This book is touted as the best introductory survey on hadith in the English language. The explanation on how hadiths are collected and accepted and transmitted are well explained.
But if you want to know more of the jurists involved in these hadiths you will be disappointed. The readers are thrown with lots of Arabic names, with no introduction to their backgrounds. The end result is a lack of depth in the appreciation of these jurists.
A cast of characters would have helped the layman who come to this book with an interest in the origins and developments of hadith.
The chapters on hadith in Shiite Islam and Surfism are interesting and easier to comprehend.
This book is obviously written by an expert. But it is not an easy read.