am 24. Juni 2006
Crystal did a good job at writing an introductory work to language in general, with the target group being interested non-linguists. The language is plain and clear, the reader does not need to have any preknowledge in linguistics, and the many short chapters are written in an informative, interesting way.
Of course, the chapters are very short and can by no means be used as the basis for intensive study. In addition to that, the appendixed 2-page bibliography is too short and does not cover every part mentioned in the book itself. It could have helped if Crystal had given reference to corresponding literature right after the chapters. Because of that, I'll only give 4 of 5 stars.
Nevertheless, this is a very interesting book for everyone who wants to know what basically goes on in language without reading extensive works. This is the easiest introduction you can find, written by an expert on the matter.