Peter Wainwright's book provides web server administrators and ISPs with the information they need to apply Apache to real world problems, using real examples, without bogging them down in excessive detail about every configuration directive.The key theme is 'Apache the way you want it' - through extensive examples, this book gives you the information you need to build, configure and extend Apache to suit your requirements.
I have found the book as being quite easy to read and understand. It also does a really good job at fully explaining the aspect of Apache that the book is talking about in that chapter. As for currency, the latest version of Apache is talks about is 1.3.9
I also did not find the book to be stale, dry reading. It was quite interesting. The book read quite quickly. I went from knowing very little about Apache to feeling quite confident with it in only a couple of days.
All in all, a very good book to have.
Everything from advanced Apache build options to implementing virtual hosts, cgi and dynamic content (including php3) to performance and monitoring are covered in a detailed yet easy to digest way. There's a good chapter on security which covers authentication as well as server security in good depth.
The author makes little attempt to cover Apache running under Windows, though this is explained in the first chapter. However, if you can get Apache up and running on a Windows machine without help, the book will still be of enormous use.
My only criticism is that Wrox insist on putting moody pictures of their authors on the front cover of their books. Why couldn't he at least smile?