Sebald's work is haunting. There are images and passages that will stay with you forever after reading them. It is very difficult to summarize Sebald's books as they cover so many different things in a meandering, seemingly ramdom manner. With Sebald, however, nothing is ever random. This is perhaps more apparent in The Rings of Saturn, which starts and ends, in a way, with Thomas Browne's Urn Burial. The Amazon.com summary will tell you that this is a story of a man named Austerlitz who was put on a train in 1939 in Prague to escape Jewish persecution and was adopted by a Welsh family, who told him nothing of his true identity. The book is Austerlitz's discovery of himself, his past, and his parents told through the lens of an unnamed narrator. All of that is true. But this book is so much more than that. Instead of summarizing Austerlitz, I'll give some of the topics, which are generally common themes in his work. The first is memory; how it changes, what it is, what it means, and tied directly to it: loss. In a more general sense, Sebald is concerned with the past and its role in our present. One of the most beautiful sections of this book deals with a train station and a WWII Jewish ghetto in Antwerp. Another common theme of Sebald's is walking and experiencing the land. In Austerlitz, Sebald describes (though this is really an inadequate term for what he does) an area of Wales, along the British coastline. One main feature of this area is a house which becomes, in essence, a natural history museum. Another section, near the end, deals with the Bibliotheque National of France, which has just undergone an enormous transformation and relocation. His description of the housing and accessing of the past is both lyrical, and for lack of a better word, heartbreaking. Thinking about it now, I am reminded of the architectural scenes in Terrence Malick's Tree of Life. There is an air of great melancholy and great loneliness in Sebald's prose; yet it is achingly beautiful. All of Sebald's books incorporate photographs; some relate to the material being discussed in the given passage, others do not. The most haunting of these, in Auzterlitz, is a still of a film which shows a blurry image of a woman's face half in shadow. Austerlitz believes this may be his mother. This book will stay with you, it will haunt you. It will touch your jaded, modern, cynical, heart. It may make you want to weep. He is one of the most powerful writers of this century. Let Sebald take you on a journey; I promise you, you will not regret it.