My personal opinion is that this is a very well presented, consisely written book, providing a superb grounding in the subject.
I can honestly say that I didn't know the first thing about art, or it's origins, when I started reading this, but the explanations are so clear and the points got across so well, that I really do feel that I now have some kind of grasp on the subject.
Yes, it looks like a text book, and I suppose that in some respects you could indeed class it as such. However, it's written in such an easy going style, and in laymans terms too, that it's almost like having one-to-one tuition with the author. Luckily, great pains have been taken to ensure that the book doesn't degenerate into complete waffle - it manages to be consise and only as much is said in order to get a point across.
Still, I feel that there is enough detail in the book that it would, perhaps, provide a useful reference to those who already have an understanding of the field. (Though obviously don't hold me to that, as I'm just a 'beginner'!)
The book has plenty of illustrations, but not too many so as to make it of an unmanageable size. A few larger sized pull-out illustrations are also included, which is a nice touch - the reader is spared having to dig around for a magnifying glass to appreciate the picture!
I feel that I can look around, at arcitecture, sculpture, or paintings, and appreciate them much more than I could before - I can take time to think about where and when in history something was created and know what the artist was trying to produce.