Pros: Comprehensive, well-organized, well-illustrated, and well-written
Cons: Probably a bit too detailed for the average skier but an excellent resource for instructors looking for ways to improve client performance
"Total Skiing," written by Chris Fellows is the most comprehensive textbook for improving skiing performance on the market today. I do not make this statement lightly because I own, and have read, all the others. About seven years ago my wife introduced me to skiing. As a retiring engineer I was not about to jump literally into such a - I'll use the word demanding - sport without doing a little research. The first thing I discovered is that most ski books are not well written: they fail to hold my attention or to provide enough detail. Secondly, their focus tends to be narrow - a particular school of thought is embraced and never released for the entire length of the book, or the focus is on technique to the exclusion of the many other important aspects of the sport.
Unlike other instructional ski books, Chris's takes a systems approach, and covers all the aspects that contribute to a skier's performance. And he just doesn't mention them, but provides detailed plans for evaluating a skier's current level of performance, and if need be, bringing it up to an acceptable level. This is probably not a book for beginning skiers; it's a classic textbook for instructors, or for those like me who have been trying to ski well for a few years without making substantial progress - even with instruction.
Readers will find the book extremely informative. For me, there were many "aha" moments when I realized that Chis had pinpointed the exact nature of a problem that I was having, and then recommended a solution. Briefly, Chris begins with an analysis of the skier's ability to balance and move. These are the same type of tests that a physical therapist would do when evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of a client's physiology. Then an assessment of the skier's physical fitness is taken into consideration. This is no small aspect considering the physical demands of the sport. If the skier is out-of-joint so to speak, or doesn't have the strength or endurance to ski without suffering pain and fatigue from the get-go, what's the point of trying to teach that skier technique - the next step in Chris' sequence of evaluation and instruction. Lastly Chris covers the tactics for all-mountain skiing - assured that the skier is ready to handle the demands.
In summary, instructors won't find a better book covering all aspects of skiing. Intermediate to advanced skiers looking to improve all aspects of their skiing performance will find it just as informative.
Note on Chis Fellows: You would expect this book to be good given Chris Fellows' background. He's been a ski instructor for over 25 years and a member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) national alpine team for almost 10. He directs the North American Ski Training Center, and is a regular contributor to ski publications. He has also written a 100-page book "Tactics for All-Mountain Skiing" which was published by the PSIA in 2006. But what impressed me most about his background was his membership in the American Mountain Guides association, which he uses to guide rock climbing, mountaineering, and backcountry skiing expeditions. The requirements to become an AMG guide are daunting to say the least. This guy lives what he writes.