It should be mentioned immediately that the reader should not expect to read an algorithm as if it were part of a novel; such an attempt would make it pretty difficult to understand what is going on. An algorithm must be seen to be believed, and the best way to learn what an algorithm is all about is to try it. The reader should always take pencil and paper and work through an example of each algorithm immediately upon encountering it in the test. This is a simple and painless way to gain an understanding of a given algorithm, and all other approaches are generally unsuccessful.
From: The art of computer programming, vol1