Chances are, if you're thinking about learning Czech, you will be in one of the following situations:
- you have a Czech boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife
- you are imminently moving, or have already moved, to the country because of that person
First things first - Czech is hard for English speakers. Or any native speakers of Germanic languages. There's no getting away from this. You are in for a tough ride.
It's important to have some perspective about this book. There's not enough here to give you anything more than a 'basic' level in the language. However, everything is explained well and it is not just grammar, grammar, grammar. There are plenty of those kinds of books out there, btw. The book tries to be fun and a creative teacher can do a lot with it. There's a reason why this is (probably) the most popular and widely-used book for expats in Prague. The thing I have used the most is the laminated card with all the case endings - very useful for reference.
To clarify some points in other reviews - the instructions for the exercises ARE in Czech but ALL these words are TRANSLATED at the very beginning. Simply flick back to the start if you don't understand the instructions. And come on, most of the activities are not rocket science! Fill in this, match the phrases, etc. Also, there are 2 books - the yellow textbook and green workbook, plus a CD. If you don't get all this when you buy as new, then you haven't gotten what you've paid for.
Criticisms of this book are that it is too simple, and the dialogs are unrealistic. The latter is mainly from native Czechs. The counter argument is that the dialogs cannot possibly be 'realistic' due to the level of the book. The simplicity argument is also relative. There is a massive amount of grammar to be learned just to be able to say basic, everyday things correctly. In this regard, the book is caught between a rock and a hard place - trying to cover all the basics, but also making a big effort not to terrify foreigners enough to make them run straight for the border.
Definitely recommended but only as your first Czech book.