This book manages to be both expert and approachable at the same time. It won't frighten off a newcomer to jazz - indeed it could serve as a good starting place for new listeners - and it is knowledgeable and accurate so that a reader who already has some jazz expertise will not find it oversimplifies its subject matter.
Great music, hard drugs, quick fingers, short lives, night clubs, bus tours, sometimes jail. The roads these talented young men walked down may have been painfully difficult to navigate at times, but fortunately the music rarely touched the ground. If you are remotely interested in Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk et al this is definitely a good read. Use it alongside the All Music Guide to cherry pick the best of bebop.