Introduction to Statistical Learning Book Review

Get a comprehensive book review of "Introduction to Statistical Learning with Practical Applications," highlighting its practicality in statistical learning.

Alan Walker-

Published on 2023-06-15


The book "An Introduction to Statistical Learning: with Applications in R" is a highly acclaimed resource for anyone seeking a comprehensive understanding of statistical learning. Written by renowned authors Gareth James, Daniela Witten, Trevor Hastie, and Robert Tibshirani, this book offers a solid foundation in statistical concepts and their practical implementation using the R programming language.

Content and Structure:

This book strikes an excellent balance between theory and application. Each chapter begins with a clear explanation of the underlying statistical concepts, supported by relevant examples and case studies. The authors ensure that complex topics are presented in a way that is accessible to readers with varying levels of statistical knowledge.

Practical Applications:

One of the standout features of this book is its emphasis on practical applications. The authors demonstrate how to implement statistical learning techniques using the R programming language, making it easier for readers to apply their newfound knowledge to real-world problems. The book also provides valuable insights into data preprocessing, model evaluation, and interpretation of results.

Engaging and Approachable:

The writing style is engaging and approachable, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced practitioners. The inclusion of numerous illustrations, code snippets, and exercises further enhances the learning experience. Additionally, the book's companion website offers supplementary materials, datasets, and R code, enabling readers to practice and reinforce their understanding.

Reviews and Ratings:

With over 1,875 ratings and 483 reviews, this book has received widespread acclaim from readers. It holds an impressive average rating of 4.8 stars, reflecting its high quality and usefulness in the field of statistical learning. One of the amazing reviews about this book is;

“I've been teaching myself statistics and machine learning for about a year now taking many online courses and reading a plethora of material. For statistical analysis and, as the title suggests, statistical learning, this is hands down the best material I have encountered in any medium. First, the book is rigorous. Even if the material is not as comprehensive as the canonical Elements of Statistical Learning, which is almost unapproachable for a novice, the material here is by no means dumbed down. You should be comfortable with mathematical thinking and at least have been exposed to statistics, although calculus and linear algebra are mostly absent. And you should expect to spend time thinking about the content, which the text makes very rewarding.

Second, the authors present the material brilliantly. Explanations of difficult concepts are lucid, and the chapters progress in a way that just makes sense. Yes you will spend time thinking about the material -- hopefully you want to! -- AND yes, the authors will help you along the way.

If you're still not sure what introductory text on statistical (or machine) learning to purchase, this is the one!”


This book has an amazing rating of 1,875 with 483 reviews. The pros of this book on the basis of positive feedback are:

  1. This book covers most of the primary techniques used in data science and machine learning. Each chapter is devoted to a topic and explained further throughout sections within the chapter.
  2. This book provides the right amount of theory and practice.
  3. This is the best statistics book to follow. It's so easy to understand and so engaging.
  4. This is an outstanding introduction to statistical learning that requires no prior knowledge of calculus or linear algebra. 
  5. The authors have done an outstanding job of taking complex topics and making them very understandable and quite frankly enjoyable. 


  1. It might well be an introduction to the topic but if you have no maths/statistical background beforehand do not buy this book.
  2. The binding of this book is very rough and ripped.
  3. This book is not for beginners.
  4. This book has all kinds of inconsistent production issues.
  5. Author/publisher has potentially misguided information about for whom this book intended for - "ISL makes modern methods accessible to a wide audience without requiring a background in Statistics or Computer Science.”


"An Introduction to Statistical Learning: with Applications in R" is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in mastering statistical learning concepts and their practical implementation. Whether you are a student, researcher, or professional in the field, this book provides a comprehensive foundation for understanding statistical learning algorithms and their application using R. The well-structured content, practical examples, and accessible writing style make it a must-have reference in the field of statistics.

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