Why did I love this book?
What makes a great novel? One that will be read forever? Top critics and commentators such as Harold Bloom and Nicholas Royle say the greatest fiction is written in a foreign language that somehow or other we understand. It is strange, unusual, uncanny, yet tells us profound truths about the human condition. The Rings of Saturn did even more for me; I thought it was miraculous. On the face of it, the narrator simply hikes through East Anglia. But he blends reportage, history, philosophy, mental ruminations, and much else in a melancholic commentary on life. Even translated from German, Sebald’s writing is mesmeric. Rings is a text that shapes your thinking in new ways. Sebald and his four peculiar ‘prose fictions’ would surely have won a Nobel prize had he not died in a car accident in 2001.