Ron MacLean, Headlong
This tale, masterfully told through dialogue and letters, grows steadily more upsetting with each twist and turn of the central mystery. It's Dante meets Quantum Physics--giants from the past and future--that Garber employs in pursuit of the truth of what happened at the House of Nordquist, yet readers will find the way relationships fail these characters rather eerily contemporary.
Lucia Nevai, Salvation
Garber is his own man, working at the top of his form, writing in his own pure style, capable of depicting a pompous professor of theology or--with equal ease--an unlettered, down-to-earth woman who has nothing to nourish her heart beyond her fantasies of motherhood. It's a simple tale, a detective story of sorts, in which we seek to uncover what happened in the fire that consumed the house of Norquist, the ark where an obsessed man sought to extract from the dwindling physical body of a woman, herself the victim of history's holocausts, such music as would change the world.
Eugene Mirabelli, Renata the Painter
Reading the Nordquist saga I was riveted from the first. Garber does something I have never quite experienced in a fiction, with each new layer of disclosure deepening the mystery rather than relieving it in the unveiling. A reader turns from thinking one or another of the interlocutor/narrators more or less trustworthy and then slowly becomes implicated in the mysterious agency of inquisition (that word perhaps being right for the focus of the novel) seeking "facts that allow us to perceive patterns from which to allow us to form hypotheses" but without "being caught in a chain of infinite regress until we're back" if not to the Big Bang then the black box.
Michael Joyce, A Hagiography of Heaven and Vicinity
Eugene Garber's The House of Nordquist deploys a cast of characters determined to make sense--of events, of bodies, of themselves, of one another--in a universe equally determined to frustrate their efforts to do so. The resulting confrontation produces an energy which, combined with Garber's technical virtuosity, wide-ranging erudition, and sly humor, propels the reader through that rare combination: a novel that is both consistently accessible and endlessly challenging. The House of Nordquist belongs on the must-read of anyone serious about fiction in the 21st Century. And it's fun, to boot.
Steve North, Blind Justice
A book of this complexity is no ordinary tale to be told in any ordinary way. Foremost, absent of plot, it unravels not through exposition or logic or linear time, scene or action, but through dialogue, interrogation, and letters. And then, with its target in mind, this contradictory braided miasma of forces, it undercuts its own reality. It is a book whose aspirations go far beyond mere realism.
Martin Nakell, Monk