As a novice Buddhist student, I found this book very helpful. First Published in 1964, the writing style is somewhat more formal than we are used to today, but I find the style of writing lends the book a feeling of respectfulness and sincerity. Although the precepts are scholarly, they are presented in a clear and easy-to-understand way. The book is interesting, not dry or boring. Whether you are interested in finding out what Buddhism is, or are a beginning or advanced student, this book will be helpful. I could even recommend this book as leisure (if not a little serious) reading because of the interest level.
As a student who spends every Summer in Theravada Buddhist temple to learn Buddhism in depth and a daughter of a Buddhist Venerable, I think this book is a valuable one for those beginners and intermediate level students who want to discover the life of Buddha and the ancient path that he taught to help everyone regardless religions or races on how to reduce sufferings in one's own life. Piyadassi Thera's word choices are very careful, logical, trustful, universal, and traditional that fit more to Buddha's words than other books that focus more on the authors' own opinions and interpretation from modified Buddhist branches. A very good book to help you have a right view of life, and how to live right in order to avoid mistakes and sorrow.