether it suits my case. It is hard to decide because there are almost no explanations about roots of examples and basic theory.
However, I am happy with the fact that more and more books about LINQ come up and I do hope to find a proper one for me. Unfortunately, for now, I have to move from one book to another one for finding a solution.

Despite this review, LINQ in Action still has an average of 5 stars on, based on 20 reviews. I'd like to thank everybody who took the time to post a review.
And you, what do you think about our book? Maybe you could post your own review on (and/or on your blog of course)?. Good or bad, I invite you to speak your mind. We can always do better, and as authors we're interested in knowing your opinion.

Published Saturday, May 31, 2008 2:37 PM by Fabrice Marguerie



Martin Hart Turner said:

Well, you know how the saing goes 'You can't please all the people all the time'

Clearly the reviewer has no grasp of modern day programming and any book  would be a blank canvas for them.

I personally have not read a better book since my all-time favorite Head First - Design Patterns.



June 2, 2008 12:36 AM

Jonathan said:

"Clearly the reviewer has no grasp of modern day programming"

Clearly, the reviewer has no grasp of the English language either so I woudlnt sweat it! :)

It's an excellent book, clearly written and laid out. 'Nuf said.

June 2, 2008 10:15 AM

Margaret said:

I've enjoyed LIA and found it extremely useful; it is a book I like to read! However, I think you should not ignore the 'negative' reviewer who has bothered to give you his/her evaluation. I have found other books have approached LINQ in a different way and I've found these useful too. No one book will be able to appeal to the imagination, intellect and needs of all readers. If you thought yours could, Fabrice, then you need to take a little holiday with your kids! :-)

June 12, 2008 10:05 AM

Fabrice Marguerie said:

Thanks for your comment Margaret. I don't think differently. I never though of our book as the perfect one.

Of course, other books about LINQ can be as interesting and even better. I would just prefer that people put their hands on LIA, though ;-)

My kids? What kids?! I wasn't aware of any! :-)

June 12, 2008 10:24 AM

Ramesh said:

I think you should not ignore the 'negative' reviewer who has bothered to give you his/her evaluation. I have found other books have approached LINQ in a different way and I've found these useful too

July 16, 2008 4:45 AM

Luca said:

I've readed few chapters of some linq books before end to this one and I find this one the best, very very fluent and with nice examples. I like the approach used and I like the way (and the order) the subjects covered. (Sorry for my english, It's not my mother-language)........but....of course......if you are new to .net, if you never used a delagate or a generic collection, it is better to read a book about framework 2.0 first.

The new features of .net introduced with the version 3.0 and used by Linq in 3.5 are very nicely covered (in deep) by author at the beginning of the book.

My opinion is exactly the opposite of the reviewer.

September 24, 2008 3:36 PM

Kode said:

I have read three chapters so far and I really liked your method of introducing the concepts gradually. Refining the initial example with new concepts too helped me in relating to how things would be without LINQ.

I would like to express my thanks for helping me how "yield return" works. I have read about it several times on blogs but it never made sense to me. I had the "Aha" moment after reading your book.

Thank you

August 18, 2009 6:21 AM

Fabrice Marguerie said:

Thanks a lot for your comments :)

August 18, 2009 1:49 PM

Venkat said:

Its amazing how narrow minded people can be, and is a classic example of how mob mentality is used to beat down an honest opinion.

immediate assumptions have been made about the reviewer's exposure to modern day programming, and amazingly, his linguistic abilities as well.

maybe, the issue is not with the book, but the basic platform i.e. LINQ itself.  i think he explained it very clearly when he says that he can't figure out what is the purpose of an example, and why he should not use an alternate method.

as a pure database programmer, who has been working on databases since SQL*Forms ( a character front-end on Unix) to Developer/2000 to Powerbuilder to VB and Winforms/C#, i find it very hard to justify the use of LINQ, and refuse to buy the marketing and the hype.

the whole marketing premise LINQ seems to be "look how easy we can make this task for you", when the task is not difficult in the first place.  

Everyone seems to talking about, hey look what you can do with LINQ.  nobody seems to address "but why should I do that and what purpose does it serve", and why using LINQ is better than a simple front end mated with a back-end with quality SQL and stored procedures.

September 10, 2009 1:20 AM

Fabrice Marguerie said:

Venkat, did you read the review in question before posting your comment?

Did you read LINQ in Action?

Do you know what LINQ is? Do you know that it's not just LINQ to SQL, which you seem to believe?

It doesn't seem like you could answer yes to any of the above questions unfortunately.

September 10, 2009 2:05 AM

Venkat said:

So making assumptions seems to be the order of the day.

That aside, are you saying that there can be nothing valid about a reader's opinion that is not agreeable to your sensibilities ??

I took exception to the fact that a reader was insulted here, just because your content did not get across to him.  Are you saying that your writing and teaching of the subject is so infallible and so beyond question that if someone could not derive benefit out of the book, it must mean that :

a - he is unfamiliar with "modern day programming practices"

b - his language comprehension skills are lacking.

What I find interesting is that, my original comment was not a comment on yourself or your book.  It was a criticism of the first two esteemed posters here.  And you could say some amount of arguable criticism on LINQ, none of which was directed at you personally in any way.

Yet you chose to respond to me in the same way the first two posters responded to the review.

Very well.  Congratulations on your book.

