There are a few reasons why it doesn't get five stars from myself. The book is somewhat convoluted in layout, and at 1300 pages I actually think this could be cut - sometimes less is more. The CD is good, and generally instructions for the exercises are clear and concise, although you are instructed in feet and inches which is unfortunate for those who work in millimetres in the United Kingdom, so be warned.
It is one of the best Autocad reference books out there, and I would recommend it to Autocad beginners who are familiar with how Autocad works and experienced veterans who are after a reference book for Autocad. Nevertheless, the book provides the neccessary instructions to improve and become proficient at Autocad. I would stress though that Autocad is like learning a language - it's all very well forcing the knowledge in - but you will only become truly proficient improve if you practice Autocad over a prolonged period of time. I would certainly recommend this book as a stepping stone towards proficiency.
Autocad 2012 is a comprehensive guide suitable for beginners and experienced users. This manual has all the information you'll find in Autocad fro Dummies and much more besides. The only criticism I could make is that all of the information and tutorials are in imperial measurements but this isn't as big an issue as you might think because the principles are the same. Autocad for Dummies does provide metric equivalents in the tutorials but some of them are incorrect - which just makes it all the more confusing. Once you've grasped the basics this book takes you through all of the advanced features, some of which you'll need and some you won't. In this respect it's useful to know the information is there if you need at a later date - either to master a new feature or just to brush-up on your existing knowledge.
The AutoCAD 2012 & AutoCAD LT 2012 Bible is the kind of book I ve been looking for but didn't seem to be able to find it. I use autocad for 15 years and what this book did for me was to explain in the best way possible all the new features the series introduced over the years which simply make your life easier. Going from Autocad 2004 to 2012 should be quite a leap but this book made it a lot easier.