The Rings of Saturn is a very unusual book. My copy has this classification on the back: ‘Fiction/Memoir/Travel’.
Well make up your mind, I might say!
And yet, it is all those things, and the combination makes a compelling, readable whole.Sebald (or, the narrator) goes on walks around Norfolk and Suffolk. Along the way his thoughts carry him on paths that both parallel his physical ones and diverge far from them in both time and space. He muses on history, architecture, biography, geology, ecology, and much more.
This Guardian ‘Where to Start With…’ article saves it for last, as ‘the one you’ll want your friends to read’. Which is fair enough.
I still don’t understand why he gave it that title, though.