Despite Marin's formidable reputation as a chess writer, this is my first book by this author. I can now say that his fame is well-deserved. Marin writes with great clarity and thoroughness, and his understanding of the subject is terrific. I give this book my highest recommendation, but read on to see if this masterpiece is appropriate for you.
Let me start with some notes about the opening system that is the focus of Marin's book. I play the English with g3 regularly, and I am quite satisfied with this opening. This approach to the English is rather positional, with most lines achieving small but long-term pressure on the Black position. In general, there is a lack of early contact, which avoids simplification and results in rich middlegames where both sides have a wide range of possible plans. Given the lack of tactical melee in the opening, the play normally relies on understanding typical structures, avoiding the memorization of variations to a large degree. This same claim is often made by the authors of opening manuals to lure club players, but I can guarantee that it is true in this case. My main source for this opening so far has been Kosten's The Dynamic English : The aggresive player's guide to a traditional chess opening, which has aged remarkably well.
It is also critical to point out that the English with g3 as interpreted by Kosten and Marin is a strategically ambitious system, that strives to achieve a significant positional advantage against every Black reply. As a result, the White player must master a large number of pawn structures and associated plans, with plenty of examples of subtle play and hypermodern counterattacks against the Black center. To be frank, I have found this difficult to digest, despite some hard work looking for related games and multiple readings Kosten's book. I cannot recommend the English with g3 as a quick fix of your repertoire with White, as Black has many choices and White has to avoid many positional pitfalls to reach a good position. I learnt to play the Colle/Stonewall Attack much faster for example, and I sometimes miss all those rapid King side attacks against unprepared opponents.
Here is where Marin's book reveals itself as a phenomenal contribution. There are two things that really shine in Marin's writing. First, he bothers to explain with words many moves that are difficult to understand for the average club player. Second, he often examines every legal (and sensible) reply by Black, which gives me great confidence in his choices and makes it very clear how to utilize the general ideas to obtain a concrete advantage. Given the subject matter, such a presentation is priceless. My heavy use in the last two weeks since I received this volume has lead me to many new insights in difficult variations that I could never understand from Kosten alone.
To go over the contents more in detail, this volume focuses on 1...e5. It is divided in 8 main parts and 33 chapters. The first two parts explore the early Bishop developments Bc5 and Bb4. In the former, I was pleasantly surprised by the delay of e3 and a3, which I never found fully convincing in Kosten's. Marin's d3 favors faster development and it is probably easier to play. The next part focuses on the Botvinnik, and Marin does an excellent job explaining this system. The Botvinnik is the cornerstone of the repertoire, being the primary way to tackle King's Indian structures with e5, and it is far more difficult to play than most players think. Next comes the Reserve Sicilian, where Marin chooses 5. Nc3. My results with Kosten's Nf3 are so good that I haven't examined this part yet. The remaining material looks at the Keres, the accelerated Keres and some minor lines. I was eagerly waiting for Marin's take on the accelerated Keres, which featured as a refutation of the English with g3 in Palliser's Dangerous Weapons: Flank Openings: Dazzle Your Opponents!. Marin's logical and incredibly thorough analysis of these lines is well worth the price of the whole book.
I also would like to mention the production qualities of this outstanding book. It is simply a pleasure to stare at the pages, which employ a very readable two-column layout in a pleasant serif font. Main lines and variations are always easy to distinguish, and no page feels crammed or underutilized. Almost every page has two or three diagrams, and the use of slightly smaller variation diagrams is a very nice touch. Overall, Quality Chess fully honors its own name with this edition.