When Chatwin writes well, it's very very very good, and when he gets carried away...it's really a bit much. This collection of assorted writings is just that, from the illuminating and the lyrical to the frankly onanistic. Some of his writings - indeed, about the joys of writing and living - are just wonderful, crisply expressed, frank, un self conscious...but a few pages down the line it gets turgid, lumpen, forced, with occasional flashes of insight that are eclipsed by ponderous postulations that can't be justified academically or aesthetically. Apparently these sorts of short stories are what was to be the next stage in his tragically shortened career, and he would have been good at them if he had had some sense slapped into him. A bit more AA Gill-esque, maybe. Point his pared-down prose at the real world rather than the random and the metaphysical, then we could forgive the rather queeny snobbishness that surrounds his artistic writings, a hangover from his auctioneering background that leaked back into his life in a year or so before he died and made a mockery of his long-adhered-to minimalism. Overall, I favour What Am I Doing Here, but it's still worth a read.