Land of Lisp
Learn to Program in Lisp, One Game at a Time!
Publisher: No Starch Press
Final Release Date: November 2010
Pages: 504

Lisp has been hailed as the world's most powerful programming language, but its cryptic syntax and academic reputation can be enough to scare off even experienced programmers. Those dark days are finally over—Land of Lisp brings the power of functional programming to the people!

With his brilliantly quirky comics and out-of-this-world games, longtime Lisper Conrad Barski teaches you the mysteries of Common Lisp. You'll start with the basics, like list manipulation, I/O, and recursion, then move on to more complex topics like macros, higher order programming, and domain-specific languages. Then, when your brain overheats, you can kick back with an action-packed comic book interlude!

Along the way you'll create (and play) games like Wizard Adventure, a text adventure with a whiskey-soaked twist, and Grand Theft Wumpus, the most violent version of Hunt the Wumpus the world has ever seen.

You'll learn to:

  • Master the quirks of Lisp's syntax and semantics
  • Write concise and elegant functional programs
  • Use macros, create domain-specific languages, and learn other advanced Lisp techniques
  • Create your own web server, and use it to play browser-based games
  • Put your Lisp skills to the test by writing brain-melting games like Dice of Doom and Orc Battle

With Land of Lisp, the power of functional programming is yours to wield.

Table of Contents
Product Details
About the Author
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
No Starch PressLand of Lisp
 
3.6

(based on 5 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

80%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (4)
  • Helpful examples (4)
  • Well-written (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Novice (4)
    • Student (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Developer (4)

    Reviewed by 5 customers

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    4.0

    Good lisp book

    By sford or fordsfords

    from Chicago area, IL

    About Me Designer, Developer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

    • Some Poor Coding Style

    Best Uses

    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about No Starch Press Land of Lisp:

    I really want to give this book 5 stars. I absolutely LOVE the premise - teach lisp with real-life programs. I hate examples which just demonstrate syntax and semantics. Land of Lisp successfully helps to show *why* you would want to use various constructs, using programs that actually accomplish something meaningful. And I really enjoy the style of Dr. Barski's prose. His sense of humor, and his decision to use games as the basis for his programs, makes the book a joy to read.

    And yet ... I do have some complaints. I suspect that neither the editors nor the early reviewers were people actually learning lisp. Since I am actively trying to become proficient in lisp, I make sure I fully understand every line of code presented. There are some programs where something is presented, but not explained. For example, a type of "vector" is used in one of the programs, but is not mentioned in the text. It required external research to discover that a lisp vector is just a simple (one-dimensional) array.

    I'm afraid I also have to complain a bit about the coding style. Meaningful variable names are often not used. Or a term is used to mean subtly different things at different times (like "edges"). The code could benefit from more-careful naming.

    However, please don't read my complaints too negatively. I am successfully learning lisp from this book, and am having a ball doing so. And while I do feel a pang of annoyance at times, I strongly recommend this book.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great way to learn Lisp

    By Jim

    from UK

    About Me Developer

    Pros

    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about No Starch Press Land of Lisp:

      This book makes learning Lisp fun!

      (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      An entertaining introduction to LISP

      By Marvin

      from Perth, Australia

      About Me Developer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice

        Comments about No Starch Press Land of Lisp:

        I had a lot of fun with this book. It doesn't take itself to seriously.
        The use of games to introduce and demonstrate concepts was excellent.
        And there's lot of useful advice on functional programming in general.

        (13 of 101 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        Look at CLISP before buying.

        By Agnostic

        from Alpharetta, GA

        Verified Reviewer

        Comments about No Starch Press Land of Lisp:

        The book suggests CLISP as the environment to use and the second half of the book requires extensions only available in CLISP. CLISP may be a great environment, but I can't get past the religous symbol displayed on the welcome screen. I tolerate all religions and think all religions should tolerate each other as well tolerating us non-religous folks. And I think the authors of CLISP have the right to put whatever they want on their welcome screen. But I don't care to feel like I am supporting a religion every time I use the environment, so I am not going use it or download it. I wish I had known this before buying the book as I don't think I will read it now.

        (17 of 40 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        Nice intro to lisp...

        By Little Zanooda

        from San Jose, CA

        About Me Developer, Sys Admin

        Pros

        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples

        Cons

        • Not comprehensive enough

        Best Uses

        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about No Starch Press Land of Lisp:

        This is one of books you can enjoy reading, the examples are easy to follow and accurate.

        The thing I did not like is the way the author described other languages like Python and ruby..

        They were described as buggy and unreliable programming languages. After years of programming in Python that was a little disappointing to me.

        Every programming language is unique in a way, Lisp is great, Python is cool, and ruby is just a delight!

        Displaying reviews 1-5

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