The value of this book is in its 1600+ image reproductions. A few of them are photos of Dali or the people and places that inspired him. A very few show existing artworks to which Dali's creations responded. The overwhelming majority, however, display Dali's own paintings or the sketches related to them.
And the mass of imagery is overwhelming. The book traces Dali's output from his early, formative periods onwards. Although Dali was productive in the 1920s, his familiar style emerged in the 1930s and simply expanded for the next half-century. The chronological organization of this book lets us see Dali's art and personality develop. Among other things, we see how his sketching evolved from pen drawings early in his career to loose oil sketches later. This also seemed to complete some kind of cycle, from the relative crudity of his early work, to the crystalline finish of his best-known years, back to imprecision again, but with all of his mature expressiveness.
By its attempt at completeness, this presents aspects of Dali that other authors often ignore. For example, Dali was profoundly influenced by Catholic Christianity. Although his personal beliefs may be difficult to fathom, he produced some of the most beautiful images of Christ ever created.
Descharne's commentary supports the images well, but it's hard to read. I don't mean that the text is badly written - quite the opposite, it is very helpful, especially in biographical notes that describe Dali's life at the time of each work. Instead, I mean that my thoughts can't stay on the words for long when the pictures take such command of my attention.