Customer Reviews for

Practical Common Lisp

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2005

    a language of failed dreams

    The very title bespeaks the defensive nature of the book. So too are the several chapters of case studies of Lisp implementations, where these have titles beginning with 'Practical'. The biggest flaw in the book is what it does not describe about Lisp. It provides a good explanation of Common Lisp. And, yes, this language is probably the most powerful language generally available to anyone today. In fact, in Lisp's almost 50 year history, this has generally been true. Most Lisp proponents will readily tell you this, as does the book. Many knowledgeable Lisp detractors will also agree. But there has been an enduring puzzle. If Lisp is so powerful, why then has it consistently failed to hit the big time? Newer, inferior languages can come from nowhere to overtake it, like C++, Java, C# and Perl. The book sidesteps this entire issue. It describes the 1980s as the era of Lisp Machines, when several companies made chips that could natively run Lisp code. Well, firstly, the book fails to mention that this was in part a response to the miserably slow performance of the Lisp interpreters or compilers of that time. Secondly, the book does not say that most if not all of those Lisp companies failed. Why? Could it possibly have been due in part to the very choice of Lisp? The book asserts that many people's experiences with Lisp are with outdated versions. Whereas Common Lisp has none of those disadvantages. Humbug! When languages compete, what is often important is comparative advantage. Yes, the CL is better than 1985 Lisp, say. But CL today competes against languages like Java, C# and VB that are far more powerful in terms of expressive ability than languages in 1985. By the way, I'm not talking of hardware differences. At any given time, all languages have access to comparable hardware. The book does not make a convincing case as to why CL should succeed now, against those formidable and entrenched opponents. Any more so than 1985 Lisp should have succeeded then against C or Fortran.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1