From the standpoint of the beginner for whom this book is intended, of all the books available on the subject of English full-circle ringing, this one really is outstanding.
The "standard works" on the subject all assume a level of achievement usually in advance of that had by the early learner and so leave something of a vacuum at a time when help is most particularly needed. For example, Charles Troyte, that doyen of method ringing, having started from describing the rudiments of The Exercise introduces hunting, dodging and place-making before he's reached page 19 and still in the book's "Introduction"! It is unlikely that a bright 15 year-old would assimilate things at this pace - someone 50 years older and at a time in life when many take up the challenge of ringing, stands absolutely no chance!
However, in this instance where technical things are covered, such cover is in easily understandable form; the author, quite rightly, has left the myriad technicalities and complications to others. What makes Coleman's book refreshingly different is that he acknowledges human frailties and that we don't all absorb things with the same facility and at the same speed. "The Bellringer's Early Companion" in a very readable fashion identifies the many everyday problems faced by all who set off on this journey. These concerns are not always recognised by teachers or Tower Captains and often remain unaddressed; so many of those dispirited to a point where they give up learning ringing in the belief that they are unsuitable or incapable would be spared these supposed inadequacies if they had the sort of understanding and encouragement provided by Steve Coleman. I know of several people who, on the point of quitting, have gone on to become accomplished ringers as a consequence of having their confidence restored by the experience and wisdom contained in this book.
It will be evident that I wholeheartedly recommend this excellent work.