First of all, if you are not up on Marxist studies semantics, you may find this almost too dense a read to come up with anything coherent. You need to have worked your way through that the semantics of Marx's Capital, even to a moderate level, and if that's too hard to digest for the novice, begin with its varied analyses, and for that I recommend David Harvey's A Companion to Marx's Capital and/or Frederic Jameson's A reading of Volume I. Once you have arrived at that level of this type of discourse, you are ready to tackle this material. Even then it is not always smooth sailing. Second of all, while the arguments and conclusions are profound, the sentence structures and style of writing coupled with the argot make this highly challenging, in my opinion. My recommendation on how to read this, for those who feel they are willing to give it a go, is to quicken your normal style of close reading (that I normally use with academic material), practically streaming through the sentences at double speed. I read academic material all the time, but one sentence sometimes fills an entire paragraph, in what I would describe as a "symphonic structure, i.e., the sentence only comes together when you are practically taking it in all at once. It is possible to work through them, but you need to trust your comprehensive faculties on slight autopilot,to put together the gist of the argument. An example:
"Every legitimate improvement must be containable well within the structural parameters of such dictates [capital's material dictates is what he is referring to], and everything that lies outside them, or points beyond them, ipso facto remains conceptually hidden from the bourgeois intellectual horizon, since it cannot be fitted into the vital material premises of the given society. And since the dominant productive practices are indissolubly wedded to the practices of the natural sciences under the rule of capital's logic, the material interests of self-expanding exchange-value and the ideological interests of defining "social improvement" in its terms necessarily coincide, reducing the all-important concept of social control to conformity to the structural presuppositions and imperatives of the established order."
Further frustrating is that there are sometimes, but not that frequently, fragments instead of complete sentences, which then require you to backtrack to put together its correct antecedent. As I read through this I keep thinking, surely there must be a simpler way to phrase this, or at least paraphrase this. Or maybe I'm just not sufficiently familiar with this level of complexity of discourse. That is the main critique of this work, and why it loses a star.
All that said, the actual content of argument, once you begin to grasp it, is nothing if not profound. Mészáros begins with the premise that the history of philosophy is framed in such a way that there are concealed premises and underpinnings of the structures and mechanics of capital, that is, the broadly-stroked premises of Marxist theory of capital. At least, that is what I am taking away from the first 1/4th of this work. Then connect that to Forms of Consciousness which operate in ways that the philosophical method assumes unconsciously (and thus deficiently), and you begin to scratch the surface of where this is going. Anyone here is free to disagree with my understanding, but I am pretty sure I have a handle on it, although after I have completed it, like the first 3 chapter of Marx's Capital itself, I plan to work through it again.
And all that said, if you are not a beginner at this vernacular, I say go for it. You will find great reward in it.
PS: There is a volume 2 of this, for the ambitious who have not yet been overwhelmed by Volume I. When I work through that, I will try to post a review.