Together with 'Java Fundamental Classes Reference' and 'Java AWT Reference' (which I reviewed in the last edition of C Vu) this text forms a complete reference to the Java 1.1 Language and core APIs.
The book is essentially in two parts, a description of the language and a reference on java.lang. After an introduction to Java (using the famous
'Hello World'example) a series of chapters cover the basics of the language: data types, operators and expressions, declarations (of classes, methods, interfaces and variables) and statements and control structures. There is then a chapter on overall program structure which discusses compilation units and the place of stand-alone applications and applets, followed by chapters on threads and exception handling. The final chapter (218 of the 475 pages) provides a reference on the java.lang package (which specifies the fundamental classes and interfaces of the language).
The text is clear, providing detail and clarifying many of the finer points of Java which introductory texts skimp or miss out altogether. There is plenty of sample code used to illustrate points discussed in the text (but few complete programs). It is not a book to use to learn Java although a good C++ programmer could possibly do so. It would be suitable (together with the other volumes in the series) for the professional programmer developing complex real-world systems who needs a detailed reference to the language (fulfilling the same role as 'The Annotated C++ Reference Manual' for the C++ programmer).