The book doesn't live up to its title's promise of "how to build your dream cabin...," though it's a pleasant book and offers a few useful ideas. If you haven't yet bought the land or built the cabin, the book is a good start, providing information about what you should think about (location, cabin style and size, floor plan, etc.) and how to get on with a few basic needs (like an outhouse, light, heat, and cooking). But you won't find any building plans here other than for a small woodshed, a bunk bed, a simple outdoor bench, and a birdhouse.
If you already have a cabin, the material in this book is less helpful. Frears tends to let you know about some types of decisions you can make (such as outhouse options or cooking options), but he's pretty short on the detail that might actually inform those decisions. For example, he says he prefers Coleman lanterns for indoor light, and propane camp stoves for indoor cooking, but he never addresses the concern of using propane appliances indoors (which ones are the safest?). In discussing kitchen options, he describes his city-water sink set-up and once mentions a grease pit, but says nothing further about grease pits. (Where, dear environmentally friendly reader, will all your dishwater go?) And given all his experience in deep woods, there's not a word about the mix of food and wildlife, except to mention mice (midnight raccoons and bear seem to be my problem when I cook outside).
I thought his absolute best piece of advice was to not skimp on bedding. Fortunately, my wife and I have a good mattress at our cabin for ourselves, but we've neglected the kid and guest beds. It's not a project that can be romanticized, but one to work on at once.
I also thought he neglects to reflect on logistics. He'll praise things like metal roofing and log siding, but not a word about how to get these to your remote spot. I imagine he drives a rather large pickup when he visits his cabins, but you won't need one to enjoy your dream cabin.
The book isn't "the ultimate guide to building and maintaining a backcountry getaway," but it's food for thought for anyone still planning to buy land and a cabin.