A haunting, dystopian vision of humanity and its last hope for survival as told by the New York Times bestselling author of The Queen's Gambit
As Robert Spofforth ascends to the top of the crumbling Empire State Building, his only wish is to be able to step off the ledge. But as one of the last androids tasked with overseeing the bleak persistence of mankind, his programing prevents him from ending his long and tired life. In this world where reading has been forgotten, physical contact is forbidden, and the vestiges of humanity idle away their days in a narcotic haze, the future is decidedly grim. But when Paul Bentley, an unremarkable man who makes a remarkable discovery, shares his new knowledge—called reading—with an unusual woman named Mary Lou, the order of their desolate world is challenged and a new hope for humanity glimmers amid the ruins.