Let me preface this review by saying I respect Branko Ajzele and I work with people who have experience working with him, and his reputation precedes him as a master of his craft. That said, I can honestly say that I was shocked when I picked up this book. When my Amazon shipment first arrived I yoinked out the packing bubbles and I thought they forgot to put the book in the box - there was only this little pamphlet on the bottom? That pamphlet was the book.
The first thing you can't help but to notice is how tiny it is - forty usable pages out of fifty-some literal printed pages, and most of them filled to the brim with screen shots of stock Magento admin panels. I thought to myself that this book must contain the most amazing and profound secrets of Magento ever, written in such a concise method as to require virtually no space at all. I flipped through a few sections only to find that each "chapter" (of something like a few hundred words or so) was a mere mention of buzzwords and glossary terms one would need to know to get by. It was lighter on detail than any web page you might casually encounter on the same subject. I can't figure out who the audience is for this book, other than the one guy who for some reason is a veteran of php-based eCommerce frameworks, yet does not know what a cart or a payment gateway is, and who is being held at gunpoint to get Magento set up by himself in a single weekend.
I am sorry to say that this work miserably fails to deliver on the cover's list of promises regarding "what you will learn from this book" unless, as I mentioned, you're "that one guy" in which case you really don't need it. For the rest of us, this book is a flatliner that will leave you exactly where you started when you picked it up - minus twenty dollars.
I cannot fathom how PACKT Publishing - a name I usually respect - could publish a book that spends two sentences explaining a topic such as attributes and then moves on... The book is from a series called "INSTANT" publications that promise to be "Short, Fast and Focused" but this is ridiculous. When I first picked up this book, and every time I flipped a page, I was looking over my shoulder to see if there were cameras on me as if this was some sort of elaborate prank. This book is so short on information and bewilderingly small that I could come to no explanation other than the assumption that Branko Ajzele was under contract to provide one more book to the publisher and had only one weekend to get it done. But to rob me of a twenty-dollar bill in exchange for this leaflet is inexcusable.
For those of you that are really, really, REALLY lost in the world of eCommerce, and for some reason aren't skilled in Google searches, take a shot at Instant E-Commerce with Magento: Build a Shop if you must? But I'm sure there are free alternatives to graduate from "totally inept" to "eCommerce Noob" in the twenty minutes or so that it will take you to read this book.
In short, I've read cereal boxes the were more informative. I hope the secret is revealed soon that this was actually just an eCommerce experiment to see how comically small a book Amazon could sell and not get 100% RMA's. I'd recommend a pass on this one.