The book is beautiful, and has great history. The patterns are very interesting, but if you don't have sock experience I don't know how you'd work them. I have experience, but have never had this many problems. My first pair (light blue and white ones) had the weirdest heel. It made the sock almost completely straight, but since my foot bends at the heel, it was horribly uncomfortable. My local yarn shop couldn't understand how it would ever fit a normal foot so I rewrote the pattern and ripped back. The second pair (grey with off-white heel, toe, and top) was huge, although my guage was correct, and I had to restart that one, too. Then I did the ones on the cover, and the heel, though very interesting in concept, is way too big and forms basically a bubble jutting out from your foot (I just knitted every other row and it came out great). The last ones I did, the red cabled pair, came out very well (but cables give a sock more 'give,' so it's easier to fit them correctly). I'm tired of knitting 3 socks every time, so I'm going to be very careful about the patterns in the future. Here's what I suggest: knit a pair that fits your foot (preferably from a different book), and get the measurements of it, especially at the top and at your ankle. Then figure out the measurements of the pattern as it's written in this book, and change the pattern liberally until it is in normal human proportions.
They are beautiful when you finally get them right. My feet are always the prettiest in the room!