Many people consider it among his weakest books -- "Lolita" and "Pale Fire" set the bar pretty high -- and while it lacks the richness of the others, it's an immensely readable story, as I recall. Also, with "Invitation to a Beheading," it ranks among Nabokov's most political books, although he always denied he was in any way a political novelist. Still, it's impossible to read this story of a barbaric police state and not think of Soviet Russia or Nazi Germany.
Like "Remains of the Day," this earlier Ishiguro novel is about a man who arrives rather late to the realization that his life has been wasted. The artist is a skillful painter whose art has been in service to Imperialist Japan, which makes him anathama to his family and society after the war.
So far, the definitive portrait of the great poet -- and a mean, somewhat pedantic one. Hart is more interested in Dickey as a heavy-drinking, big-talking, womanizing lout than as an artist; when he does get around to the poetry, he tends to scrutinize it for how "true" it is. There may never be a more complete book about Dickey, but one can't help but yearn for a more intelligent, less trashy one.
Reasonably good survey of the press reception to the band through its history, ranging from the hostile to the hyper to the overly-enthusiastic to the sane. Not all the clips and interviews hold up; a good many seem to have been written in an acid-baked haze. The best pieces are the ones by the great Lester Bangs, who understood the band perfectly and liked what he saw.
Easily one of the greatest of all novels, Joyce's masterpiece is illuminating, tender, hilarious, frustrating, exhausting, and humbling. It's like reading Shakespeare or Proust or seeing a great painting; you know you've experienced something glorious, singular, and beyond unique -- especially once you've completed it, no matter whether it's a first time or a third or, I suppose, a tenth or twentieth. Like most great novels, it isn't perfect; cumulatively it's pure genius, although certain individual chapters are a real drag to plod through. For me, that would be "Aeolus" and "Oxen of the Sun," although I'm sure some readers find them spellbinding. For Joyce at his best, I always turn to "Nausicaa" and "Ithaca," especially the latter, that plot-oriented catechism that comprises the penultimate chapter. It's amazing, it's heartbreaking.