Overall, this is a good book on the various subjects it covers, but I have to wonder - why would you buy this expensive hardcover version when the paperback version costs a little more than half what this hardcover costs? The contents are the same, the publication date is the same, and having had my softcover copy for two years and made heavy use of it, it seems to be standing up to the wear and tear just fine.
This book is an overview of all of the components of nonlinear dynamics. Nonlinear dynamics is a field of study that enables well-constructed predictive modeling of systems that might be difficult to solve otherwise. Such continuous systems were first widely modeled by ordinary and differential equations, but with the passage of time there are now tools and mathematical models at our disposal that make for a much more concise model of many systems. This workbook tries to touch on all of those mathematical tools.
The first six chapters of the book has to do with modeling such complex systems in general, and the rest of the book is a survey of the tools needed to perform complex modeling. The book's format is that of briefly explaining a concept in a few pages, and then presenting a computer program that demonstrates the concept just explained. The explanations are very clear and concise, there are plenty of equations shown, and the accompanying code is well commented. If you want to really drill deeply into any of the concepts then you are going to need some other books. I suggest that for further reading for the mathematically inclined that you pick up "Chaos: An Introduction to Dynamical Systems" by Kathleen Alligood. For scientists that want to see specific problems that can be solved by dynamical systems I suggest the excellent "Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos: With Applications in Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and Engineering" by Strogatz. The only real complaint I have against this book is that there is uneven coverage of different tools. For example, the author has a great deal to say about neural networks and fuzzy logic, but has very short chapters covering discrete wavelets and cellular automata. More material would have been great, since it is hard to find good books on discrete wavelets and cellular automata in particular. Some readers may also be annoyed that much of the book are code listings of the various demonstration programs.
Overall, I would highly recommend this as one of several books that anyone interested in dynamical systems should definitely own. In particular, those individuals interested in the techniques of algorithmic composition of music might find this book a good jumping off point for studying the tools and techniques that make such compositions possible.