This is a momentous book which contains enough ideas to keep you thinking for a lifetime. Jung's theory of the archetypes and the collective unconscious revolutionises the way we conceive of our own pysches, their inter-relationship with each other and their relation to the rest of existence. Jung brings this conception quite literally to a new level. Put it this way, having just read this book two years into writing a PhD, I now realise that I will have to rewrite almost everything I've done so far from the start. The reason for this is the unique perspective Jung can offer on what exactly it is human beings are trying to do with their lives, whether they are fully conscious of it or not. In particular, his insight into the travails of modern man and his quest for individuation dwarfs anything else I have read by other famous European theoreticians of the twentieth century. No serious literary critic or student of any humanities discipline can afford not to have read and come to terms with it.
It may be difficult for a beginner to get all the ideas in one go, as there is a lot of information both in the text itself and hidden in its implications. You have to be ready for this book, and much of the information in it may only be fully appreciated on the second or third reading. This in itself is a reflection of how profound it is. It may be better to start with "Memories, Dreams, Reflections" to get an overall idea of what sort of person Jung was before tackling his revolutionary ideas. But this book is indispensible for anyone who wants to understand his thought. I recommend it highly.