Instant Nancy Web Development Book Review

Instant Nancy Book Cover

If you follow my web site you already know I’m a fan of the NancyFx framework for writing web applications in .NET. Sure, there’s ASP.NET MVC and it’s a fine framework, but I think NancyFx is simpler and better.

Instant Nancy Web Development”, by Christian Horsdal, is an under 100 page book that covers the NancyFx framework.

What I liked:

It’s 74 pages. It’s concise, assumes I’m not an idiot and most importantly, doesn’t waste my time. It reminds me of two other favorites; K&R’s, “The C Programming Language”, and Doug Crockford’s, “JavaScript, The Good Parts”.

After the first example (or recipe as the book calls them) it dives immediately into setting up tests in NancyFx. The book uses a test-first methodology to present concepts and patterns. Normally, I find this test-first approach in books tedious, but the author manages to do it in a way that doesn’t bog things down.

Chapters are well organized, concise and easy to follow..

What I didn’t like:

Using XUnit seemed odd to me. While I know many like XUnit, (I’m an NUnit fan), the built-in Microsoft Test is adequate and doesn’t require any additional setup.

Fluent assertions would have been a better choice than XUnit. The tests simply read better with fluent semantics.

The chapter on async requests is out of date, however, the overall information and concepts of the chapter are correct.


Instant Nancy Web Development is refreshing in its no-nonsense, get it done approach. In exchange for about an hour of your time, it does an excellent job of showcasing the NancyFx framework. Even if you been programming in NancyFx for a while, there’s enough here to keep you engaged.

Full Disclosure: The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review, yada, yada yada…

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