To add to my previous lack of enthusiasm for Christopher Miller's novel
I just remembered I took the trouble to review it on amazon.com. I wrote
I'm a classical-music freak, so the idea of a dotty composer
and his equally-dotty biographer appealed to me right away.
However, to me the book is a rehash of Nabokov, at a level
you'd find in a creative-writing seminar from a well-read,
though not particularly gifted student. There's nothing
obviously wrong with it, but nothing obviously right, either.
In fact, I found it pretentious, rather than stimulating. The
idea of a hero who tries to construct his life as he would
create a piece of art Nabokov did a lot better, possibly
because Nabokov understands the tragedy of the situation and
finds something worthy in his ridiculous heroes. As I read
Miller, I found myself asking, "Why don't you pick on somebody
your own size?" Miller's humor -- and, by the way, he tends
to explain his better jokes, as if he doesn't trust the reader
to get them -- struck me as small-minded, mean-spirited, and,
worst of all, precious.
I should add that most readers on amazon.com disagree with me.