Things I remember:
An alien is visiting Earth.
There is no longer life on the planet.
The alien is doing research.
I don't remember a whole lot more except that
- The alien somehow synthesizes food (specifically butter).
- He then begins to like what he's done and ...
That's all I really remember for sure. I vaguely remember the alien rebelled against authority and wanted to "enjoy" having emotions like humans had. As I recall, the alien liked the fact of experiencing emotions. Something his society had long since lost the use of. The alien may have have no body at all, although I do not remember for sure.
I'm in the US although the book may have been UK. The book I read was a paperback and probably less than 200 pages. I do not remember what the cover looked like.