No, the title is not a joke. The author really means that the casual reader after only 24 one hour lessons will be able not just to create his own Java-applets, but also 'build full-blown Java applications' and 'develop object-oriented programming skills'.
Each chapter is very short. You can easily read it through in 15 minutes. To type down the sample programming examples will take another 15-20 minutes, run them and answer the questions and the hour will have run to its end. I needed extra time for the exercises, never mind the extra exercises!
The code is entirely Java 1.1 and it is a little bit frustrating not to be able to test some of the applets on a webreader like MS Explorer 3.1. The author goes on, leaving arrays and loops ahead and continues to treat topics like threads and classes in the same fast-paced way.
The CD features an interesting selection of Java IDEs distributed as shareware. Another nice feature is the book's own homepage, there you can see some of the books programming examples and also put questions to the author.http://www.mcp.com/sams/books/270-6/.
The text is written in a enthusiastic style which I like and share ('this is a great time to learn programming'). The target groups are newbies and casual readers and to give a beginner the impression that he will 'develop object-oriented programming skills' while reading this book is unreasonable. This is a popular, fast-paced Java-based introduction to programming, nothing more.