September 10, 2009 4:06 AM

Venkat said:


It seemed rude of me to post without answering your questions.  So you'll be happy to know that your assumptions in part are correct, in that I haven't read your book.  But you will also note, that as I mentioned above, my original post was never a criticism of your book, but of the attitude of the other posters.

As regards your other questions, i'll answer it though the vein in which they were asked were a bit condescending.

I do not use LINQ.  I cannot in all honesty say I "know" LINQ.  But based on what I've read up on the net and the examples I've perused, I don't see that it offers me anything that betters my development experience or results.  I don't see myself using it anytime soon.  But hey, thats me, and thats in view of the kind of development I undertake.  As of now, to me LINQ is a pointless addition, with a convoluted syntax to boot.

But I'm broad-minded enough to concede that reading a good book on LINQ, probably even yours, would alter my opinion.  

Incidentally, it was while I was trawling the web on LINQ that Google threw up this page and I was apalled at the opinions people had expressed on what was somebody's personal experience / opinion.


There are two additional reviews on the Amazon page which are similar though not as negative.  Any reason why this particular review has been singled out ??  Is it because it was the most negative ??

September 10, 2009 4:24 AM

Fabrice Marguerie said:

Venkat, thank you for taking the time to reply.

I invite you to read my post again.

"I took exception to the fact that a reader was insulted here, just because your content did not get across to him". Where did you get that from my post?

"my original comment was not a comment on yourself or your book"

That's interesting for a comment on a post precisely about my book. If you don't indicate that you're replying to other comments, how am I supposed to know that?

I deliberately posted about *this* negative review because it was the first one we had received at that time. I had highlighted all the positive reviews, so I thought that for a change it was interesting to highlight a negative review. I had no obligation to do this, and still I took the risk of giving a bad opinion about our book. I did this in all fairness, to learn more about what people didn't like in the book. Again, read my post.

Thank you for posting a comment here. The confusion came from the fact that it was not clear to me what you were commenting. When I first read your comment, it seemed too aggressive to me. I though that it was unfair to take the opportunity to get after me on this kind of post. I now understand your reaction to the first two comments, though.

In addition, too often, people criticize the subject of a book instead of the book itself, when the discussion is about the book. You'll understand that book authors can hate this when it happens.

I'm glad to read that while you don't see any interest in LINQ for the moment, you are open enough to investigate about it. Again, my advice would be to look at what LINQ has to offer outside of just LINQ to SQL. Have your learned about LINQ to Objects, LINQ to XML, and the other LINQ variants?

September 10, 2009 5:30 AM

Venkat said:


the location of the post is unfortunate.  (after all it is a web-site/page/blog about your book).  However, I belive it now stands sufficiently clarified that my criticism was not aimed at you or your book.

My query in my p.s. as to why one particular post was singled out was also not a sarcastic one, but a genuine one, as I did see two other such reviews.  hence i wondered why this one was highlighted.

I will in time look into a good book on LINQ, and as I mentioned above, most probably yours.  As of now, I really believe, that I have the required tools/technology to develop a complete application that satisfies the end-user and myself.  As I have mentioned before, my work area is predominantly client/server database applications.

I am bit of old-school, if that is an appropriate description, and don't believe in adopting new tech / tools just because they are available.  There has to be a compelling reason for me to do so, in that, they must provide me as incentive, the ability to provide certain features that is attractive to the client, which I cannot provide using my current tools of choice.  

Finally, I need to be convinced that it is something worth expending time (IN THE CONTEXT OF MY NATURE OF WORK) on in fully understanding and learning it.



September 10, 2009 5:53 AM

Fabrice Marguerie said:

LINQ will not help you to provide features that will make a difference for a client. LINQ is mostly transparent in this regards. It's not like a visual component or something the end user will notice.

LINQ only makes a difference in the way code is written. It can improve the readability of the code and it may impact productivity (in a positive or a negative way depending on your current productivity with other tools...).

In my opinion, LINQ to Objects and LINQ to XML can be of interest for any kinds of developers and in any contexts. They don't provide anything that can't already be done without them. They just provide new ways of writing code. New ways that are more concise and more elegant. That's my opinion, at least.

September 10, 2009 6:21 AM

Venkat said:

What you wrote above,  is what I have understood this far based on my googling and reading up of availaible resouces.  And the key point as per your post i.e. new ways of writing code is what actually turned me off.  I found the syntax quite convoluted as I mentioned in my earlier post above.

I had no problems adopting and getting into a comfort zone with SQL and PL/SQL from the word "GO" after years of spending time with clipper and foxpro.  similarly after years of working with Developer/2000 (PL/SQL basically)   I had no problem or issues adopting C# and Winforms right from the start.

Not so the case with LINQ.  Large parts of its syntax as implemented is unintuitive and does not lend itself to logical work through (these are my opinions of course).

This, in my experience, typically happens when new features are shoe-horned into existing solutions.  Oracle's implementation of objects in its object relational database (starting Oracle 8i) was disgusting though with some nifty features.  It was not even fully compatible with their own front end (Developer/2000)

Another classic example is VB.  A simple language now expected to perform and deliver far beyond its original intended capabilities.  There are large parts of VB where the syntax is no where as intuitive or elegant as C# is.

In any case, we'll leave it here.  Like I said, I'll eventually get around to spending some serious time with LINQ.  Hopefully, i will change my opinion and find it improves my quality of work.



September 10, 2009 7:53 AM
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