Die Arbeit der Nacht
| 3.2/5 |
| Hanser (Germany)
Thomas Glavinic books, Other books
Night Work (German: Die Arbeit der Nacht) is a 2006 novel by Austrian writer Thomas Glavinic. The book was translated into English in 2008 by John Brownjohn for Edinburgh-based publisher Canongate.
Night Work (Glavinic novel) Wikipedia
The novel, set in modern-day Vienna, is a post-apocalyptic exploration around themes of solitude and existential philosophy.
The plot concerns a central character, Jonas, who wakes up one day to discover that everyone else has vanished from the city, perhaps the world, without trace; he appears to be the only person left.
As he attempts to discover what could possibly explain such a situation, the days pass and he begins to realise that he is performing strange activities when asleep. A struggle ensues as Jonas tries to control his unconscious actions while he continues to search in vain for other human life. At the novel's close, Jonas throws himself from a tower to his death.
The UK edition received a generally positive reception from critics. The Guardian referred to the book as being “at times genuinely horrific” because of the author’s skill in manipulating the “reader's constant anxiety that [he] won't, indeed can't, deliver a solution to his own mystery”. The Independent claimed that the novel, “functions both as an outstanding fictionalisation of Freud's essay The Uncanny, and as a superior literary thriller packed with invention and suspense”. The Scotland on Sunday said it was “strong on intrigue” and “seriously frightening”.