As a beginner to mixing drinks, I found this book a disappointment. For instance, you will find no guidance on how to make a twisted lemon or orange peel. This book will also emphasize premium brands over more economical substitutes. For instance, this book calls for Cointreau in a Cosmopolitan, whereas The Complete Bartender calls for Triple Sec, which can be a much cheaper alternative.
The physical layout of the book is poor, it is thick and does not stay open easily; the typeface is small. It does have "bartender's secrets" providing tips on such topics as precise pouring, but these tips are scattered randomly throughout the book without any index.
Buy this book if you are interested in what appears to be rare cocktail recipes. It also has a two or three page history on each major alcohol, which is interesting. However, I ended up buying The Complete Bartender, which I far prefer (the typeface is very readable and the recipes far more reasonable but still varied enough to be interesting).