This book is a feast for the eyes - the photography is wonderful and the writing evocative. It is a very comprehensive survey of Thai gastronomy, setting it in its cultural and historical contexts. As the other reviewers have noted, it isn't and shouldn't be bought merely as a cookery manual. "Thai Food" is far more than that. If you want a simple, step by step recipe book, buy Ken Hom, for example. This is in no way a slur on the qualities of Thompson's book - it is a celebration of Thai food and a wonderful tribute the complexities of the cuisine. If you're really into Thai food, it's a must on your bookshelf.