[11/17/2012; edited 12/11/12]
This was a fascinating book. As a severe non-scientist, I sometimes had a little trouble wading through the detailed explanation of how cells work. I sometimes got frustrated with the level of detail, wanting to get the bigger picture. And sometimes he explained the same thing in several different ways, with different metaphors, and different approaches. But it was worth it.
I don't know the author's background, but I felt he was like a particularly committed teacher, who is determined that all of his students will truly understand what it is he's saying and he will make whatever effort is necessary to accomplish that. And he did it without being pedantic or patronizing, or even boring, really. I don't say that I will remember all the detail, but I believe he managed to make me understand while I was reading ... even though sometimes I had to stop to digest and take a break.
Definitely worth reading if you're at all interested in cell biology or evolution.