I had high hopes for it because I really like Anna Proudfoot's Modern Italian Grammar. I ordered this book for purposes of self-instruction. Unfortunately, although the format of the book is attractive in many ways, this book is not really suitable for self-instruction. Partly this is a problem with Routledge's marketing: nothing in Routledge's blurb about the book indicates that you MUST have the CDs in order to really use this book because most of the exercises are based on the audio portion, and there are no transcripts of the audio in the text. So, the book and the CDs need to be bought together--probably with the workbook as well. Since Routledge gives you no indication about the content of the CDs--for instance, how many hours of instruction they contain--it is hard to know whether they are a good buy or not, and I don't want to spend $75.00 or so just to find out.
Another thing that really annoys me about this book is that you have to look up virtually all the vocabulary words yourself in the glossary or a dictionary, rather than having a certain vocabulary to master provided in each chapter. There is a vocabulary section at the end of the chapter, but it contains only a very small number of the words actually used in the chapter. Looking everything up slows down the learning process and makes it feel cumbersome.
So, while this book may well be good for use in the classroom, I cannot recommend it for those who are attempting to learn Italian on their own. (I would recommend Proudfoot's Modern Italian Grammar, however, if you want to come to serious grips with grammar. Better still is Denise de Rome's Soluzioni: A Practical Guide to Italian Grammar). I wish I had better suggestions for self-instruction than the usual Pimsleur, Barron's, etc., all of which are quite good in their ways, but only give you an elementary introduction.