As the story opens we encounter Kevin, youngest of what seems to be the last nine men on earth. Foraging for food around the entrance to his cave, he wonders whether he is destined to be earth's last survivor. His home is a world where civilization has been all but annihilated; his companions eight aged men with a fateful mission that must be carried out before they die; and on the rest of the scarred and strangely changed globe, who knows? In spite of the wretched life of the past many years there is in Kevin the desire to go forth in search of what is left. Somewhere in the City--the giant of industry stretched prone upon the earth. Was New York the name old Urban called it? His quest for the felled giant leads him far afield. There is wonderment in his discovery of clues to the blasted past. There is stark horror awaiting him in the deep, long, black tunnel they called the subway. And there is rekindled hope for the survival of humanity when he encounters other human beings like himself, and among them women and children. A young love, and then a more mature one, bring meaning into Kevin's life. He establishes a home, and the Church, too, finds a home in a place strangely reminiscent of its past.