In 1939, five-year-old Jacques Austerlitz is sent to England on a Kindertransport and placed with foster parents. This childless couple promptly erase from the boy all knowledge of his identity and he grows up ignorant of his past. Later in life, after a career as an architectural historian, Austerlitz—having avoided all clues that might point to his origin—finds the past returning to haunt him and he is forced to explore what happened fifty years before. Austerlitz is W.G. Sebald’s melancholic masterpiece.
Gosh, can David Pearson make a pile of glyphs look appealing! I assume the tumbling lowercase letters are from Brunel. The achromatic palette and especially the gradient edges evoke a sinister 1930s/1940s atmosphere. The vertigo is further enforced by the rotated type on the left, in lighter styles from the same family. I had to laugh out loud when I discovered the asterisked legend at the top—someone at Penguin must have worried a little too much about legibility.