In typical Zizekian fashion, this book (his first published in English) is all over the place, from Shakespeare to Kafka, from Hitchcock to strange sexual practices. But don't get caught up in the distractions; Zizek works through some major theoretical points.
This was a major point in the book for me, and gives you an idea of where you're heading:
"But the case of so-called 'totalitarianism' demonstrates what applies to every ideology, to ideology as such: the last support of the ideological effect (of the way an ideological network of signifiers 'holds' us) is the non-sensical, pre-ideological kernel of enjoyment. In ideology 'all is not ideology (that is, ideological meaning)', but it is this very surplus which is the last support of ideology. That is why we could say that there are also two complementary procedures of the 'criticism of ideology':
- one is discursive, the 'symptomal reading' of the ideological text bringing about the 'deconstruction' of the spontaneous experience of its meaning - that is, demonstrating how a given ideological field is a result of a montage of heterogeneous 'floating signifiers', of their totalization through the intervention of certain 'nodal points';
- the other aims at extracting the kernel of enjoyment, at articulating the way in which - beyond the field of meaning but at the same time internal to it - an ideology implies, manipulates, produces a pre-ideological enjoyment structured in fantasy." (140)
The first procedure operates at the level of the imaginary and symbolic, while the second operates in the real. It is at this second level that we find the sublime object of ideology.
This book is for philosophers and others inaugurated into critical theory. As someone said in a recent review: just as you wouldn't buy a race car and complain that it goes too fast, don't get this book if you're going to complain that it's too 'dense.' If you have any grounding in Lacan, though, you should be able to get through it. Might take a reread.