This advanced text provides an excellent account of the current state-of-the art of options pricing/hedging models and interest rate term structure models. The book is accessible to both advanced practitioners of mathematical finance as well as to pure researchers in the field.
The book is in written in a mathematical style and contains rigorous proofs of many results. However, the main focus of the text is to describe the frontier of knowledge in the subject. Each section contains copious references to the literature and is so current that several references are to working papers. Many sections detail open problems and other areas suitable for scholarly research.
In their second edition, the authors provide an extremely useful critique of each modeling paradigm that they investigate. They also provide evidence for their position in the form of literature references which instruct the reader as to the shortcomings/limitations of a particular model. This information should prove quite valuable to model practitioners and implementers.
The authors assume an advanced background from the field of stochastic analysis, although they do provide an appendix which summarizes key results needed from the field. For the stochastic calculus prerequisites, I recommend Rogers & Williams Diffusions, Markov Processes, and Martingales: Volume 1, Foundations and Diffusions, Markov Processes and Martingales: Volume 2, Itô Calculus. Suitable prerequisites are also covered by Karatzas and Shreve in Brownian Motion and Stochastic Calculus. A good foundation in arbitrage pricing theory is also needed. I recommend the nice treatment by Bjork in Arbitrage Theory in Continuous Time.
The book is divided into two parts. The first part deals with options pricing in equity markets. Chapter 1 sets premlinaries required for the arbitrage theoretic framework, while Chapter 2 has a very nice treatment of discrete time models and finite financial markets.
In Chapter 3, the authors develop the Black-Scholes model along with the Bachelier model using arbitrage techniques. The models are compared and used as benchmark continuous time models and form the basis for all subsequent analysis.
Chapter 4 provides a nice survey of techniques used to price/hedge options in foreign equity and currency markets. The authors assume familarity of the basic workings of foriegn markets.
Chapter 5 is a terrific chapter on valuing American-style options. The American call option is thoroughly studied and approximation techniques for the American put option are introduced. The explicit derivations of the formulas are referenced to the literature.
Chapter 6 provides an introduction to exotic options, although the authors vary their use of the term 'exotic' to meaning 'not a standard European-style or American-style' in this chapter to meaning 'no readily available liquid market' in Chapter 7. The descriptions are quite accessible and the basic properties of the options are described along with pricing formulas (assuming the Black-Scholes framework).
Chapter 7 provides as complete an accounting as I have ever seen of the generalizations of the Black-Scholes model and motivates this from the point of view of volatility surfaces. Many of the well-known models are studied in detail, such as CEV, local volatility, and mixture models. The strengths and weaknesses of each model are analyzed. The stochastic volatility models of Wiggins (via Orenstien-Uhlenbeck processes), Hull-White, and Heston are studied, as is the SABR model. The chapter wraps up with a study of the SIV models, describes how the stochastic volatility models can be obtained via limits of GARCH models and surveys Jump-diffusion processes and Levy processes.
The second part of the book is concerned with term structure models and interest rate derivatives. The authors are quite well-know for their many contributions to this study and their treatment is authoritative.