I'm trying to break back into Java-land after some years mainly working outside Java, so this book looks like it could be a useful way to get up to speed on all the changes during my absence. But does the book assume fairly recent Java experience as a point of comparison? How far would this book be accessible to somebody whose Java experience is mainly on older versions (Java 2 in my case!)?
The book assumes you have some Java experience and, of course, the more recent and in depth your experience the easier it will be to grasp the topics of the book. However, I think you will find it is not too hard to pick back up after you've been away from it for awhile. Each recipe in the book has sections of code and then an explanation of what each part of the code is doing. This will help you get used to developing in Java again and bridge the gap between where your current knowledge leaves off and where the Java language is today. My guess is you will find yourself pleasantly surprised by the improvements incorporated since Java 2!