Grand Solo for Anton by Herbert Rosendorfer / ISBN 9781903517451 / 231-page paperback from Dedalus Books (UK)
"On Tuesday, June 25, 1973, small, odd Anton L. wakes up as the only person left in his city and, apparently, the world. Everyone else has vanished. The omniscient narrator leads us through the succeeding several months of Anton's solitude as well as many episodes in his and several acquaintances' pasts. The narrator even intrudes a bit, rather undermining our suspended disbelief but supporting the conceit that takes over the novel and Anton; to wit, Stephane Mallarme's proposition (and this book's epigraph), "The ultimate aim of the world is a book." For in his foraging and hunting in the rapidly renaturalized city, Anton discovers traces of a circle of eccentric scholars searching for a book that explains everything and is located somewhere in the city. While reacting to winter freezes, spring floods, and the surprisingly rapid collapses of many unmaintained buildings, Anton finds the book. This is high-end sf/fantasy: impeccably literary, eruditely witty, deliciously open-ended. Its admirers will love it to distraction."-- Ray Olson
Herbert Rosendorfer was born in Germany in 1934. His first novel Der Ruinenbaumeister (1969) was a critical and commercial success, and is regarded by many critics as one of the masterpieces of German twentieth-century fiction. It was published in English by Dedalus in 1992 as The Architect of Ruins.