I bought this book in conjunction with a very very primary Italian language course, and ended up getting more from the book than I did from the course. The book is well laid out in the sense that every chapter is the logical followup to the previous one, and you get a great sense of confidence because it's such a great teacher, and makes it so easy to get to love the language. By halfway through the book, I was able to hold conversations with native Italians. I must find out if there's a similar book on Spanish!!!