I've previously read a few of Bester's stories. THE STARS MY DESTINATION, THE DEMOLISHED MAN, and some of the shorter pieces...I thoroughly enjoyed them all, with STARS probably being my overall favorite.
THE DECEIVERS was written later in his career, and it's my belief that THE DECEIVERS is one long in-joke, filled with cryptic goodies and extremes which probably only Bester and his closest supporters took any real enjoyment in. My feeling is THE DECEIVERS was much less written for the audience at large, and much more written for an aged author who was trying to keep himself entertained.
On one level, the text seems to be written with great ease and intricacy, but at what expense? It's a campy, oblique love story set in an elaborately expanded solar system, with tricky gibberish and painful future slang tossed in. I feel like Bester must've had an absolute blast writing this book. And in the process, I think he alienated the more casual reader.
I read it. I finished it. I can't say that I enjoyed it. In fact, there were a few moments where I asked myself, "Why am I reading this?" Libraries were invented for books like this one.
THE DECEIVERS is a very deliberate work of fiction, but more valuable as a performed effort of an accomplished afficianado than as accessible entertainment for the masses.