You can argue endlessly about books. To rate them like restaurants is utterly inappropriate. Nevertheless I can't help being pleased to see one of my favorite books at number one on the list of "the decade's best books" put up by the intellectual New Yorker's Village Voice. Zach Baron shares my opinion that the late W.G. Sebald's Austerlitz (2001)—published two months before the German author's death in a car accident in England—is a most outstanding work. Through a pastiche of memoir, invention, winding sentences, black-and-white photographs, architectural plans, and reproduced stamps, Sebald revisits the 20th century . The Holocaust is the book's central trauma, but the novel anticipates fresher wounds, too. "Outsize buildings," Sebald wrote a year before 9/11, "cast the shadow of their own destruction before them." Prophecy based on the understanding of the past.