I bought the book, and a Pickit1 as a way to get back into microcontrollers after several years' absence, and I've had this book for over a year now.
Despite the lame, lame title and the conceit of having 123 'experiments' (... it doesn't), this book is actually a very useful primer for 8-bit PIC microcontrollers. It has about equal focus on using C and assembler, and the range of provided 'experiments' actually provide a very good cross-section of common, useful applications of small microcontrollers, including A/D, comparators, timers and PLL. About the only basic topic it doesn't cover is interrupts.
I especially liked the fact that the book is entirely based on the Pickit1 evaluation board ([...])and the two PICs provided in the kit (16F684, 12F675). This inexpensive evaluation board is both a USB programmer and modest evaluation framework. The book completely covers how to get started with this board and MicroChip's free MPLAB IDE and the (also free) PICC Lite C compiler.
Even though the author often moves the programmed PIC over to a solderless breadboard to build and run a project, I found I could also test many of the projects by simply running the PIC in place on the Pickit1, and connecting to PIC's I/O through the Pickit1's expansion connector. (By changing some port assignments, and making a couple of hardware mods, I've checked out alot of projects directly on the Pickit1)
The combination of this book and the Pickit1 is a low-cost, low-hassle, no-excuses way to get started with modern PIC 8-bit microcontrollers. Or to get reacquainted with them, as I did. In my opinion, a beginner will get much more positive experience from this combination than struggling with the many in-print beginners books and articles that still use the venerable, under-equipped (and obsolete) PIC16F84, a separate power source, and some form of hand-rolled serial programmer.
I've now moved up to the Pickit2 programmer, and my copy of this book is dog-eared and marked up, but I still go back to it frequently. One of my best purchases.