I bought this book recently as a basic introduction to Fencing, however I found it of little use. There are reasonable passages covering Foil, Epee and Sabre, but insufficient detail is included to allow the book to be truly worth while. Too frequently, Mr. Werner trivialises fencing by his use of pseudo-cool language throughout the passages. Why the section on "Sport Fencing" - which is in essence Steam Sabre, deserves a separate passage is beyond me, and the introduction of simplified language serves only to insult and confuse both current and novice fencers. However, by far the most unnecessary section of the book is the training diary, where Mr. Werner comes across as the sort of person who, if not easily satisfied will become board and restless. Does he not realise that any sport is hard work, and effort must be put in to achieve results? Buy this book if you want a (very) basic introduction to Fencing, and so long as you don't expect much from the book, you won't be disappointed.
The first part of Mr. Werner's book covers the basics of the three weapons (foil, epee, and saber), and the second half is a autobiographical account of the author's experiences begining to fence. The first half of the book is very light...not explaining footwork, stances, or bladework in enough detail to be truly helpful. The photos used are not very helpful either, even though the use of PVC tubes over the blades to increase visibility in the photos is a good idea. The journal is interesting, but leaves me with little respect for the author. He comes across as whiny and slightly juvenile in his approach to fencing. I would pass this one up.
FENCER'S START-UP is a light, energetic, easy to read book, full of enthusiasm for fencing. It is well suited to the needs of the beginning fencer whose goal is simply to have a good time. As a fencing master, I recommend this book.
Fencer's Start-Up is the best introduction book, you can buy, for someone if they have no idea, of what fencing is, or how it is played. It doesn't have the history of traditions of fencing lurking around every page either. Children or teenagers interested in fencing would especially benefit from this book.