A very odd little book. Written in 1997, the Italian author committed suicide not long after the book was published, in part because none of his books had sold very well. Hmmmm.
The unnamed protagonist had been contemplating suicide, and found himself in a cavern in, possibly, the Swiss Alps. He was ready to fling himself into a bottomless lake, but, eventually, reconsidered. However, as he left the cavern, he slowly realized that Everything. Had. Changed.
Since he had been living pretty much as a hermit, it took a bit of time until it dawned on him that nobody was there. Nobody was anywhere. He was the only human to be found. As he wanders deserted streets and enters empty buildings, he comes to realize that all human life apparently vanished. No remains are left behind, no ashes, no trace of the humans who had inhabited the planet save a dent in the bedding, breakfast on the table. Only the humans had disappeared. Other animals roamed village streets and seemed to flourish. (Pets, alas, did not do as well.)
He starts to try randomly calling airports all over the world, but only receives prerecorded messages. Eventually he calls the phone number of a therapist with whom he had made a connection the last time he was institutionalized. This time, though, instead of a message, he makes a brief contact. Possibly. But wait, didn’t the therapist die a few years back?
And just like that, everything starts to shift. Quirky, with a slow buildup, and I’m still not sure where we ended up at the end. But I like that.