Even for a book for general Java Knowledge, Horstmann drops the ball. Confusing examples, poor description, lack of depth (in order to cover too many topics), I could go on and on.
My favorite example... they go through tons of info about GUI stuff.... all kinds of topics. Teenie bits of info in each chapter. The section on generics? one page. ONE PAGE. with a single example (only one.... and I remember it was a List<Coin>). Oh, and nothing about the T or the ? or anything. One page, with not too much description. A disgrace. How can you go into advanced topics (the third section is "Advanced Topics") without even covering the basics well enough to get an understanding?
At that point, I put the book down, relied on HFJ and google, and bought the SCJP book. Which, in my opinion, gives FAR MORE detailed information about general Java.
I had a very positive view about Core Java by Horstmann and I have even read that (not the Vol2 completely) but after Janeice's reply I have started to think and reflect about the book. And yes I really find the book going too much into GUI stuff. But as always SCJP guide would focus only on the Chapters which come under SCJP objectives. So its always good to have a general book as well.