wmf pointed out that dmullen is complaining about something I wrote. dmullen, I'd appreciate it if you email email@example.com with a link when you talk about me.
dmullen clearly misunderstood my remark. I found TAOUP to be an interesting and slightly useful read. I don't think it's horrible or filled with flaws. My complaint is simply that the book is not about the art of Unix programming. At best, it might be called the practice of Unix programming. While ESR does have some aesthetically-valid points they're not really the focus of the book and his ugly recommendations seem to far outnumber them.
I also agree with mbp that ESR focuses on his own work too much. There are only so many fetchmail examples one can stand!
With Small is Beautiful, I'm planning to go in the other direction and completely ignore popularity and my own work, and try to communicate what I find beautiful about Unix.