12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Don't look down,
By A Customer
This review is from: Vertigo (Harvill Panther) (Paperback)
W G Sebald isn't the most cheery author around. His later work, The Rings Of Saturn, was a somewhat gloomy jaunt around Suffolk (an area of England not known for its Barbados-like jollity). This collection does not disappoint. Sebald (or his alter-ego, at any rate), travels here and there, and doesn't seem to find joy in any place he goes to. Italian restaurants, his home town, nowhere is safe - he's a kind of anti-Bill Bryson. But all the time, his muses on existence are beautifully written and are genuinely thought provoking. He has a wonderful tone (helped, I'm sure, by the translation), and is genuinly unique.
He can also make you laugh - the first four pages of the final section are so utterly miserable I had to stop myself laughing. You really begin to wonder if he's playing to the crowd. But he does it so well, that you can't help but forgive him.