I bought this book after discovering the television show and reading the enthusiastic reviews. The recipes taste great and leave your kitchen smelling heavenly. The instructions are clear, although occasionally, Jamie neglects to define specific terms such as "sweating" vegetables, and often uses imprecise measurements (i.e. "handfuls"). Being petite, my hand almost certainly holds less than his, but this is a minor point. If you don't use fresh herbs already, Jamie will quickly convert you.
Jamie states at one point that the book represents what he likes to cook. Unfortunately, the recipes do not reflect what I like to cook, and given a second chance, I would not buy this book again. The following information is not meant as criticism, but as a guide to help you determine if these recipes are for you.
You will find few stews, casseroles, or meats cooked in a sauce in this collection. Most of the meats are roasted with herbs, and three-quarters of the dishes use red meat (mostly lamb). The seafood section, while offering a variety of fish, contains only two shellfish recipes. The pasta section emphasizes fresh, homemade noodles with light sauces or filled pastas such as ravioli and tortellini. You will not find any recipes for lasagna, cannelloni, or other baked dishes. The grain chapter consists only of risottos and couscous, and the legume section mostly of seasoned beans or lentils meant as side dishes. The desserts consist primarily of steamed puddings, tarts, and an ice cream-like concoction called semifreddo. Alas, no cookies or cakes!
Some of these dishes are too time-consuming or fattening for me to make on a regular basis, despite their deliciousness. Others are simply not what I prefer to eat--I'll take Coq au Vin over herb-roasted chicken any day. Decide for yourself if this book offers the kind of recipes you want.