Thrilling and philosophical, compulsive and exhilarating
Thomas Glavinic, born 1972, has worked as a taxi driver, mountain farmer and copywriter. His first novel, Carl Haffner's Love of the Draw, made the Daily Telegraph Book of the Year list. Der Kameramoerder ('The Camera Killer') was awarded the Friedrich-Glauser-Krimipreis, Germany's most important crime award. He has written three other widely acclaimed novels, the latest of which, Das Bin Doch Ich, was shortlisted for the 2007 German Book Prize. He lives in Vienna.
What if you woke up one morning to find that all life, both human and animal, had vanished without warning? That's what happens one ordinary July day in Vienna to Jonas, the hero of this extraordinary apocalyptic novel by Austrian author Glavinic (The Camera Killer). Jonas's newspaper hasn't been delivered, his TV isn't picking up any channels, and the Internet isn't working. Outside, the normally busy streets are empty, though clocks are running. Jonas begins to explore the city, leaving notes with his cell number in the hope that someone else is out there. As the days turn into weeks, he sets up video and audio equipment to record anything that might hint at another survivor. Predictably, he increasingly loses his grasp on reality. By leaving much to the reader's imagination, Glavinic creates a more subtle if no less nightmarish mood than such similar books as The Day of the Triffids and I Am Legend. (Nov.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
* Glavinic's masterpiece ... A wonderful, big novel about the self and others, about fear and courage, about the fragility of the everyday and about the uncertain border between waking and dreaming. -- Daniel Kehlmann Der Spiegel * Glavinic has created a gripping mystery - a book that leaves its readers disturbed yet happy, and full of questions. Focus * One of the most thrilling novels of the year ... a fantastic tale about the fragility of the individual. Nurnberger Zeitung * A literary tour de force -- Jonathan Ruppin Bookseller * Glavinic makes Jonas's purgatorial predicament as gripping as any thriller ... there's a wakefulness to the zeitgeist in the greatest of authors, and on the evidence of Night Work, Glavinic is a truly great author, not just a truly great Austrian author. -- Stuart Kelly Scotland on Sunday
In his U.S. debut, talented young Austrian author Glavinic begins with a premise reminiscent of an old Twilight Zone episode: upon waking one morning in his apartment in Vienna, a young man named Jonas finds that every other person on Earth has mysteriously disappeared. As he wanders the deserted city and ventures across Europe without finding a trace of another living being, Jonas realizes that the only clue to what has happened may lie in him. With a refreshingly zombie-free take on the postapocalyptic scenario, Glavinic has come up with an intriguing hybrid of sf and existential suspense. There are perhaps a few too many plot holes (the matter of the electricity staying on for the duration of the story, for example), but the novel manages to take some startling and truly frightening turns. Recommended for larger fiction collections and libraries looking to fill in titles on their "If you liked The Road, then try..." booklists.--Forest Turner, Suffolk Cty. House of Correction Lib., Boston Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.