All Bruce Chatwin's books seem to have a provincial side to them. Set in outlandish places in all corners of the Earth, they all have a sort of question mark attached to them, perhaps asking: Now, what's going on here? "On the Black Hill," is, I maintain, set in as outlandish a spot as any of them. The Welsh countryside has bred just as odd examples of humanity as the green hills of Kentucky or the wide veldt of South Africa. Yet Chatwin sees through them all, down to some sort of common denominator, and what we have in this book is the most human story to issue from this pen. The story of the twins will not only delight for its old-fashioned setting and eccentric but somehow so British behaviour, it will also draw you into Chatwin's elegant prose with its remarkable tempo (you might almost call it metre) and ability to colour scenes with gouache-like softness and light. In fact, coming to Chatwin through "On the Black Hill" may not be such a good idea. Read "The Songlines" first, and failing that, read "Utz" either before or after. In any case, although this short-lived modern writer has not left us the overwhelming legacy we might normally have expected, there is sufficient material to keep you occupied and thinking about your own and Chatwin's world, for some time to come. And in the end you'll see that Bruce Chatwin's not provincial at all.