I think "Lively and Entertaining" is a bit of an overstatement, but this is one of the most readable books about literary analysis I've come across. Most of them are so boring that they're nearly impossible to get through. I had no trouble getting through this, and my reading list is now a little longer. The author mentions a few books that sound very interesting.
If you already have an English degree (or several), then you probably won't learn anything from this book. If you read a lot and think deeply about what you read, then you probably won't learn anything from this book. It only provides a very basic overview of irony and the most common symbols in literature. Some of the symbols that the author discusses are so obvious that they didn't need explaining. Most readers would be intelligent enough to figure them out for themselves.
I was hoping that this book would have a little more depth and be a little less western-centric. The author ignores half of the world. What about the irony and symbols in Eastern literature? I want to know about those.
I would recommend this book to high school students and anyone who hasn't taken literature classes. Those people would get the most benefit from it.