Funnily enough I purchased the book just after the death of the author and the release of the archive film documentaries the book is based on. So I could read and watch at the same time which only increased the value of the books content.
The author has a unique writing style which can be a little verbose is easily absorbed, the content and critique is excellent, he is not afraid of giving opinion. Many art books are just glorified lists of prominent artists of each "ism" giving a brief outline of each movement, its mandate, a few photographs of the most well known paintings, then onto the next "ism". The Shock of the New is a very good read, it would help if the BBC produced the Documentary on DVD so you could read and watch a the same time