For the complete beginner this is one of the best books I have seen. Philip has done his homework and produced a user friendly, pocket-sized book that starts you with the a,b, and c of this fascinating writing form. There are plenty of illustrations throughout and the tone is lighthearted and certainly not acedemic. The author makes you feel at ease with his teaching style and soon has you hungry for more. This is one of those books you keep picking up as often as possible to do a bit more because it becomes so interesting. Without becoming bogged down in technicalities Philip introduces the basics and gradually works through limited grammar. Within a short period of time I would suggest the average reader could write their own name and string a few lines of characters together. If nothing else, you will be able to better understand commonly featured hieroglyphs associated with Pharaohs and amaze your friends by translating "Good God, Lord of the two Lands, King of lower and upper Egypt, Son of Ra, Given Life eternally..". For those who complete the book, or who are already experienced I can strongly recommend 'How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs' by Mark Collier and Bill Manley.