Useful...insightful...and at times entertaining!!
And if you have read past those first three words of summary then you are probably the sort of person who will go on to study the law...and Glanville would be happy to welcome you on into the profession. He wasn't a fan of trite summaries (especially in law reports) and there is no doubt that this book doesn't attempt to summarise anything much. It is an introduction.
Useful in that it ties up some of the most basic misunderstandings about the law - I mean, when do you actually sue someone (as opposed to prosecuting them)? And where do you go to do it? And how much does a barrister pay for his/her wig and gown??
Insightful in that he clearly knows his stuff. Well you would if you were an eminent Cambridge professor.
And entertaining in it's language. Reading through the flowery prose is a bit like a day trip to Kew Gardens, but if you can get past his yesteryear academic quaintness it is well worth it. Glanville was obviously a bit like a pushy mum or a perfectionist dad shouting from the sidelines of the footie pitch - at one point he even suggests how to take notes in lectures and even offers his own version of a completely obvious shorthand; e.g. Crown Prosecution Service could be abbreviated to CPS - well duh! But then he's off into explaining Latin and French terms or the foundations of the European Community. So pick and choose the bits you think are worth reading. I missed out huge chunks but found the rest useful.
It's for the beginner so if you are about to start a law degree, a CPE, are still at college or are considering a career change then it's worth it. It has been updated but alas by another crusty Cambridge professor. I'm sure the editor thinks it's not just a super-duper old text but also a tip-top revision. Smashing! Enjoy with a buttered scone and a nice pot of earl grey. Afterall, it's better than any other title on the market by a country mile.