The good: many frequently used terms clearly defined, so reading this book does clear your mind a bit. Also, it is not a book of argument and theories: it is a survey written in a straight, understandable language -- it truly is an introduction. Another strong point: a LOT of references to other books, for those who feel like digging in depth on any topic covered here. That's a really good thing; it saves you a lot library research effort, hearty thanks to the author for that. I've already ordered a few books based on these recommendations.
The flaws: a lot of mushy-headed vapor (a protracted discussion of the "problem" of the pre-existence of story in fiction. Really? It's difficult? Well, it's fictional, so we only pretend that there _is_ any story. That's all there is to it, but I guess, in order to be a bona-fide representative of the "second [so-called] culture" you gotta dump megatons of absurd and illogical drivel on your reader... also helps with the page count ;-)).
Very annoyingly, the book is unproofread and unedited (despite this being a second edition, and despite coming from Cambridge University Press). You expect this sort of writing from the Philadelphia Inquirer perhaps, but not in a book published by an academic via an academic publishing house of a major university.
A few examples (I won't bother with typos, of which there are some too):
p.37, "[letter] is discovered by a young woman who secretly adores this man whom she now learns loves another"
p.89, "I might see Cinderella in a different light than others"
p. 93, "[..] crux is an [...] element [...] that [...] can significantly effect how we intepret the work as a whole"
Why would an academic writer (a cultured person you'd think?) even accidentally make mistakes like that? And why would they still be around in a second edition? Of a book published by a University Press. CAMBRIDGE university press. I think it's time to lay off triumphant heorsheeing and concentrate on language basics.
The bottom line: despite all this, I _would_ recommend this book 'cause it's informative, simple, and non-argumentative. But you'll have to supress your annoyance at the facebook-level writing, and some amount of mental mush (that you really should expect in books like that). I'll also own up to having fast-forwarded over at least a third of this book. So: 2.5-3 stars. Moderately useful and not overly expensive. Could have been better. Hope for an improved third edition.