writes "A fairly common question on some of the comp.lang.java.* newsgroups is where do I go next? Ive read Eckel/Head First Java/Deitel and Deitel/the Sun tutorial/whatever and I want to move up a level. What do I read? The usual answer is to point to Joshua Blochs Effective Java or else to a book on a specialist topic: JDO, JDBC, EJB, JSP etc. Whats been missing is something in the middle, a book that goes beyond the syntax and the basics of Java programming but something that remains generic enough to cover the language rather than something focused on a niche technology. Its this middle-ground that author Robert Simmons Jr has clearly identified and has aimed Hardcore Java at.
Unfortunately while the intention is good, the implementation is patchy to say the least.
The book opens with a quick Java review, focusing on a mixture of core issues (everything is an object), syntax (ternary operators, for example), access (public, private, protected) and common programming mistakes. It's not a bad start, though there is nothing here that you wouldn't find in any of the better introductions to Java."