When I find an author I admire, I tend to read just about everything by them that I can get my hands on. That way I get a sense of repeated characters and situations. Reading several books helps me isolate exactly what it is that I like.
Funny thing is, Watership Down is about the only thing I've read by Richard Adams. The book is so perfect all by itself that trying to pick it apart would destroy the magic. Besides, I already know what I admire; the sense of loyalty, especially Bigwig's toward Hazel, but also Hazel's toward the warren as a whole.
Early on, I did try to read some of Adam's other works. I got The Plague Dogs out from the library, and ended up taking it back before I was halfway through. Maybe I'll give it another go some day. I think one of the things I admire most about Adams -the sense of mythology that infuses his work- is actually one of the things that makes it hard to just set down with his novels. They are so thick with atmosphere they feel like they should have been written a couple centuries ago.
So how about you all? Do you have any authors you consider a favorite for the sake of one book -just one- a book so perfect you never felt a deep need to explore their work further? Or do you always gobble up everything a favorite author writes?