I've been reading The Last Modernist solidly for two months and finished it today in a noisy Starbucks. It's a whopper of a book and getting through it was a true labour of love. Despite moments of searing insight from Cronin, I really prefer Knowlson's biography of Beckett, which takes a more scholarly approach and speculates less on his innermost feelings and psychology.
Beckett died in 1989, when I was thirteen. I remember the news, the tributes, the striking image of a man I knew little, or nothing, about. Our house was one where the classics were pushed, not modernist masters. But something unutterable struck me about the coverage and years later when I sought Beckett out, it was with a sense of finally pausing to acknowledge somebody who'd been there all along, patiently waiting for me to catch on.