Facades by Eric Lundgren

Facades by Eric Lundgren Purchase:

    Lundgren’s debut is a fierce, funny examination of loss, set against one of the most creative worlds in recent memory, and it’s not to be missed. 

    Set in the once-great Midwestern city of Trude – a treacherous maze of convoluted shopping malls, barricaded libraries, and elitist assisted-living homes – Lundgren’s novel follows a disconsolate legal clerk named Sven Norberg, who sets out to investigate his wife’s disappearance.

    Written with boundless intelligence and razor-sharp wit, The Facades is a comic and existential mystery that unfolds at the urgent pace of a thriller.

    Review by Publisher’s Weekly:

    Eric Lundgren
    Eric Lundgren

    Starred Review. In this fascinating, complex debut novel, a famous mezzo-soprano vanishes from rehearsal, leaving behind her husband, Sven, to care for their disaffected son and search for her in the labyrinthine streets of fictional Midwestern city Trude.

    Though most of the plot involves Sven’s existential and often humorous detective work, Trude itself is the biggest of Lundgren’s many successes here.

    The once-great city is well rendered not only in its physical appearance (The city assembled itself, scattered lights in the old skyscrapers meandering the night sky like notes on a staff), but also in its oddities, such as the militarized library where the librarians are in a stalemate with police, a pretentious nursing home that is more difficult to gain admission to than the local college, and bathroom graffiti that reads,

    There is no use in killing oneself; one always does it too late. Ratcheted onto the spine of an un-put-downable mystery and brimming with entertaining dialogue and unique, well-wrought characters, this is one of those rare books that corners every mood, every emotion, and throws them into the spotlight.

    Lundgren’s debut is a fierce, funny examination of loss, set against one of the most creative worlds in recent memory, and it’s not to be missed.

    Review from Booklist:

    Lundgren’s first novel is set in the fictional midwestern city of Trude. Once a thriving hub of industry, Trude is now a place where libraries are barricaded and the mall is the main attraction. Molly, the well-loved mezzo-soprano at the Trude opera and wife of the narrator, Sven Norberg, has disappeared without a trace.

    Norberg becomes suspicious that people around him have conspired to spirit his wife away. He searches the city streets for her, while their 16-year-old son, Kyle, joins a fundamentalist church. The novel becomes increasingly surreal as Norberg’s search grows more fervent, until, finally, Kyle shares an unexpected revelation about Molly which changes everything that came before.

    Lundgren incorporates thoughtful details, unexpected word choices, and striking turns of phrase that linger with the reader long after the book has ended. He has a keen sense of the mental abstraction that accompanies loss and translates it to the page with devastating accuracy.

    Readers with discerning taste in fiction, especially fans of literary fiction laced with mystery, will love Lundgren’s debut. –Amber Peckham