I was well aware of Mssr. Jolicoeur's website before he delved into writing this most excellent volume. In an area of study where most of the scientific material is difficult to access, or long out-of-print, this hefty volume brings a rare fusion of science and common sense to the Cider afficionado. For someone who merely wants to dabble in converting their local farmer's market sweet cider into something more potent, this textbook-like tome may be intimidating. That said, it neither reads like a textbook, nor does it present a difficult scientific explanation for the aspects of the cider craft. Mssr. Jolicoeur is, if anything, a very down-to-earth cider maker and cider apple orchardist. His fluid and engaging style reflects that, while his suggestions for growing, equipment and production all reflect a "best practices, without excess" approach. However the book also contains a wealth of information on specific areas that have been a deep personal interest to Mssr. Jolicoeur. To wit, there is an extensive section on making your own grinding and pressing equipment that is unsurpassed by anything online or in print - anywhere. Overall this is the best guide out there for the dedicated hobbyist and small producer.
The only proviso I would attach to my otherwise complete enthusiasm for this publication is that it has a certain regional focus. As an example, for those who might be looking for advice on what apple varieties to grow in the deep south there is little contained here. Mssr. Jolicoeur is clearly an expert in his climate area, a part of Quebec that corresponds to USDA (climate/growing region) Zone 4. He has also incorporated cultural information from colleagues in the Northeastern U.S., but none any further south than USDA zone 6. So the information on apple varieties, diseases and yields observed may be of little use to growers below the northern tier (such as myself in USDA Zone 8). Regardless, this information comprises a minority of the text and most of the well presented material is useful to everyone. With Claude Jolicoeur's book.....vous avez de la chance !