The Compulsive Reader for many years. Almost from the first days of The Compulsive Reader some twelve years ago, Bob provided a ready supply of beautifully written reviews (all of which can be found at the site). He was also my ideal reader. Between his bibliographic literary knowledge, and his absolute generosity with time, he helped me immensely with my own writing. I sent my first novel to him in tentative chapters before I dared even tell anyone else I was writing a novel. I had no idea how ill he was, even a few weeks ago when he sent me an in-depth chapter by chapter line edit of my new book. His comments were as funny as they were enlightening, and I had no idea how much pain he was suffering at that point.
Bob and I shared a number of interests, including James Joyce, Charles Dickens, and Virginia Woolf. He was a man with exquisite taste in music and books, and not until a few days before his death did he reveal to me that he was losing a struggle with progressive illness and failing eyesight. Bob leaves behind an amazing family, and many scholarly writings, including an exceptional body of work about James Joyce's Dubliners, Ulysses, and Finnegan's Wake. All writers need an ideal reader: the person who, immersed in your work, gets what you're trying to achieve and won't let you get away with anything other than the limits of your capability. For me, Bob will always be that reader. Wherever you are now, Bob, I feel certain that there will be music and words.