Sound advice, languagehat, and thanks. Maybe it is worth another try. I bought Anthony Burgess’s Here Comes Everybody from a charity shop years ago which I still have but didn’t really investigate as I’d already pretty much given up on FW by then! Do you rate the Burgess book? I know he also wrote Joysprick and Re Joyce which I haven’t read either. I always stuck to poor men’s Finnegans Wakers in novels like Burgess and O’Brien. Peter de Vries was sometimes great, too, and now seems largely forgotten. Lightweight stuff compared to The Master but, hey, I know my limitations.
Thanks to everyone who responded to my naffly titled post - lots of interesting stuff there.