I am an upper-intermediate italian student who has recently passed the FCE exam. Now I would like to take my knowledge even further and so I have decided to buy a serious grammar book. I bumped into this one : "Cambridge Grammar of English: A comprehensive guide" by Ronald Carter and Michael McCarthy. What do you think about it? Is it too complex for a student?

I just took a quick look at that book, and it doesn't really look like an ESL (English as a Second Language) grammar book to me. I'm not sure though. I'll check it out, maybe I'll be able to get a copy.

Non-native speakers need ESL grammar books with lots of examples and simple explanations. There are several good ones. You might be interested in the "Grammar in Use" series published by Cambridge University Press, or "Practical English Usage" by Michael Swan (one of the most complete ESL grammar books).
The book is very interesting. I am fairly proficient in English, and decided to purchase the book to read. I did not want to improve in any specific area of the knowledge of English, as I am naturally the least informed on how strong or weak I am in the usage of English. I did not find the book very formal, but I found it genuinely useful.
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Hello, Marco. I have the Cambridge Grammar of English as well as its parent book, The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Huddleston & Pullum). Even though the CGE includes a CD-ROM and is authored by two highly respected descriptive grammarians, I find it very difficult to search.

In my own work I rely instead on the slightly earlier A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech & Svartvik), and even more useful is its more manageable derivative manual, Leech & Svartvik's A Communicative Grammar of English. The indices and organization of these two books are much superior to those of the Cambridge books, and I am always able to find what I am looking for in them. The Cambridge grammars sit dusty and forlorn on my bookshelf in spite of their later publication date.