Ben Quash and Michael Ward edited Heresies, a series of sermons on many of the early heterodox opinions in the church and why certain doctrines were rejected in favor of others. It starts out as a set of pretty decent summaries, then limps downhill.
I've always had a hard time keeping them straight, all the Montanists, Donatists, docetists, Marcionists and whatever. Some of the writers thought there was an observable trend that heresies were attempts to avoid one problem so thoroughly that an opposite error emerged. Others thought that the vagueness and ambiguities of heresies, especially those propounded by mystics, made it difficult to identify if there was much wrong for quite a few years. I don't think either generalisation holds for long. What did fascinate was the perseverance of some heresies in the folk beliefs around the Mediterranean, and modern emergences of old falseness.
What they did convince me was important about all this is that people putting forth bad ideas often insist on them and force a crisis. Rank-and-file believers would often just as soon be left alone - which is why many orthodoxies did not reach final form for centuries after Christ. But heretics often have that push, that bulldog tendency, or a desire to be a somebody and have followers (not all). Secondly, they often rely on a few scripture sections to the exclusion of others to prove their points.* They force the doctrinal issue, as everyone else has to sit down and thumb through a lot of NT books and argue to decide what, precisely, do we believe the right doctrine to be?
But all in all, you might do better just reading the Wikipedia articles. This has a lot collected in one place, which is nice, but not enough. I bought it for Ben and will send it along, but don't be surprised if you see his copy in a used bookstore in Spring, TX.
*Now there's something that continues into the modern day...