In Steve Erickson’s Shadowbahn, the Twin Towers reappear in South Dakota, wholly intact and without explanation.

“As the crowds arrive over the following days, the families and loners, the footloose and motor-bound, the drivers and passengers and hitchhikers, the cards and RVs and trailers, the shuttles and buses and private jets, the news vans and military jeeps and airborne surveillance, the constituents and pols and advance teams, the graphic designers and Hollywood scouts and novelists who can’t make up anything anymore, the systems and cynics and juries-still-out, the Towers loom from the end of what becomes a long national boulevard.”

Meanwhile, Elvis’s stillborn twin brother roams the mid-twentieth century, rewiring history. Shadowbahn is a widescreen novel with a sense of lightness and invention I hadn’t encountered before. Each chapter is a page, and each page leaps and loops through a garbled American landscape dotted with the Velvet Underground, Bobby Kennedy, Malcolm X, John Lennon, new states and territories, and endless music trivia. And there’s the sense of being held captive—in the best and worst ways—to the author’s obsession with the perfect playlist.

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November 17, 2020


Meanwhile, I keep forgetting the screen is a tool, not an environment.
February 8, 2020


Strange how I'm embarrassed to write our president's name, a name that looks like an obscenity on the page. Maybe it’s because I thought we deserved a worthy villain.
February 21, 2020


Billboards along Interstate 90 tell me that God owes us nothing, love is an action verb, and the key to forgiveness was hung on the cross.
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