So first, let me give some background so that any people reading this review will understand its context. I grew up sailing in New England, which is fairly serious stuff. I have over a decade of significant and frequent sailing experience, followed by a couple of decades' hiatus until recently, when I began sailing again, this time on smaller boats and in calmer conditions. That said, I learned (and still retain) a great deal of what I learned when younger but found myself uncertain where the holes in my knowledge were since I received no formal education on the topic. I got this book for the purpose of finding/filling those holes, and also catching anything I may remember (or have learned) incorrectly.
Gird your loins...you're in for a lot of information to absorb. And that's a good thing; there is a lot to know about sailing and sailing well. The book starts at a very basic level, and builds bit by bit on that knowledge so that before you know it you're reading about how to control the shape of the sail. Even more importantly, you're learning (in that example) *why* to control the shape of the sail. The only criticism I have is that the entire book is liberally peppered with testimonials as to how great the authors' sailing school is. But that's a relatively minor detail as they are all put forth as sidebars and the book really doesn't come up short on education. If you find yourself a bit lost at any point, go back a couple of pages; odds are you read over something too quickly, and lost the context for what you're reading now.
Whether or not this book may be too much for someone without any prior sailing experience is not for me to say; I knew what a "tiller" was and knew my starboard from port long before I was even interested in girls. But I'd recommend this book to anyone without reservations; it really is that good, in my opinion.