While I would recommend this book, even to a motivated novice, I would caution those who are hoping that everything will be completely spelled out, and you'll be warned of all the things that could go wrong. This isn't an "Idiot's Guide to Building an Archtop." Benedetto is a bit vague in some rather crucial areas. That said, it is the best book on the subject. Admittedly, if he were to try to anticipate every wrong turn a reader might make, the book would not read as well. Part of me appreciates his lack of condescension. The other part of me, though, felt unprepared to move forward in a few spots.
I make my living as a woodworker, so I didn't really have any problems with the carving, joinery or finishing parts, but I imagine that a novice woodworker might run into some trouble. Since this was my first guitar, the more lutherie oriented parts gave me a bit more pause. I don't think I would have gotten the quality of result that I did without the outside sources to which I referred. The sections on fretwork and set up are, for example, barely adequate. The basic information is there, but there is a dearth of any hints, and I discovered that fretwork and set up are areas in which one needs hints.
Again, I recommend the book, but with the caveat that you'll want to read more elsewhere.