This seminal 1949 novel by George R. Stewart is credited by Stephen King as a major influence on The Stand. It is one of, if not the first novels of a depopulated world.

After the human population of the world is destroyed by plague, the narrator (who survives by the plot device of spending two weeks holed up in the mountains recovering from snakebite) explores the quiet Earth. Small groups of survivors coalesce and begin carving a new society out of the wilderness of the cities. This book hits all the cliches of the genre -- but, since it created the genre, there were no cliches yet.