Here is my Amazon.co.uk review of this book:
Starting with the publication of the first volume of Beckett's Letters at the turn of the century, Beckett criticism has taken a new direction. More research-based criticism has taken the lead in this field. All this coincided with the growth and more thorough cataloguing of collections of Beckett papers, specially at Trinity College, Dublin and Reading University. Today's scholars have access to more primary sources for Beckett research and criticism than ever before. Mark Nixon's book is one of the earlier exponents of this new type of Beckett criticism. The researcher has meticulously sifted through the Beckett archives and constructed a detailed account of Beckett's wanderings in Germany immediately before the WWII. It paints an informative and sympathetic picture of a maturing Samuel Beckett, grown out of Joyce's influence but still struggling to find his own voice and trying to discover a theory and philosophy of aesthetics for himself. Read alongside Matthew Feldman's 'Beckett's Books: A Cultural History of Samuel Beckett's Interwar Notes', this book can change the way we read and understand Beckett's works. A very important book in this field of studies.