If I'd ready Murphy's book first, I think I'd have been more impressed. As it was, I read it after two other books that I though were far superior - the Schabacker masterpiece (which I've just reviewed elsewhere in this section), and Schwager's "Getting Started in Technical Analysis", which is a much better book than the title would suggest.
Don't get me wrong, Murphy's is not a *bad* book it wouldn't have garnered the amount of praise that it has got by being bad. But... I don't think it's *that* good either.
It's a whirlwind tour through everything TA, with everythiing from triangle patterns to candlesticks to Elliot waves covered at breakneck speed. Which is the main problem, for me - it's OK as a book to dip into (much like that TA from A to Z book that was mentioned), but it's too superficial to really by the "bible" that it's been painted as.
For example, Murphy covers reversal patterns in 30 pages, with "the importance of volume" meriting a whole page of its own in there. In contrast, Schabacker devotes 148 pages to reversals, and the importance of volume is integral to the discussion of all of them.
For me, it's an OK book, but it's not essential by any means - I read it and was very disappointed by it. After all the hype, I was expecting something definitive - if this had been a geographical guidebook, I expected the full ordinance survey map and extensive local knowledge, whereas this is more along the lines of "if it's Tuesday it must be a breakout".
I also thought it was bloody expensive for what you got - it's a big book, but £50 for McTA Lite?
And most damning of all - I wonder how accurate it is? I caught a couple of fairly glaring mistakes in it - for example, the neckline of a H&S formation drawn in the wrong place - if it can't get something that fundamental rifght, how confident can you be of the rest of the material
It doesn't seem fair that Murphy's 'essential' tome should only have one review, and the score is a bit low as it's now got an element of old hat to it - this is still an excellent reference book.
A bit like Achelis' TA A to Z' book (free download last time I checked on the equis site) this book attempts to cover all the popular (and many less popular) chart styles, indicators, trading plans... oooh, all sorts.
It is quite readable, you can look up Elliot Wave and read the basic ideas of that technique, then jump to a description of how to read the OBV, and then to a decent rundown of how to spot and use trends. It is encyclopaedic in coverage.
Drawbacks - if you are a programmer, or want to construct something in the book in Excel perhaps, you will have to go online (or to another book) generally to do so - you won't find the formula here. (Anyone trying to construct an Excel formula etc will also find TA A-Z is a bit light at times, it's only when you NEED the formula that you discover how few books actually publish the essential info... incrediblecharts.com to the rescue!)
You will get a good overview of a topic from this book, it is not a book to read cover to cover in my view - if you differ then PM me, I have a telephone directory going spare you might like. It is a good book to get the idea of a large part of the TA field, you can then go deeper into areas you find of interest. It is a very good book to have as a reference, and well worth the price.
Every trader should have this book. An easy-to-read book with clear explanations and charts with illustrations where needed. A very good reference guild to all the common techniques out there. A well written book that should be on every traders bookshelf without a doubt!
Just want to add that i wouldn't read this big book back to back... but like a dictonary.