This book hands you all the information you need to start off with, including how to fix your mistakes, which I wouldn't even have thought to search for if I was learning through free internet tutorials. It's very encouraging to be given all this information that you wouldn't have found otherwise. I read the book cover to cover before I started knitting, and definitely had much more confidence in my knitting (and knowledge of yarns) than my friends who learned from the internet. The author does a great job at getting you through the clumsy, dropping-stitches phase, and without this book learning to knit would probably have been much more frustrating.
However, the style of writing made me cringe at times. Every heading has to be a pun, whether it's a good one or not. I feel like the author's trying to be cool, and it gets a bit too much at times.
The other negative I have is that as the book was first published in 2003, the patterns, which make up half the book, are a decade old and completely unwearable. Also, internet resources have advanced a huge amount since then and not only does her "useful links" section have some dead links, it's also missing important websites for today's knitter, such as Ravelry, Craftsy and Etsy.
All in all, it's a good beginner's guide to have on your shelf, but only half of the book is relevant. If you're using the other reviews to base a decision on please bear in mind that many of them were written in 2004 when the book was still new!