I use COBOL at work and I'm sure the book is comprehensive, but I bought it mainly for the compiler. With close to 1,000 pages I think its a disservice that so little of the book is devoted to using the compiler. Instead of coding I'm experimenting with a byzantine piece of software to deduce how to use it. To add injury to insult I was looking for a "how to" book for the compiler and found I could've saved $10.00 if I had bought it at amazon.
I think the book offers enough info for me to not only learn the language but also refer to it at a later time, ensuring true value for money, the free compiler is free anyway from the fujitsu website, so buying it for that reason is not worthwhile, purchase it as a reference tool and as a advanced beginning tool, if you can stand the heat from the COBOL kitchen you'll find you can cook some pretty delicious COBOL delights.
The most comprehensive book on COBOL that I have ever seen. This book is an incredible deal as it contains the latest Fujitsu COBOL compiler. I whole-heartedly recommend this book for intermediate or advanced users (beginners should read an introductory book first).