I have owned this book for many years (since 1977) and it still remains as one of the finest books on the method of French cooking. It is thorough and easy to understand as long as you read the recipe very carefully and fully before you begin. The recipes themselves are presented so that the reader is introduced to the basic way of preparing and cooking something with variations following on from the master recipe in question. Volume 1 takes the reader through Soups (onion, garlic, vichyssoise being fine and tasty examples), through a fabulous chapter on sauces (white, brown, hollandaise, stocks etc) and moves on to some of the classic dishes for which the French are known (Coq au Vin, Pot-au-Fue). The only criticism I could think of was a slightly dissappointing chapter on fish - they only really mention sole (unsurprisingly perhaps). The puddings are particularly straightforward to follow and quite delicious (cheery clafoutie being particularly so). Some of the recipes do call for a particularly long time in the kitchen - especially for the traditional French loaf for example - but if you have time on your hands or a long weekend ahead, it is well worth the effort immersing yourself in the delights of making (perhaps) a wonderful choucroute a l'Alsacienne and enjoying the beautiful meaty aroma of a dish that takes at least 5 hours to cook.