A great book for novice web developers, Inside Servlets( 2nd Edition ) is a well written Servlet development guide. As the publisher's web site says, it is an excellent resource for "programmers and consultants who desire to learn Web development fundamentals in addition to server-side Java programming. Much of this audience likely consists of current client/server programmers." The chapters are categorized into three major sections - Introduction to Web development, Introduction to Servlets and Advanced Servlet concepts. There is a great deal of academic material in the introductory chapters - pages of information about HTML, Brief History of the Web, Web Servers, Web browsers, Networking, Ports, Sockets, Firewalls etc that may be too much of a digression for a not-so-newbie programmer. The very first Servlet program appears only after Chapter 4. I found the fat appendix containing Servlet API documentation - one that is freely available on the web - completely unnecessary. The section on Advanced Servlet Concepts completely ignores to mention latest developments in Servlet technology - integration with XML and Servlet based frameworks such as ECS and Cocoon.
Overall, it is a book for beginners, not for professional Servlet developers.