One of my worst gripes about ASP.NET books is that they routinely go over an extensive tour of every single little component, but dedicate very little time and space to each component and more importantly they do not show how these component fit together in a real application. So you are left with all pieces of the puzzle in your box, but no strategy for putting them together. Granted, most programming book even in the JSP/Strus/JSF area do only show toy examples of applications... but that's better than nothing! Well Marco has accomplished even more in this book, showing how to build and real life application.
The Beer House (a web site for an imaginary pub) has security and role management, themes, profiles,rather sophisticated strategies for data access, and shows you how to build an international site with articles, newsletters, forums, polls and even web parts! And last but not least it's a fun project...who isn't tired of the boring lifeless examples usually found in technical books? Seeing an programmer like Marco who takes joy in what he does and can mix fun and business is always a good sign....
It's clear that he has spent countless hours building various web content management systems on his own.. and he's had a great idea in putting his expertise in this book. I just wonder why more developers don't do the same thing! My only little complaint is that I would have liked to see more space devoted on how to build the UI. Yes, I know, this is not a book for beginners, but I have yet to see a book that covers how to effectively use the ASP.NET data bound controls.. they usually devote just a page or two to each, usually showing just one example of their possible uses.. and I think that there are many developers out there who could benefit from such a study, not even counting those coming from other platforms, who are veterans in OO programming and building business logic but much less versed in the intricacies of Visual Studio Wizards.
I would not buy this book right now anyhow.. because two new books from the same author are upcoming..
ASP.NET MVC 1.0 Website Programming: Problem - Design - Solution
ASP.NET 3.5 Website Programming: Problem - Design - Solution
and I am sure they will be even better than this one!