Rare is the new work of Kierkegaardian scholarship that meets a genuine need, but Dr. Simpson's The Truth is the Way is one of these singular few. His brief and accessible survey of Kierkegaard's corpus (itself neither brief nor easily accessible) has much to recommend it, but perhaps the greatest contribution this book provides is the sense it is able to make of the seemingly promiscuous intermingling of philosophy and theology throughout Kierkegaard's authorship. Countless pages have been penned discussing, proposing, denying, and debating systematic understandings of Kierkegaard's philosophy and thought, but there is surprisingly little on offer for those who seek an understanding of the way Kierkegaard's theology informs, guides, and develops along with the rest of his thought. Surprising indeed, given that Kierkegaard understood his task as primarily theological: not, as histories of modern philosophy would have it, that of the introduction of existentialism to 60's France, but of the reintroduction of Christianity into Christendom. As he himself said of his own work, "the fundamental idea in the whole authorship...is the issue and the task of becoming a Christian--what this means and how one does it."
At the heart of both the originality and value of Dr. Simpson's work is the seriousness with which it takes this claim. Most introductory works on Kierkegaard either work their way through the authorship book by book, summarizing the main ideas and presenting the reader with a broad but rather disjointed picture of the Dane's ideas (of which M. Jamie Ferreira's Introduction to Kierkegaard is a fine example), or they work through his writings by discussing their relevance--or irrelevance--and relation to modern/contemporary philosophy's own particular set of concerns and questions (Michael Weston's work is here representative).
However, Dr. Simpson's overview of Kierkegaard's theologia viatorum takes the way less traveled, as it were, offering instead a view which moves toward the unity of Kierkegaard's authorship along confluent routes. The brilliance of The Truth is the Way is its clear demonstration of the simultaneous conceptual and religious progression of Kierkegaard's thought. Thus, while the chapter titles in the table of contents (Communication, Faith, Truth, et al.) would lead one to believe Dr. Simpson has merely chosen certain topoi in order to bring a manner of organization to the difficult task of presenting an understanding of the prolific author's works, this is decidedly not so. Instead, the book's discussion progresses naturally along with the progression of Kierkegaard's own authorship, simultaneously microcosmically (as in the discussion of faith, which shows that Kierkegaard's idea of faith "in the ordinary sense" contains an inherent vector toward that of Christian faith itself) and macrocosmically (in that the book as a whole demonstrates that the authorship is itself, from the first pen stroke, progressing toward a fuller articulation of the Christian way--if, for example, an understanding of existence per se is developed, this is only and always with the telos of the later development of an understanding of specifically Christian existence). It is this structure and strategy--and the excellence with which it is developed and carried out--that makes Dr. Simpson's The Truth is the Way, for my money, the best introduction to Kierkegaard's work available.
Two brief nota bene:
*The first thing a reader will notice is that there is, in a manner of speaking, perhaps more of Kierkegaard than Simpson in this work--and I trust this is precisely Dr. Simpson's intention. The book is bursting at the seams with quotations and references. While this may be unsettling to those unaccustomed to this style (this reviewer was himself initially put off by it), it actually adds much to the suasive appeal to the unity of Kierkegaard's authorship and its Christian telos: the way Kierkegaard has painted the landscape of existence emerges with greater clarity with Dr. Simpson's continual insistence that his readers pay attention to Kierkegaard's brushstrokes.
*It must be noted that this book is not in any way an apologetic or argument for the truth of Christianity. Those readers who have no interest in Christian theology need not worry that a "theological" viewpoint on Kierkegaard will slide into irrelevant preaching. The book's claim is that Kierkegaard's authorship need be understood through and in the development and progression of its ideas in their irresistible march toward an understanding of Christianity and a person's truly becoming a Christian; it is not an argument for the truth of Kierkegaard's ideas. There is of course much in the book that one who wants to accomplish such a task will find useful; in no place, however, does Dr. Simpson in any way explicitly attempt such an undertaking.
tl;dr: This is the simply the best introduction to Kierkegaard currently available.