I don't know Ruby at all, but I followed the tutorial for a bit and quickly felt comfortable with the basic syntax. I'm not a perfect candidate to judge this for a novice because I'm proficient in a number of other languages, but this is the best tutorial I've ever seen for any language, period. It makes me cringe when I think of days spent with a fat book propped open, trying to understand some obscure nuance of a language's syntax that, somehow, was obvious to everyone except me.
So, if you're looking to learn Ruby specifically or just want a better understanding of what it means to program, look no further than this easy 15 minute tutorial. The colorful page and everyday language make the process much less intimidating than, say, Try Python.