I'm happier then a clam! My Chechen Reader came this past weekend!
So, now that I've explored the pages, I'll share my thoughts/opinions/etc with you guys.
I'll get the bad news out of the way first. But don't worry there isn't much, and some of it can be easily dealt with. Firstly, the reading selections that are given are not graded for difficulty. Thus they are natural, authentic samples of the language and can be difficult to work with when first starting off. So a bit of page flipping is required as you learn some of the grammar for reading one in "lesson 10," for example. Also, the vocabulary for some of the readings can be a bit skimpy. Not all of the words in a reading will not be found in the vocabulary either, but they can be found in the grammar and vocabulary lists of later sections. (I've also got a copy of the Chechen-English English-Chechen Dictionary
coming to help with this fact. Yes, the cost if outrageous. I got a cheaper used copy
). And one last complaint: for whatever reason, the audio cd that came with it is out of order.
But enough of the flaws, now it's time to get into what makes this book great, despite the flaws! The grammar sections are great! They start with easy topics, like nouns, and work up to the more complex. The verb and noun conjugations/declensions are explained clearly and concisely. Again, much as the reading selections, the grammar sections are not necessarily graded to the reading selections. Also the audio is very well put together and clear (aside from it being out of order, for me anyway )
There are also exercises that are graded to the grammar sections. And an answer key is provided in the back of the book.
My basic impression of this book is the following:
If you don't mind sticking primarily to the grammar explanations and vocabulary lists in the beginning of your study, then this textbook will do well to teach anyone Chechen. Then going back over the early reading sections after you're in deep with the grammar, you would probably get more out of studying the readings. Though using the audio and readings for pronunciation purposes from the start would be worthwhile.
Oh, one last thing, there is not a ton about conversational phrases, nor is there anything about the alphabet or phonology. So a few online supplements would be recommended.
Overall I give the book an easy 8.5/10. Despite a few serious flaws.
P.S. This textbook is apparently meant to be used in a class setting, so that might have something to do with it's layout, but I think it is quite workable as a DIY text as well.