As a French Tarrasch player with the white pieces, I was incredibly excited when I heard that this book was coming out. After it arrived, I couldn't believe it - 320 pages dedicated solely to the FT! All in typical high quality Everyman format. I've worked (and I mean WORKED) my way through most of it, and feel somewhat inclined to write a review (so here I am).
Before I continue, I must confess something: I'm fairly confident that this is a chess book that is above my ratings pay grade. Plain and simple. I'm not developed enough as a chess player to glean all the good stuff from these pages...and even though I am confident that this is an excellent book, I found much of the going laborious and frustrating. Maybe it's because the book was simply written for someone much, much better than me?
I saw where Donaldson recommended this book for players rated 2000 and above. I suppose that seems right. Make no mistake about it, this is a TOUGH, TOUGH book for an "average" player like me (I'm USCF 1550) to get through. I usually do just fine with most chess books (even the purportedly difficult/expert only ones). Not the case with this one.
So please keep that in mind as you read my comments below.
The "General Themes" section at the front of the book is great, and gives an overview of the basic ideas and themes you can expect/need to know in the typical opening, middlegame and endgame of this opening. I would guess that we will continue seeing more and more opening books written with this type of "general" opening knowledge about specific openings in the future (in fact, it seems we already are starting to see that change).
My biggest "issue" with the book, if you could call it that, is that it's just too damn dense in many areas...but then it will turn around and fail to address a move that is both natural (and thus likely to be seen by me and those of my ilk in our patzer games) and is backed up by big silicone Rybka god. In many areas there is incredible (overwhelming?) depth...in others, an odd absence of depth (or even inclusion at all).
I would argue that the book could have easily been 100 pages shorter, but for the author insisting on taking each and every possible sideline he mentions 25-30 moves deep. I'm not kidding. There are actually games in the book that are awarded a '?' or '?!' on, say move 9, but then another 20+ moves are included beyond where this dubious move or blunder occurred. This is THAT kind of openings book. In this area, I think the author could take some real inspiration from an openings writer like Andrew Greet or James Vigus, who both seem excellent at conveying both the "general" opening ideas and the nitty gritty details to us mere mortals, without burying us in line after line after line of moves and analysis.
To the author's credit, he's clearly done his homework and he put himself heart and soul into this book (which can't be said for many of the authors putting out opening books), and again, if I were rated 2100 I may have a very different review (something more akin to Sinbad's review below). I would guess that this will probably be the French Tarrasch user's bible for a number of years to come...I just wish it was a little more "user friendly". You would think that something less than 320 pages would have sufficed to get the point across.