**A New York Times “What You’ll Be Reading in 2017” pick**
**One of Book Riot’s Most Anticipated Books of 2017**
“Jaw-dropping,” says Jonathan Lethem (Granta).
A chronicle of a weird road trip, a provocative work of alternative history, and a dazzling discography of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, encompassing artists from Louis Armstrong and Billie Holliday to Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, SHADOWBAHN is a richly allusive meditation on the meaning of American identity and of America itself.
When the Twin Towers suddenly reappear in the Badlands of South Dakota twenty years after their fall, nobody can explain their return. To the hundreds, then thousands, then tens of thousands drawn tothe “American Stonehenge”—including Parker and Zema, siblings on their way from L.A. to visit their mother in Michigan—the Towers seem to sing, even as everybody hears a different song. A rumor overtakes the throng that someone can be seen in the high windows of the southern structure.
On the ninety-third floor, Jesse Presley—the stillborn twin of the most famous singer who ever lived—suddenly awakes, driven mad over the hours and days tocome by a voice in his head that sounds like his but isn’t, and by the memory of a country where he survived in his brother’s place. Meanwhile, Parker and Zema cross a possessed landscape by a mysterious detour no one knows, charted on a map that no one has seen.
Haunting, audacious, and undaunted, Shadowbahn is a winding and reckless ride through intersections of danger, destiny, and the conjoined halves of a ruptured nation.
“A great, great, great, great novel. I could say more -- about its big-world heartedness and old-world shadowness, about twins and towers, brothers and sisters, road trips and all the borders we design and transgress, and of course Erickson’s beautiful heart-bit music -- but it would still add up to the same thing: great. Sung, of course.”
–Mark Z. Danielewski, author of The Familiar
“Steve Erickson is one of America’s greatest living novelists. He is always inventive, always engaging, always surprising. In Shadowbahn, Erickson combines the social novel, the science fiction novel, the pop music essay, the comedic set piece, and the family novel into a wild, idiosyncratic tour de force.”
“Not sure whether Steve Erickson's off-kilter whoppers have gotten more plausible or the country gets more and more unhinged. He and his book's bewitching nouns, from the Badlands to "La Bamba," are good company either way.”
“Shadowbahn maps out an American counter-history where events that have touched all Americans, and people from all over the world, are given new shape and speak in new voices. As both a revisioning of a national story and a family drama, the book has a simultaneous weight and lightness, an older person’s high seriousness and the ability of younger people to see right through it.”
“One of the fabulous mythmakers who are needed in these times of deprivation of the imagination.”
New York Times Book Review
“Erickson has that rare and luminous gift for reporting back from the nocturnal side of reality.”
“A brilliantly imaginative novelist of the utmost seriousness and grace.”