The Facades is one of the most remarkable and talked-about debut novels in recent memory. Set in the once-great Midwestern city of Trude – a treacherous maze of convoluted shopping malls, barricaded libraries and elitist assisted-living homes – Eric Lundgren’s novel follows a disconsolate legal clerk named Sven Norberg, who sets out to investigate the disappearance of his wife, the city’s most celebrated mezzo-soprano.
To track her down, he must descend into Trude’s underworld and confront the menacing and bizarre citizens of his hometown: rebellious librarians, shifty music critics and the minister of an apocalyptic church who has recruited Norberg’s teenage son.
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.
' ... the writing is sprightly, amusing and genuinely intriguing' Mail Online
‘Equal parts George Saunders, Raymond Chandler, and Ludwig Wittgenstein … The Facades is an intelligent and beguiling book that shouldn’t be missed’ Time Out New York
'As a vehicle for an intense scrutiny of self-pity, of indefinable standards and of an up-to-the minute cynicism, it works well. There are echoes of Howard Jacobsen's The Flinker Question here and that became a surprise Booker Award winner. Watch this space' Kent Life
‘If there’s a cross between Wittgenstein and a beach read, this is it–and yes, it’s as fun and strange as that sounds’ BookRiot (Also pick of September reads US)
‘Not to be missed’ Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
‘The Facades is a bewitching labyrinth of a book. Reminiscent of Nabokov at his most playful and Borges at his most stimulating, Lundgren has written a novel that is as entertaining as it is full of indispensable insight’ Seth Fried, author of The Great Frustration
‘The Facades, Eric Lundgren’s eccentric, droll and immensely charming little novel, had me by its second page … Without a doubt, it is a book for readers’ Laura Miller, Salon.com
‘This is a detective novel that owes as much to Haruki Murakami and Italo Calvino as to John D. MacDonald and James M. Cain … The Facades belongs to the same subgenre as Paul Auster’s ‘New York Trilogy,’ Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, and Jonathan Lethem’s Motherless Brooklyn’ Jon Michaud, NewYorker.com
‘Lundgren is part of the new breed of Midwestern novelists that you really can’t ignore. Don’t pass up this gem of a book’ Jason Diamond, Flavorwire
‘Eric Lundgren’s The Facades is an unforgettable novel, one of the year’s most imaginative books’ David Gutowski, Largehearted Boy
‘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’ Booklist
‘The Facades will suck you in, and keep you reading. Eric Lundgren is a funny and perceptive and touching writer, and Sven Norberg’s quest, through his crumbling and Lynchian Midwestern city, to learn about his disappeared wife is a journey you will be thrilled to have taken’ Charles Bock, author of the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Children
‘The Facades challenges your sense of the world you think you know and live in. It is a dazzling invention’ Kathryn Davis, author of Duplex and The Thin Place
‘Lundgren writes like a veteran in his prime, and The Facades is simply one of the best novels I’ve read in years, period’ Teddy Wayne, author of The Love Song of Jonny Valentine and Kapitoil
‘Eric Lundgren has written exactly the kind of book I hope to stumble on, to be seized by, to be astonished by, to marvel at’ Arthur Phillips, author of The Tragedy of Arthur and Prague