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Night Work (Glavinic novel)

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Original title  Die Arbeit der Nacht
Language  German
Published in English  2008
Author  Thomas Glavinic
Translator  John Brownjohn
OCLC  442553734
3.2/5 Goodreads

Country  Austria
Publication date  2006
Originally published  2006
Genre  Literary fiction
Published in english  2008
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Publisher  Hanser (Germany) Canongate (UK)
Similar  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.

Contents

Plot summary

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.

Critical reception

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”.

References

Night Work (Glavinic novel) Wikipedia


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