This review is just as much about Jim Wendler as this particular publication, but this book does, IMO do a great job of capturing Wendler's knowledge and attitude, both of which are pretty awesome.
In order to take advantage of this particular book, one really needs to understand the basics behind the 531 methodology. Jim has been incredibly generous in sharing so much online, that even though this book doesn't delve too deeply into the basics, one can easily get that by googling '531 Jim Wendler' or something like that. Its not complicated at all, but its very different than most of the 'black ops, cutting edge, top secrets of the pros BULL$H!T that we all (including me) fell for and wasted precious time trying to follow.
531 is all about simplicity in programming for the 3 powerlifts, as well as the overhead press. Its not about minutia.
Its about getting strong over the long haul...not adding 30 pounds to your bench in 30 days.
Its about building useful, functional muscle mass. Its not about putting a peak on your biceps or cuts on your quads.
Its NOT about programming every rep and set of every assistance exercise for every body part until you look like Mr Big and Oily.
It IS about getting as strong as you can get, as SAFELY as you can.
Finally, 531 is not for brand new beginners (although they can do a lot worse). I would recommend Starting Strength as an excellent resource for newbies (those under about 6 months of serious training).
some of the reviews have pointed out (perhaps rightly so) that the basics are not particularly well explained in this book. Well, duh, that's what the original 531 (or terrabits of Wendler's free explanations online) are for. Its amazing to me that people bitch about this book not having what Wendler has already provided elsewhere, but that's people.
What this book provides, is Wendler's philosophy on WHY 531 works, and how to apply the 531 template to your specific situation. In addition, space if devoted to the areas that the 531 template does not address (by design), specifically the pulling muscles. Before reading this book, I confess that I tried applying the 531 to movements such as rows and pullups and the results were not all that great. The info is this book helped me understand why 531 WORKS for the powerlifts, but not so well for the 'assistance' or auxiliary movements, and what I could do for those movements.
In terms of applying 531 to specifics, this book really shines in terms of what to do on a particular workout (Joker sets, last set first, or I ain't doing s*** today), as well as how to go about mixing things up for a particular cycle.
In summary, if you have been working out for 6 months to a year, and want to take things to the next level, understanding basic programming is what you need to learn over the next 5 years. 531 is the resource I always steer people to in this situation.
If you want step by step detailed instructions for every workout handed to you. Hire a trainer. There are some great ones.
If you want a way to waste your time, money and energy, continue reading ghost written articles from the 'pros' published in magazines designed to sell you the latest and greatests supplements.
If you want a resource which will teach you the basics (and beyond) and help you find your own path forward, then check out 531.