"Mr. Artur Sammler, a survivor of the Holocaust, haunted by memories of his literal escape from the grave, is living out his days in New York City. An intellectual who once thrived on the great works of Western literature and philosophy, he now occasionally lectures at Columbia University. A "registrar of madness," he records the degradations of city life while looking deep into the sufferings of the human soul. While the world anticipates the first lunar landing and visions of utopia vie with predictions of imminent apocalypse, Sammler finds himself intrigued by the possibilities of the future, and edges closer toward empathy with his fellow mortals."--BOOK JACKET.