Thursday, April 29, 2004

Austerlitz

I just finished reading a remarkable novel entitled Austerlitz. It is the story of Jacques Austerlitz, a man who was raised in Wales from an early age but whose origins are shrouded in mystery. He tells his story to unnamed narrator in several conversations beginning in the 1960s and ending in the 1990s. It takes time for the full weight Austerlitz's story to be felt by himself, the narrator, and the reader, but as this weight is felt more and more the effect is shattering.

Perhaps because my own origins are unknown I find the tale of someone who delves into his forgotten past to be particularly compelling, but I believe this book will appeal to anyone who appreciates good literature.