I picked up my first guitar almost ten years ago. My first few months were spent with a rather "serious" book, which almost killed my interest completely. Then, thankfully, I found this excellent book, and it completely saved my guitar playing.
It manages to teach you basic (and invaluable) techniques whilst still making the examples and tutorials sound good, so you immediately feel like you're making progress. The learning curve is also at a good level, and slowly introduces new methods to bring you up to scratch, as well as involving some basic (and essential!) music theory.
Nine years on I'd like to think of myself as quite an accomplished guitarist, but if it wasn't for this book (and a few others from the series) I'd probably have given up long ago.
I can't recommend this enough to anyone interested in playing "hard rock" or metal guitar, it's the best guitar tutorial book I've ever seen.