Though I am a member of Amazon for years, and purchased many books, this is my first review about a book. It`s 2 am, and I am trying to understand the book`s questions, as a PhD student for hours. I took algorithms course before when I was getting my MS in a different university, where we were using Cormen & Leiserson`s book, I was liking this course and having no problems, I also watched all the MIT OCW`s lectures from Leiserson and the other young professor, and I can say I was totally comfortable with subjects. Algorithm was a course I was liking till I came across with that book.
However, this book became my nightmare with its ambiguities, poorly written sentences, ambiguous questions. I asked TA about some questions, and for every and every question I asked, she said `oh yes, this was not clear for other students too, so we thought this may be ...` And the hard part about questions are understanding the question, not solving it. This incidence happened in a 2nd tier(top 30) US university, in a graduate course.
What can I say? What is the reason and justification to write such a book?
I think, during my life I used over 40 textbooks, this one without doubt is in top 3 in worst text book lists (with Mark Weiss`s Data Structures, and Sedra& Smith`s microelectronics). I am giving two stars because they made at least a website, though I cant say its very helpful, they continue to being ambiguous even in the hints they say.
The book is so dull that, by just inspecting introduction which tells Archimed`s history (which became a cliche even in high school books and irrelevant to the introduction and algorithms in general) you can see this. Then look at Sedgewick`s introduction about an efficient algorithm finding prime numbers, Knuth`s introduction about roots of algorithm word etc...
I recommend Cormen`s or Sedgewick`s books, actually I cant imagine a worse book than that, if I had written something only that can be worser, but I am not claiming I am a good writer/author (as it can be seen from this review). I am sorry for writing such a harsh review, but my advice if you see a course offering this textbook, please refrain for taking the course for your good.