SM 101 is an excellent overview of what (and almost as importantly) what *not* to do as you pursue an interest in the BDSM field of experience. As a novice to this exciting and often-overwhelming community of people and my own inner feelings, I knew I needed a "guide" to get me through the start.
I found that guide in Wiseman's SM 101. He presents the basics: definitions, safety, suggestions, more safety, tantallizing tidbits of things to try, and safety. As a newcomer, I was daunted by the idea of pursuing something so inherently dangerous in a relatively sane manner.
I found out how to approach my new interests by reading SM 101. While a bit dry - Wiseman does stay focused on "giving you the goods" (and a little bit of safety) - he still manages to convey a great deal of information in a relatively short volume.
The best part of the book for me were the "quotes" on each page - little phrases or comments quoted from people in the BDSM scene - and these gave me the insight into the emotional/sensual side of this new venue I was checking out. Wiseman's insights have made me safe while I try to explore something not-so-acceptable in today's society, and comfortable that I'm doing the right thing.
I recommend this book for every "newbie" - whether you read it cover to cover (as I did) or pay close attention to chapters that cover what you specifically want to explore.
If it doesn't save your life, it will at the least make you more comfortable living it.