Learning to spell words properly is never likely to be entirely painless, but this book certainly tries to make the learning process more enjoyable than do traditional programs. Written for a teen and adult audience, humor, cartoon illustrations, and a variety of exercises make it user friendly.
While the author does arrange chapters under structural headings (e.g., "letter patterns," "vowel sounds," "syllable junctures," and "compound words"), the presentation tends toward curious and unusual spellings at least as often as it deals with the most-commonly encountered words.
It does ask the reader to look for patterns and think about spelling relationships, all of which help people to become better spellers. Also on the helpful side are chapters on affixes and Greek and Latin roots.
On the other hand, many exercises instruct the reader to think of words containing particular elements—exercises that might be fun for the "wordsmith" with a good vocabulary, but frustrating for those lacking those talents. Overall, the exercises provide a good deal of challenging work. Answer keys are included at the end of each chapter.
Painless Spelling should be very useful for those seeking a non-traditional approach to spelling for teens. Because the writing style of the book itself is fairly adult, I would narrow the audience to those with good reading skills.