I have to admit I had my doubts about this book. I have not been impressed with Visual QuickStart Guides in the past. I respect the idea, of presenting only essential information in an easy-to-understand introductory manner, but that was rarely the case in previous experiences. Usually I found them to be a mixture of non-essential information that was not presented in a manner that would be good for those new to the subject.
That being said, their Python (2nd edition) breaks with their past. So far, I have almost consistently found it to be concise and to the point regarding an introduction to Python and programming languages in general. The examples are relevant and work accordingly. While I normally head to O’Reilly for the in-depth look at a language, this book is a great starting point.
One note and criticism; The examples using input() are flawed for users with Python <3 (most of us). You have to use raw_input() in place of it, although the book does not point this out.