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Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming
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Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  520 ratings  ·  48 reviews
"A concise and balanced mix of principles and pragmatics. I loved the tutorial-style game-like program development. This book rekindled my earliest joys of programming. Plus, JavaScript!" —Brendan Eich, creator of JavaScript

JavaScript is the language of the Web, and it's at the heart of every modern website from the lowliest personal blog to the mighty Google Apps. Though
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 3rd 2011 by No Starch Press (first published November 15th 2010)
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JavaScript by Douglas CrockfordEloquent JavaScript by Marijn HaverbekeHigh Performance JavaScript by Nicholas C. ZakasJavaScript Patterns by Stoyan StefanovJavaScript by David Flanagan
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2nd out of 32 books — 53 voters
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Essential Programming Books
82nd out of 111 books — 246 voters

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Community Reviews

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I'm sure those fancy JS wranglers out there will get a lot out of this book, but if you're a coding newbie, look elsewhere for your intro, far far elsewhere. I made the mistake of thinking I'd use this book to help supplement my learning of JS. And what a mistake. It gave no practical help whatsoever.

The dude's a fine writer, I'll give him that, and obviously a gifted coder, but his book wasn't written for the novice. This is not his intention with this book and if you're approaching it that wa
First things first, I did not read the print version of this book - which is due in January 2011 - but the freely available online version ( From what I can tell the print version will miss the chapter on searching, which is quite a shame, because it's rather interesting. On the upside I'd assume that the last few chapters (web programming, DOM, AJAX etc.) have seen quit a bit of an overhaul, they are slightly dated in the online version.

Regarding the actual text,
Tamara Temple
This may not be the Javascript book you are looking for. If you plan on writing a JavaScript library at some point, it may be useful? But I found it rather too mundane. Learning the JavaScript "object" model can definitely be useful, and the author's approach to functional programming concepts might be okay, it still gave me nothing of much use in the end.

Taking the full title, it does provide some fairly decent foundational information on how to program, but it fully misses the boat when it com
I have mixed feelings on this book. While it's obvious that Marijn is an accomplished programmer and he does have a very accessible writing style ( I never felt like he talked over my head ), I think he made a mistake by calling it an 'introduction' to programming.

I am not a programmer by trade, but I have several years of solid experience coding in PHP, actionscript, and javascript (well, some javascript - but mostly jquery). Tired of throwing jQuery at everything I wanted to use javascript fo
Khuram Malik
I have read very few programming books, so i guess this isnt saying much but of all of them, i've loved the style of this the best so far.

No matrix like "I know kung-fu" moments, but i think thats more because i havent put enough effort in to understanding, but its well thought out book thats well involved and definitely arms you appropriately.

Definitely gets my recommendation
This book is definitely not for beginners in JavaScript. The author does not provide a beginner's working knowledge of the subject matter and does not provide enough exercises at the end of each chapter in order for the reader to solidify his or her understanding of the material. The few problems that are provided are presented with large gaps between the content in the reading and the problems. By this I mean, that by the time you finish chapter two, you're ready to throw the book out the windo ...more
First: I’m a complete JavaScript beginner. Truth to be told, I’m kind of beginner in programming generally. I fiddled around with PHP and SQL (and a tiny little bit Ruby) and I’m able to create (modest but) functioning programs, but it’s more like fishing in muddy waters via try-and-error than a real understanding about programming ;) I’m now trying - by and by - to gain a real understanding in programming and chose JavaScript… actually, for no particular reason.

The Book
I love it!! It’s an easy
Variables are tentacles, not boxes, they do not contain values, they grasp them. The best explanation of variables ever!! There are also a couple of strange things in the book. Like advice to use exceptions for flow control. But all in all a very nice intro into JavaScript and basic programming principles.
Nguyen Huu Anh Vu
Online version at, with on-screen console. Great introduction to javascript with little background on other languages
Trevan Hetzel
Eloquent JavaScript is definitely staying in my bookmarks bar. I've read a few JS books in the past and, whether it was my utter lack of comprehension of JS or the poor presentation of the content, I didn't get much out of them. But Haverbeke's book really struck a chord with my growing interest in client-side programming. It's presented in such a way that beginners can get an understanding of JavaScript and learn by example (there are hundreds of code examples; in fact the whole book is based o ...more
Tudor Ștefănescu
Good introduction into JavaScript, Document model, etc. but: in the Kindle edition there are no exercises and the book can be found for free on On the same website you can find also the (as yet) electronic format only second edition for free. The second edition is more up to date (especially the html, document format chapters), has more chapters and what I found most important: has exercises after each chapter. So: skip this one and go to the website and use the second ed ...more
I was first introduced to JavaScript while building one of my websites. Knowing absolutely nothing, I essentially learned through trial by fire. I did a lot of copying and pasting of bits of code that I found on the Internet. Then, when something didn’t work properly I would just experiment until I solved the problem. Still, there always seemed to be some sort of unexpected results, mostly because I didn’t understand the complexities of the code.

