An account of the 2 hours I spent flipping through this book after it arrived at my door:
1. When I saw that the intricacy of the illustration on the cover is produced by overlapping several drawings, I thought, "uh-oh."
2. After looking through a few projects, I was a little disappointed with the haphazard organization of the "details." For example, full wall sections were more often than not excluded. Envelope details were presented as partial sections, thereby losing the context. The different lineweights were also practically indistinguishable.
3. I was impressed, however, with the comprehensive list of materials/components accompanying the drawings.
4. I was disappointed with the choice of photographs, in general, of the projects. Most projects had photos that basically show the same part of the building, but from a different angle, or slightly zoomed in.
5. More overlapping drawings. This bothers me quite a bit, since these are just page-fillers, and do not offer anything except examples of what not to do when presenting construction details.
6. One project was entirely devoted to the detailing of a window box, when that building had used a very interesting roofing material (handcrafted lead sheets), what appeared to be hidden gutters, and a very well integrated envelope from roof to grade. I flipped through this section repeatedly to check if I had missed some pages, then I grew a little angry that these very worthwhile details were forgone in favour of a single window.
7. After going through the entire book, I flipped through it quickly to see if there were any projects from South America since I didn't remember seeing any. I recalled only two projects from Central America. A quick look through the list of projects seem to indicate a coastal North America and Western European bias.
8. I wished I could afford a subscription to the German version of Detail.
I would not recommend this book for something that one expects from well-drafted construction documents. The method of reference and presentation is a little messy. Drawings seem to be organized by how well they fit together on a single page, rather than their as-built relationship. Given the precious lack of real-estate dedicated to photos, certain photographs could be omitted and replaced by more telling shots. Perhaps coordinate the details presented with a photo of the detail in situ and in context? A larger-scale foundation-to-roof envelope section can be a good organizational tool for subsequent details. Did I mention that overlapping drawings bother me?
What I find good is the abundance of projects, the organization by material, and the list of components used. While I have a lot to complain about in terms of the drawings, there is still quite a bit one can take away from them. It would be a good book to go to for initial ideas.
In short, this book is a coffee-table architectural book - a lot of pictures without definite purpose - disguised as a technical book. Sort of misses the point for a book that's about details.