Night Work (book)

Night Work (book)
Night Work  
UK paperback edition
Author(s) Thomas Glavinic
Original title Die Arbeit der Nacht
Translator John Brownjohn
Country Austria
Language German
Genre(s) Literary fiction
Publisher Hanser (Germany)
Canongate (UK)
Publication date 2006
Published in
Media type Print (hardcover and paperback)
Pages 400 (Germany)
386 (UK)
ISBN 9781847670519
OCLC Number 442553734
Preceded by Wie man lebel soll
Followed by Das bin doch ich

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.


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 searching for other human life.

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”.[1] 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”.[2] The Scotland on Sunday said it was “strong on intrigue” and “seriously frightening”.[3]


External links

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