I wanted to give a more in-depth review of this book than what's currently on here now.
First, about myself. As of the writing of this review I'm 38 and have been playing for over 20 years. I have been setting up, modifying and tinkering with guitars all along. So trust me when I say that this book is a must-have if you want to work on your Fender Strat. Or, if you just want to know more about what makes a strat sound and play the way it does, this book serves that purpose as well. If you are already familair with setting up your strat then this book won't tell you anything new, but it's still an enjoyable read.
The book is 176 glossy pages with rich, beautiful professional photos throughout the entire book. The text is very easy to read even for those that aren't entirely familiar with the intricate working and electronics of guitars in general and therefore provides for an enjoyable read even for the casual reader.
What the book is not: Althought it touches on repair, t's not a repair manual. The information on repair is not comprehensive enough to actually do it yourself. It's not a compendium of Strats from year to year giving comprehensive differences and when things changed. This information is already available from other sources. It's not simply a picture book or coffee table book even though the size and Hard Cover format might suggest.
What it is: A comprehensive breakdown of how to set-up your Fender Stratocaster. And it does this in a fashion that allows the new tinkerer to get in there and do the work themselves. Very much in the same vein as Dan Earlwine's books.
The book goes over specific bridge designs and how to adjust string height, trem settings, etc. It explains how to adjust the truss rod on the various styles (bullet, vintage at the heel, at the peghead, etc.). It shows you how to set up the pickup heights, string heights, etc. Also explains some weaknesses inherent in specific designs such as vintage tuners, saddles, etc.
The book also has a great set of appendices that explains Fender neck profiles, body woods, what specific screws are used where (great for knowing what to order if you lost one), and a few other tidbits.
Of note there is a good part of the book dedicated to examining a few specific models of guitars and their specs. They are: 54' Custom Shop, US 57 RI, Chinese Squier, Mexican Fat Strat, Indonesian 'Standard' Squier, Custom Shop Clapton, US 74' reissue, Japanese 50th Anniversary, US Am Series 2005, Chinese Standard Squier. These "case studies" examine the actual guitar in the author's hands, not just the model in generic terms. This information isn't terribly useful, but it is fun to read an offers some insight to the variances of some models.
Lastly, there is a small section devoted to some of the Strat's most famous players and it examine's a famous strat that they used. Again, the information contained is not "defining" to me, but it's fun to read.
In conclusion, the reason to buy the book is for the clearly-written step-by-step instructions on how to set up your Stratocaster. The rest of the information can be found in other places, and probably in better detail, but it's nice to have it all contained in one book.
I think a book like this is long overdue. Without this book the tinkerer would have to spend a few weeks asking Q&A at various guitar forums. And even then you have to figure out who's right and who's wrong. I can say from my own experiences over the years in setting guitars up that this book is an excellent resource for the would-be do-it-yourselfer that wants to learn basic maintenance on his/her Fender Stratocaster.
The book is a joy to read too. If you don't have a Strat and are thinking of buying one...this book will put you over the edge and send you running off to buy one.