Figured I'd best post this before my New X-Men Ultimate Collections get here, along with the other books I'm waiting on and planning to write up my backlog threatens to become intolerable.
Achewood, like Dinosaur Comics or anything else, I seem to like, polarises people like you wouldn't imagine. Either people get the strange groove it establishes, wherein author Chris Onstad can swing from entertaining if rather bizarre gag strips to the depths of pathos, presented without melodrama, to epics that start surreal and get even stranger from there (the recent Lash of Thanatos storyline is perhaps the best--and freshest--example of this. Sorry I posted the post-denouement strip of it, but they haven't updated the "jump to a story arc" drop-down in quite some time) even Wikipedia seems to find it hard to explain just what it is about this comic featuring the ongoing adventures of three cats, two bears, and an otter who is always five that people seem to respond to so much.
Nevertheless, it seems to have enough of a fanbase that Dark Horse has seen fit to give us Achewood Volume 2: Worst Song, Played On Ugliest Guitar (amusingly, the strip that gives this volume its title isn't in the book) Volume 1, was, of course, the epic The Great Outdoor Fight, notable for being the first Achewood saga wherein Onstad filled in a lot of the mythology around the event (there is tons of GOF stuff, both online and in the hardcover, none of it vital to understanding the actual story, but it's an interesting backdrop to what's going on, and, grounds the strip in its own internally consistent fictional reality) and also for being the thing what got this guy into Achewood big time.
Volume 2 doesn't contain a great long story arc this time (unless the text pieces in-between the comics detailing how everyone gets into Onstad's house count) instead, this volume covers the early days of Achewood, though not in chronological order. Onstad provides running commentary on the strips over the course of the book and explains--correctly, I think--that Achewood doesn't properly begin until this strip that the comic evolves from weird gags to a more fleshed-out community of interrelated characters who interact in various hilarious/insane ways. The older strips are included in the back of the book, and one can see the beginnings of something else coming together, and some of the gags are quite funny, but its obvious that it's going to end up being something very different than what it began as.
Would I recommend it to the Achewood neophyte? Yeah, I suppose so. It's not going to get you into the ground floor of Achewood's continuity (there really is no such thing) but it will get you familiar with Achewood when it's not in the midst of a story arc, and allow you to get in on the ground floor of the characters (no being hide-bound by continuity here--the comic is fairly exclusively character-driven, and how many comics, web or otherwise, can one say that about in this day and age?) and is a perfect entry point to decide whether you like it or not.
In short, I would like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony and I would all buy them a copy of this book to keep them company, but as I am very cheap and very poor, you'll just have to go out and grab a copy for yourself.