We use the ATL quite a lot at work. It makes dealing with COM a lot less tedious. Unfortunately, it was designed by a complete nutter, and as with all boilerplate-code-generation, if you decide that actually, after the initial set-up phase, you wish you'd made a different choice, life can become quite tedious trying to correct it. I bought this book hoping to spread some light on the innards of this thing.
Sadly, this book is tedious and bloated. While the first few chapters cover the useful stuff, there is plenty of filler, and a huge number of code examples. The main body of the text is 600 pages long. Coincidence? Or were they just set a target to make a chunky (if pretty unreadable) book? This is a shame, since in there is the occasional bit of useful material. The book also suffers from being about the ATL, which it has to be said is a fairly tedious topic to write about. Still... shame it had to suck so much.