Written in a thoroughly engaging style, the book is both an introduction to the language and to the core J2SE libraries. This makes for a wide-ranging scope, covering everything from basic syntax, programming constructs (loops, flow control etc), objects (inheritance, polymorphism etc), files, network programming, introductions to XML, databases (JDBC), GUI programming (Swing) and a whole bunch more. It is then, a fairly complete introduction to the entire Java platform, even managing to touch on server-side programming with JSP and servlets.
The material is well-covered, with a good level of detail, useful code samples and a clear style that entertains as well as it instructs. While no prior Java knowledge is assumed, there is an assumption that the reader knows something about programming. So, while the book details how to create while loops in Java, it does not explain what a loop is. However, while the intention is to teach Java, the book certainly can work for someone who is new to programming as well."