Groovy in Action is the book that I should have put down quite a long time ago. However, I did trudge through it. Most Manning Press “In Action” books do a good job at introducing basic concepts at the beginning, and then go into blinding detail near the end. “Hibernate [3.0] In Action” is a very good example of this.

However, “Groovy in Action” is annoyingly different.I have wanted to learn and use Groovy for quite a while. It’s a Java-based language, which uses the JVM, and comfortably interacts with all of your other Java libraries, and frameworks. With most books, which are responsible for introducing someone to a new language/framework, I expect the resource to really sell the language/framework in the beginning, and ease into the more gritty details. However, this book tried to do this at some points of the book, but lacked order.

The start of the book introduced the user into how to setup their environment and to create a few sample to get your feet wet. There was a very brief overview on what Groovy is able to do. However, after the brief overview, the book’s Part 1(pages 27-227) section becomes a reference book. Part two (228-451) started off nicely, but quickly became tiresome (mostly due to the strenuous task of the first part of the book).The third section was where the book really got interesting: going over how to apply Groovy to solve problems that you may run into. I liked the last section the best.

As a developer, my interest is in solving problems. I enjoy learning about advanced features and details of a language; however, a language/tool/framework is a means to solve a problem. If the tool/language/framework really piques my interest to use it more than once, I’ll go into more detail with it. This book would be better suited for someone that has already developed a strong interest, and would like a reference manual.** **