I really could have used a good basic introductio
Derek Sivers, creator of CD Baby, documented his quest to learn JavaScript. This book, his recommended first step, is helpfully available online for free. Either way you read, online or dead tree, you can use the handy online editor to test your code. Yes, most books come w/ downloadable source code, but rarely is it this smooth or easy to use.

Haverbeke teaches that JavaScript doesn't have to be a mystery or a shitshow as is the ingrained assumption for too many programmers. In fact, this book w
Anton Antonov
A lovely JS book for novice-experienced programmers who want to start writing JS in a weekend.

The book covers the most important aspects of JS and gives enough exercises and projects to build an interesting JS portfolio. For the NodeJS enthusiasts, there last chapter serves as an introduction to NodeJS and is accompanied by a final project.
Stacey Mason
God is in the details, and the details of how the user experiences this text bring this book from a great beginner's guide to the formally best ebook I've read. With mouse-over definitions, interactive code examples, and relatable prose, Eloquent JavaScript isn't just a model for what all programming books should be; it's (formally) a model for what all ebooks should be.

That said, though the book is designed for beginners, I can't speak to how well it imparts the basic principles of programming
Rick Strong
Jan 29, 2013 Rick Strong rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who would like an entertaining intro to JavaScript
Informative and entertaining. This is a fairly comprehensive intro/overview of JavaScript. It's well-written, touches on a good deal of material considering its limited size/scope, gives quite a few examples to work with if you are at all ambitious, and the author has an excellent sense of humor. I'm not sure how easy a read this would have been were I not already a Java developer, but then JavaScript is actually quite a bit different from Java once you get beyond basic syntax, so I'd recommend ...more
Illia Olenchenko
Ok. heres my opinion:
its a good book for these who make their own first steps into javascript and relative things. Examples and their deeps are good and gives The reader nice thoughts. Book Introducing us into relative sides of JS as Node.js leads us to use more of existing packages and more and more. So its a good "Firststepper book" in JS.
After reading various comments with claims a la "fast paced", "not for beginners" I had high hopes. To my disappointment this book revealed to be boring and sparse (for 224 pages), hence 1 star.

Tutorial on MDN (mozilla developer's network) is a much better choice for learning javascript - it's shorter, clearer and denser.
This book brought me back to JavaScript before there were any frameworks like jQuery. It made me realize that I had fallen victim to treating the language as a sub-species joining others who complained it was a bastard child language as they bastardized it. Technically I am still reading this because I will always be reading this. The explanations and examples about function based scope and how to use it still blow my mind. The author shows us how powerful JavaScript truly is and I use ideas and ...more
Superb explaination.
Dec 30, 2014 Enki added it
This the best book about JS that I've read! I will buy the physical version of this.
Great book, very clear
Are you learning JavaScript? Are you already using it but wanting to "level up?" This is your book.

Start with "JavaScript: the Good Parts." That will get you beyond absolute beginner status. This will put you solidly into intermediate range, if not the lower part of the advanced range. Still trying to find the book(s) which will put me into "master" range, but this book is probably I rite of passage for anyone who wants to get there.
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Nice, concise, _eloquent_ guide to JavaScript. Covers the basics of the language and gets your feet wet for using JavaScript in the browser. If you're looking for lots of depth and details, you won't find it here. Yet as an experienced programmer but new to web programming, I found this book to be just the right size to be edible without being tedious.
I used the online version of this book ( which has exercises you can do right in the browser. The book itself is great and is written in an intuitive, naturally progressing, self-contained way. I would give the book 4 stars, but the online version takes it to 5.
James Affleck
I like this book. It's a bit slow but seems to have a good mix of teaching principles, giving examples, and asking you to try things out. This book is available for free online, and you can actually try the programming examples inside the web browser at the bottom of the screen. Great way to learn JS.
A great introduction to JavaScript programming with exercises to get yourself challenged rather than just passive reading. He also has his new edition that should be done this year on his website too. Definitely worth a read.
Ajitabh Pandey
This book merely covers the theoretical background of the language. I was expecting it to also show concepts through working examples. Nevertheless, a good read and refresher to the basic concepts if you are already familiar with the language.
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“The programmer who refuses to keep exploring will surely stagnate, forget his joy, lose the will to program (and become a manager).” 2 likes
“The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is responsible. Universes of virtually unlimited complexity can be created in the form of computer programs. — Joseph Weizenbaum, Computer Power and Human Reason” 0 likes
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