I am preparing for the CCNA test and I believe this book is the key.
I recommend the book to anyone preparing for the test.
I looked at both this book and the Sybex/Todd Lammle book, and decided to order this one. I feel it was a good decision, due to the more rigorous coverage this book provides of the subject matter. I don't think this book's style is "overkill". If you have some networking experience, you can go through this book in two evenings with a highlighter to get a good review before taking a certification exam. And once you've completed the test, this book, unlike the Sybex book, will have some value as a quick reference in your tech library. If you don't have any network experience, I really think this book gives a good tutorial in networking fundamentals although it would take considerable time and effort to soak up all the information in here for the first time. Regardless of your experience level, this book gives you the "Cisco spin" on various topics that you'll need to answer the test questions, even if you're intimately familiar with the works of Richard Stevens, Radia Perlman, etc.
I just took and passed the CCNA exam. I used this book as well
as Todd Lammle's CCNA Study Guide. Probably overkill but I learned some good stuff. The interesting thing about these books is how they complement each other. Odom's book is great for commands, especially towards the end of the book in the routing, ipx and WAN sections. He has these cool charts that list out all the commands and make it really easy to review ones that you might not use at work (like all that frame relay and isdn stuff). I've seen other reviews mention typos - maybe I'm just not very observant but I didn't notice too many and the ones I did notice were no big deal. I also liked the CD - a full practice test that changes each time you take it. Some of the questions repeat - but it's still a useful tool. Don't be too concerned if you fail the practice test. I took like 5 practice tests before the exam (using Odom's, Lammle's and some I found online) - failed them all but passed the real thing.
This book could definately use a glossary. Lammle's book has one
and it really helps with all those silly acronyms Cisco wants you to know. I preferred the questions in Lammle's book as well. There are no multiple choice questions in the book - all are on the CD.
This book, as well as Lammle's, is very dry. How about some real life examples? There are scenarios in some chapters but they lack realism. Odom must has been a CCIE for quite some time now. He must have all kinds of cool stories - would have been great if some of them had made it into this book.