I have been roleplaying for years, many many years. I have seen games come and go, I have seen the white box set of G. Gygax. I have seen games like RuneQuest, Warhammer FRP, MERP, Torg, so many games.
Yet this is the real start, the real truth of how great roleplaying can be. You might find 3rd edition more intricate, more things to do in it, but the original AD&D players manual and DM manual were the best in my humble opinion.
This book shows how to create characters quick and just start roaming the worlds that the DM makes. GET IT. and the Dungeon Master Manual by G. Gygax. You will love it better than almost anything else the roleplaying world has to offer.