If you're looking for just another book of games listings then Take Off With The Electron And BBC Micro will probably disappoint you. However, if you're after eleven interesting programs with lots of ideas on how to improve them then this is for you. For listings are not just programs in their own right but can be expanded. And the book tells you how to do this.
It starts with a consise but thorough description of elementary BASIC and then goes on to the listings.
Each program has a chapter to itself and all chapters have the same structure. You first read a description of what the listing does. Then comes the listing itself.
These are easy to read and the authors claim that "it is very unlikely that there are any mistakes in the listings". Brave words and, as far as I can tell, true ones.
The listings are useful and fun. But the real value of the book, to my mind anyway, is in what follows them. Each chapter has a well-annotated flowchart illuminating how it works. Then comes a line-by-line description of the program, very much like the ones you'll find in Electron User.
When you've read how the program works there's a discussion of the keywords involved, nicely cross-referenced to the other listings.
Then comes a section describing one of the techniques used in the program, such as user-defined characters and file handling. These really add to the book's value.
Finally you reach the "Take off from here" section. This gives suggestions about modifying and improving the programs given.
I like the book. For the person who's taken his first faltering steps in BASIC and would like to start more ambitious programming it's excellent.
The authors strike just the right level, not too difficult, not too simple, while keeping it all interesting.
Also the programs are nicely chosen. They range from the limerick writer to a stunt car game via a music maker and a weather forecasting program.
All are short and easy to experiment with, and all of them are well explained. Thoroughly recommended.