Which would you recommend to a neophyte of philosophy who has a broad but a very, very superficial understanding (I know a bit about the history and how and why philosophical trends happend since the pre-socratics to contemporary philosophy) of philosophy? A very terse, comprehensive, and detailed book on Kant/Kant's Critique of Pure Reason or the Critique of Pure Reason itself? I hear from many philosophers that Kant is a boring writer with great ideas. Is he boring in the sense that Aristotle is boring to some people in that he is dry and to the point (I do not find that boring at all!)? I would like to read both Pure Reason and an academic's commentary, summary, and analysis of it, but I have time and money for only one. Also, thanks for this website, I've found it very useful!

I'm going to cheat and recommend both. Couldn't you find a really cheap copy of Kant in a used bookstore or get it out of the library? Then you could read the commentary cover to cover, but refer to Kant as needed. It would be a pity not to get the distinctive flavor of the Critique of Pure Reason by reading passages, looking at headings, etc. I don't think you could get a satisfying sense of really having tackled Kant without doing that. But reading just Kant, not the commentary, would be (to be honest) excruciating.